Sales Incentive StrategyIt’s hard for me to believe, but the QIC Blog has now been in existence for nearly four years. Looking back at my contributions to the endeavor, I still count among my favorites a post that was published in September 2013, entitled Lessons from the Street – Employee Recognition and Misguided Sweet Sweepers .

In that post, I employed some observations from the real world to develop two key recommendations for incentive and recognition program design. Here are those recommendations.

  1. Be clear about what you are trying to accomplish (your strategy) – and how your tactics support that strategy.
  2. Know what to do first; create a firm foundation.

You may recall (or reread) that I used a negative example to develop these recommendations. Specifically, I wrote about the less-than-desirable outcomes that prevailed because:

  • objectives weren’t completely understood, and
  • essential activities were pursued in the wrong order.

I’m writing today to share a positive example of what happens when those recommendations are followed.

We recently launched an incentive program designed to support a very specific strategic initiative, which was to motivate our client’s associates to cross-sell complementary services to its existing customers. Our client had introduced this initiative months prior to the launch of the program, and had made clear that it was (is) centrally important to the company’s success.  So, check box number one – the program objectives were well-understood by the program participants.

To design the program award rules, QIC leveraged a comprehensive report developed by the client to support the cross-selling initiative. This report, which was used since the onset of the initiative, was the foundation upon which effective award rules could be built. Developing these things in the opposite order, i.e., award rules then report, might have worked but would not have been nearly as effective. Check box number two – the client knew what to do first.

I’m happy to report that to date, the program has demonstrated excellent traction and solid results. Based on the program’s strategic clarity and careful planning, we are confident that these trends will continue. Please call us if we can help you design and implement a program that integrates with your key strategies. And we promise to advise you on the correct order in which key activities should be done.

At Quality Incentive Company, Rob is responsible for leading the company’s business development efforts in both the employee recognition and sales/channel arenas. He has more than 10 years of experience in the recognition and incentive industry, having served as president and CEO of Atlanta-based Loyaltyworks before joining QIC in 2011.

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