As I travel around the country these days, I encounter the unmistakable signs of the “back-to-school” season – more traffic, football games, advertisements for school supplies and less crowded airplanes, just to name a few. It’s been a couple of years since our family has experienced this rite of passage first-hand – and I must admit that I miss the excitement a bit.
For us, the return to school meant encountering the possibilities and challenges created by new coursework. In addition, there were the new relationships with teachers and fellow students to be navigated. But perhaps the most important adjustment was the reapplication of the discipline required for success – which inevitably waned during the relatively unstructured pace of summer.
Reflecting on this, I think that our existing and potential clients can learn a few things from the back-to-school season when it comes to incentive programs.
- First, this is an excellent time to ask whether education could play a role in helping drive business results. For example, if you are running or contemplating a channel incentive program, consider adding a product knowledge quiz to your program platform. Not only do such quizzes advance the expertise of your channel partners, they tend to raise overall awareness and enthusiasm among program participants.
- Secondly, those of you who are running sales incentive programs might benefit by considering the addition of classes of customers who are not now participants in your program, but should be. By so doing, you might identify a new participant who becomes your new best friend (so to speak).
- Finally, there is the topic of discipline. I can tell you that here at QIC we plan to use this season to systematically review our processes and procedures to make sure that we are operating as efficiently and “smartly” as we should. I encourage all of you who are running incentive programs, be they sales incentives or employee recognition, to do the same.
No matter how old we – or our children – get, we can all learn something in the back-to-school season. Please don’t hesitate to call upon us if we can help you with that process in any way.