Boost Sales with Incentive Programs

Incentive programs can do wonders for your sales figures - but only if the incentives are well-planned. Here are some basic steps to map out successful incentives contests. 

Pinpoint the goal and audience. Remember to keep the objective attainable, measurable, simple, and meaningful for your audience. 

Set the budget. The contest should cover its costs. Incentive budgets usually eat up 5 percent to 10 percent of incremental sales. Prizes generally consume between 70 percent to 90 percent. 

Establish the rules. Identify the basics - participants, awards, program period, and criteria. Be sure to get feedback from top performers before the program's debut. 

Pick the prizes. Offer rewards the audience would like. Consider surveying recipients about what they want. Remember to consider an award's trophy value, appeal, and quality. Try to build in choices to maximize appeal. 

Boost the contest. Use a catchy theme at a rousing kickoff event and in announcements. Through intranet, newsletters, and bulletin boards, give participants feedback, encouragement, and progress reports regularly. 

Follow the progress. Track how participants are doing, and share standings with them so they can adjust their performances. 

Reward and celebrate. Personally deliver awards without delay, and recognize top performers in a formal way. 

Measure the success. In success or failure, it can be difficult to tie a sales increase to an incentive program. Any program, even the most successful, offers room for improvement. 

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