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Get Your Competitive Advantage Through Sales Incentives

Mar 14, 2017

Written by: Tricia Mikolai
(View Author Bio)

Tactical sales incentives are a tool you can turn on and off as needed throughout the year to improve sales. Quite different from your STI – which finishes at the end of the year – tactical sales incentives drive specific sales activities when you need them for example:

  • A fast start to the year
  • Reduce inventory of specific products
  • Bridge a gap between target and forecast
  • Focus on a product mix
  • Launching new products
  • Increase number of appointments
  • Reinforce CRM compliance

There could be many reasons why your sales force isn’t meeting your business objectives, and a tactical incentive can get you back on track. But sometimes, you may be on track or even ahead of target. Does that mean there’s no need for an incentive? Not necessarily.

Running a 30-day, 60-day or 90-day incentive creates a competitive advantage over your competition. Why? Because you’re moving the team out of their “status quo” comfort zone and eliciting an emotional response, which leads to a greater level of engagement with your objectives.

So what is the status quo?

Only about 50% of your sales force will achieve their targets.

  • That’s 50% of your revenue left on the table for a competitor to take!

Only about 50% of your team feels committed to your company.

  • That leaves 50% of your customers with a less-than-exceptional experience and they’re open to talking with your competitors.

Companies with highly engaged workforces realize 37% lower absenteeism.

  • That means you’re likely missing out on 6-8 hours per week of productivity per person. If all your competitors are having the same experience with their teams, you could easily win the race to more leads.

So what's the point? It's engagement!

Sales incentives do more than just achieve a tactical objective; they also create higher engagement (emotional commitment) with the sales force. These incentives drive goal-setting, focus and recognition – often the three things most needed by middle and low performers. It gets them motivated and gives them opportunities to be achievers throughout the year, keeping them on board with your messaging rather than fading away if their potential for a large STI decreases.

Creating a strategic, tactical incentive plan is something your competitors are not doing. In fact, most organisations are happy to rely solely on their standard compensation structure to drive sales activities. The problem is, they’re still seeing status quo achievement. They’re also likely seeing large turnover and having difficulty attracting and keeping top talent. If you’re only offering standard compensation and benefits, it’s easy to jump ship to another organisation that’s offering a few bucks more. Tactical incentives help change that dynamic.

But, don’t worry! You don’t have to create tactical incentives and pay people just for staying engaged. Design incentives to pay for performance. Reward them for achieving over a baseline, meeting stretch targets, demonstrating new sales behaviours or team-based performance and not just for your top-achievers.

For more information about tactical incentive design, contact us today

Tricia Mikolai

Managing Director BI WORLDWIDE - Oceania

Tricia Mikolai is the Managing Director of BI WORLDWIDE – Oceania region. With almost a decade of experience in behaviour change programs, Tricia is responsible for leading multiple successful initiatives to help Fortune 1000 companies drive performance improvement. She is committed to sharing her knowledge and experience with business leaders to help them drive and sustain business results.

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