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Seven Ways Sales Incentives are Changing

Many companies use incentive programs to motivate direct sales teams or independent channel partners such as dealers, distributors and resellers. But what worked a decade or even five years ago may not work today.

Our own Dan Hawtof recently shared insights about how sales incentives are changing with Channel Marketer Report. In the article, he urges companies not to reward all sales team members or partners the same way. Instead, he suggests evolving incentives programs to adapt to recipients’ changing demands and the emerging preferences for corporate rewards.

Here’s an excerpt:

  1. Incentives are not just for closed sales. Companies want to drive sales with their incentive programs, but the industry is moving beyond the traditional SPIF model. More businesses are shifting their investment from focusing solely on post-sale rewards to including rewards for key behaviors that could eventually drive more sales. For example, training, following up on leads, reporting new opportunities and providing demos.
  2. Rewards aren’t exclusively for sales personnel anymore. There are numerous people/roles within an organization’s sales ecosystem that can influence a sale or generate leads. Progressive companies recognize that and are identifying rewardable behaviors from a variety of participants that contribute to the sales cycle. Then, they’re offering tailored rewards accordingly.
  3. Easy is “in.” Participating in sales incentive programs has traditionally been time-intensive and cumbersome. Now claims can be submitted online—even via smartphone or mobile device—and proof of performance requirements can be minimized.
  4. People want anywhere, anytime access. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices, people now expect incentives to be seamlessly accessible across a variety of mediums.  This allows participants to administer programs, access claim status, check balance information and redeem points where and when they want from the device of their choice.
  5. Limited reward options fall short. Redeeming points for a fixed assortment of travel and merchandise awards no longer has the appeal it once did. Offering participants the flexibility of how, when and where to redeem an abundance of different rewards is essential.
  6. Millennials are changing the game. Millennial workstyles, lifestyles and even rewards preferences are quite unique compared to the generations that have preceded them. They are already changing how companies incent and reward sales teams and partners and will continue to do so.
  7. More companies are implementing hybrid approaches. Successful companies are offering incentives to the partner organization as a whole in addition to individuals within that organization.



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