If you hired the right team of employees, they should be working hard to help your business achieve its objectives. Sometimes, even the most self-motivated employees need a little extra push to go from good enough to excellent. By offering your sales and service teams the right incentives, you can ensure that your staff is working in perfect alignment with your goals and remaining challenged and motivated to do better.
Incentives for sales
Your sales force is already highly incentivized to meet their goals since they work on commission. Regardless, it may simply not be enough to do just the right amount of work to get by and meet sales goals. If your sales force is relatively small, Dan Tyre of HubSpot recommends using your sales promotion incentive fund on a personal level. Instead of setting just one goal and offering a cash prize to a single achiever, look at each associate’s performance and pick an area in which you really want to see improvement. Ask that salesperson specifically what would motivate them to do more.
Tyre provides the example of a team member wanting tickets to a local concert. You can offer that to them as a prize and set goals and objectives for them to reach in order to earn the tickets. Tyre recommends making sure you can afford the incentive asked for before you agree to the terms so the whole thing doesn’t end in disappointment.
If your business is too small and you don’t have much in the way of a SPIF, The Balance’s Paul Shearstone notes that you cannot underestimate the importance of recognition. Recognizing and spotlighting the hard work of your employees is the least expensive means of achievement, and given the competitive drive that fuels your sales team, it may be the most effective. The key is that any sort of recognition needs to be done in a timely manner to make sure that there is a direct correlation between a job well done and the praise received.
Incentives for service
While sales people tend to be more naturally competitive, your service department is probably a more diverse and possibly muted group of individuals. Like sales, recognition is the most affordable way to create incentive for improvement. If your customers fill out satisfaction surveys, you should recognize those associates called out positively by name in any feedback you receive. To sweeten the deal, you could put employee names mentioned in surveys into a raffle to win a prize, which would encourage them to work hard so they have more chances to earn an extra reward.
Depending on the complexity of your business, there could also be several different areas of service, some more visible than others. For example, you might have a service department that works with customers regularly and a separate team that works more behind the scenes. Paul Hagen, a principle analyst at Forrest Research, points out that you have to make sure that you recognize those who might not always be on the front lines with customers. You can do that by encouraging employee-to-employee praise or creating a program that rewards less visible employees based on unique benchmarks specific to their work.
No matter who you are trying to incentivize, praise and public recognition go a long way toward making everyone happier. If you have the means to reward hard work with a financial incentive, it’s a great way to invest in your company by ensuring top-tier performance from the individuals who drive your business to succeed.