Business Advice & Ideas

16 Dec 2020

Pushing company growth with the right incentives

The no one-size-fits-all approach brings out the best in each salesperson and experts are convinced having a different compensation yields to higher ROI and ultimately growth for the company.

Like it or not, our world is ruled by the law of rewards or merits. Money begets money. Kindness begets kindness. And in business, incentives rule.

Being a salesperson is definitely not a walk in the park or a Sunday drive. It’s a life of repeated rejections riddled with anxieties caused by stress and pressure. Incentivizing them takes away the tension and makes work fun. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in as far as bringing out the best in each salesperson. Team building should also be considered as it fosters bonding and connection among employees while giving room for growth. 

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) said there are generally three types of salespeople— the stars, the laggards, and the core performers. Stars, as the term implies, are enviable works of wonder, meeting targets head on but may plateau when ceiling is reached. Laggards need persistent urging and continuous direction to deliver; while core performers are the ones who don’t mind doing the nitty-gritty or getting their hands dirty.

Studies showed core performers are often sidelined by managers largely because they don’t identify with them. This is usually because managers were former rainmakers who have brought the bacon to the company and thus, look to budding rainmakers – not core performers – in their midst. A pity because core performers form the bulk of the sales force.

Incentives require a combination of formulas. It can push employees to stretch their limits, resulting in more productivity and better sales. In sales, companies reach measurable goals or targets by sparking a healthy competition within the team through merit-based incentives. Pushed to compete with each other, your sales revenues will likely increase, and ultimately spell growth for the company.

Experts believe the key to a successful sales team is by motivating them individually while implementing merit-based incentives. Set a goal or stretch it, depending on the perceived capacity of your team. Once the goal is reached, celebrate with your them and start motivating them to do more. Implement commission tiers. Simply put, the higher the sales, the higher the commission would be. This is a full-proof formula tested time and again to reach sales quota. And finally, throw in bonuses. Nothing is better than getting a reward for your hard work. Incentivizing a sales representative for a good performance builds up his confidence and the entire sales team as well who looks for appropriate reward for a job well done. 

These are just a few incentives you can adopt to spur sales growth. It’s important to note that transparency plays a key role in its success. Make sure that your commission and bonus structure are transparent to promote trust and fairness within the company. 

In addition, a work environment where someone, who has done a great job is presented to the whole team and cheered, creates excellence. It motivates the sales staff. Another important point to consider is to listen than talk. A manager should ask his team what is wrong and solicit recommendations before imposing dictatorial solutions.

Moreover, incessantly insisting on results and key performance indicator (KPI) reports doesn’t work, experts have pointed out, explaining that it reduces the staff into working on mere numbers instead of actually bringing in tangible results. Instead, they suggest that business leaders should come up with a set of reasonably doable daily or weekly targets that will keep the sales team focused. 

Lest you forget, do the mirror test. It’s asking yourself at every day’s end on your drive home whether you have communicated appropriately with the team, the message you are sending across, wittingly or not.