Rewarding & Recognizing Top Sales Talent In the Face of Cutbacks

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Leading sales leaders and organizations that have mastered the art of motivating their sales representatives often also meet and exceed their revenue targets. As a motivational tool, incentive programs have proven to be highly effective drivers for sales force effectiveness. The challenge that many leaders are struggling with is knowing how and when to use incentives to maximize returns and minimize costs.

Understanding & engaging top-performing sales personnel is essential for encouraging success within an organization. Provided below are some of the best practices & most utilized incentives and motivational activities by leading businesses.

  • Utilize Incentive Travel: Travel has been found to be an extremely important element in any incentive portfolio. The vast majority of companies in the large pharmaceutical segment in a Best Practices, LLC study utilize travel incentives to reward their top performing sales personnel.

*DID YOU KNOW? Incentive travel is even perceived to have a greater impact on long-term performance & retention than cash alternatives. 

  • Motivate All Members Of Your Sales Force: A key to motivating sales personnel is finding the right mix of incentives within a program. Top sales employees are motivated and retained by incentive programs that include tangible rewards and visible recognition from peers and management. A noted downfall is that programs often don’t motivate the majority of the sales force.

*Best Practice to Keep in Mind: Best-in-class programs are designed to not only reward & retain top performers, but also to provide incentives that resonate with average performers and produce incremental behavior change. 

  • Invest the Appropriate Amount In Your Incentive Program: On average, companies in the total benchmark class spent approximately $13k per year on incentives for the top 5% of sales personnel. These incentives are primarily composed of incentive travel and/or an additional cash payout.

Companies use a variety of performance-based incentive programs to motivate their sales personnel. Using this critical knowledge, and without necessarily increasing expenses, companies are adapting new forms of compensation that effectively reward performance while also achieving better relationships with employees.

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