incentive program planIf you’re old enough to remember the 1980’s television series The A-Team, you probably recall Hannibal, Faceman, B.A., and Murdock always escaping the tight spots they found themselves in.  On the run for crimes they didn’t commit, they survived by hiring themselves out in the defense of average folks fighting some form of local oppression and corruption.  After bringing about deliverance and narrowly escaping the MP’s, Hannibal’s famous “I love it when a plan comes together” line was inevitably delivered.

At QIC, we appreciate a good plan.  Hang around our blog (or us) for any time at all, and you’ll discover that we emphatically appreciate a good plan.

A good plan is critical to mission success.

The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) agrees that successful incentive and reward programs are the result of good planning and sound program design.  In a recent study entitled “Designing for Successes: Effective Design Patterns for Channel Programs,” several noteworthy design patterns are identified which contribute to effective non-cash recognition and reward programs.

Why is this relevant?  The IRF points out that most U.S. businesses now use non-cash awards.  Top performing businesses (highest growth revenue, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction) also say executives support their non-cash recognition and reward programs as a competitive advantage.  That being true, as the IRF states, “there is now an imminent need to understand how to create effective incentives and reward programs.”

A recent Incentive Federation study showed that almost half (43%) of businesses used non-cash channel reward programs.  In terms of effectiveness, IRF case studies have shown that non-cash channel programs can increase total revenues by 32%, increase market share by 30%, and increase net operating income to 19% of revenue.  The key is in program planning and design.

Where do you get a good plan?

Take time to read the IRF study, which contains 10 design elements.  We also invite you to read QIC’s channel incentive program best practices guide.  One crucial element given in the IRF study is related to program support and administration.  Top-performing companies are more likely to engage outside partners for their expertise – going beyond their internal silos – to run the program.

Like A-Team voiceover –

“If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire … the A-Team.”

By the way, we’re available.

As Vice President of QIC, Jeff oversees daily operations as well as the company’s strategic marketing initiatives. He has 20+ years in the incentive and recognition industry with prior lengthy experience in retail marketing/advertising and consumer loyalty. Visit Jeff on Google+

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