Written by: Dave Smith, GoalQuest Product Director, Reward Systems Group, BIWORLDWIDE
At BI WORLDWIDE, we understand the power of sales incentive programs. Throughout our history, we've researched and designed tens of thousands of programs, many of which we tracked, recorded and analysed. We define the trend curve on incentives because we continue to innovate and refine even the most tried and true approaches. What we've learnt is that most sales incentive programs do not engage the entire audience and therefore leave potential sales growth on the table.
Let's take a look at two typical sales incentive structures.
Many programs reward only the top 10-20% of an audience. These high-performer programs are terrific for those at or within a few points of the top. But they also demotivate the majority of your audience, since 80-90% aren't included in that top segment. Our research shows that 80% of sales come from almost half of your sales force, not just the top 20%.
Most program rules require participants to grow by the same amount no matter where they are under the curve. A 2% to 5% growth target might be appropriate for the top sellers in the organisation, but would be too easy for those in the middle or bottom. For mid-to-lower performers, 20% to 40% could be reasonable, but close to impossible for your top performers. Our research indicates that the most effective programs segment the audience and provide goals that are relative to each segment's past performance.
In 2001, BI WORLDWIDE created the patented GoalQuest incentive structure. One of its greatest assets is that GoalQuest engages a larger segment of the sales population and increases incremental results. GoalQuest rewards only those who grow their sales, no matter where they fall on your sales curve.
Part of GoalQuest's power is that it requires participants to select their own goal from three levels — all set higher than their current personal run rate. Participants earn a reward only if they meet or exceed the goal they select.
Having people choose their own goal, instead of having it chosen for them, creates extraordinary ownership and engagement when striving to reach that goal. Our data indicates that people who select their own goals perform 37% better than those who are assigned a goal.
The GoalQuest methodology is unique, as it creates free incremental sales that typically average 15% of the overall program growth. Participants will only earn at the level they originally select.
• Some participants will grow their sales but fall short of their goal and don't earn a reward.
This scenario delivers incremental revenue at no additional cost to you.
• Other participants will exceed their goal, creating additional incremental sales without earning an additional reward. Again —no extra cost to you.
Each new GoalQuest program is hosted and operated on a website with your unique branding. This site facilitates goal selection and rewards. Plus, each GoalQuest program includes program design, progress communications and project management. Best of all, BI WORLDWIDE offers it all at no cost to you. We consider it an investment in your success, so you only pay for the rewards participants earn.
BI WORLDWIDE has operated more than 700 GoalQuest programs for over 900,000 participants since 2001. Programs span all industries and sales channels - from direct sales to dealers, agents and call centres. We use unique program results to create more focused guidelines and best practices, which means a more intuitive program for you.
Plus, we design a program model based on this data which estimates the sales lift, awards cost and ROI of your program – all before you make any decision to move ahead.
So, the next time you're planning an important sales initiative, consider BI WORLDWIDE's innovative GoalQuest program structure. It can make a real difference in your results, in how your participants respond and in your overall success.