When it comes to sales incentives, avoid pigeon-holing

PIGEON HOLEThe following is based on a true story.

Carlos* is a mid to top level sales performer in a large corporate. He’s been with the company for four years and while he is generally self-motivated, he’s currently on ‘cruise control’.
And, given Carlos’ profile, it would be easy for his manager to rely on stereotypes when determining the best incentive to motivate improved performance from him.

Married with a young family? Check
Good base salary? Check
Substantial KPI-based cash bonuses? Check
High disposable income? Check

Non-cash rewards need to be substantial to motivate improved performance? Not necessarily.

Carlos’ lifestyle had grown to match his income, which included his annual cash bonus as a basic expectation.

Life was good, so why change?

Then Carlos realised he’d have the opportunity to be recognised and rewarded not only for hitting targets, but also for demonstrating sales-based behaviours that contributed to a strong sales culture within the organisation. The rewards would be ‘dealer’s choice’ – Carlos could choose from a range of merchandise, gift cards and experiential rewards.

So, through only a marginal improvement on his normal level of achievement over the course of twelve months, Carlos was able to fit out his kitchen at home with a full range of contemporary appliances, all through the company’s sales recognition program. Carlos and his family were happy, and the company received a bump in performance and sales revenue from one of its most reliable performers.

While already very good at his job, Carlos found that his performance and job knowledge improved further by aligning his behaviours more closely to those deemed worthy of recognition and reward.

Don’t make assumptions or pigeon-hole when it comes to understanding what motivates your people. It doesn’t have to be a $10,000 incentive trip or a red carpet experience at the Academy Awards to further engage and motivate an already high performing segment of your sales team.

It’s a matter of assessing everyone as individuals, and understanding which levers to pull.

*not his real name


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