How to structure a sales incentive
Craig Thomas

How to structure a sales incentive

1st February 2016

A sales incentive programme is a great way to introduce positive changes into a sales team that might be becoming disengaged, or to ensure your team members are fully focussed on driving the highest number of sales. While many of us recognise that incentives are a good thing, it can be a bit of a conceptual issue to work out exactly how to set it up to see a measureable increase in sales. So, here are the basics of structuring a sales incentive.



Your incentive is fairly directionless without objectives – what exactly do you want this to do for your sales? You may be looking for a growth rate in sales, an average number of sales per person per month, or a set percentage increase of sales within the next six months. Determine what it is you want from your incentive before you go a step further.


Decide your budget

How much can you spend in order to achieve the objectives you've decided on? There are all sorts of factors to bear in mind here, from the frequency of the reward to the size of it and whether you should be offering simple rewards, such as vouchers, or something more tangible like gifts or experiences. What you spend to incentivise your sales team should be far outweighed by the return through a motivated and productive sales team.


What are the targets?

It's essential your sales team understand what they have to do in order to be rewarded, so you need to set clear targets that are easy to understand. The link between action and reward should be made very clear so that it triggers the motivation in the team to participate. Many incentives fall down because the targeting element of the planning has been missed out, or because the targeting has been decided among those in the know but is not then woven into other elements of the planning.


Launching the incentive

You've planned every detail of the incentive, you've got everything into place and you're ready to press the ‘go' button. Now you need to launch it – with some considerable fanfare if possible – so that it has officially arrived and people can start taking part. Once you've launched your incentive then avoid making any changes to it. Instead, set new aims as each sales target is met.


Keep talking about it

It's a good idea to keep providing regular updates on how participants are doing with the incentive, both personally and as a sales team. This is a great way to ensure that motivation is high and everyone remains focused to generate the highest possible number of sales. Regularly encouraging and reminding sales people to meet their targets will help them move ever closer to the reward at the end of it.


Celebrate success

When your incentive targets are hit make sure you recognise and celebrate the winners. It's also important to make sure you share with your sales team what has been achieved. This is information you can feed into the business overall and to potentially use to make changes to the permanent targets and rewards structures in place.


Active are experts in delivering sales incentive programmes. For more information or to get a quote, please contact us.

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Craig Thomas
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