Ações de incentivo podem aumentar em até 35x as vendas (Getty Images/Hinterhaus Productions)

By Jansen Moreira*

In an increasingly competitive market, brands are increasingly looking to find strategies to strengthen sales. One of the most effective and popular methods in this regard are the incentive campaigns, which aim to increase salespeople’s engagement and recognize who obtained the best results. Recent market estimates show that incentive actions, when performed assertively, are capable of increase the number of sales by up to 35% of the incentivized products.

Despite this, many companies still apply ineffective strategies when starting a campaign, harming their results and, consequently, employee engagement. see below most common mistakes made by corporations and tips to avoid them.

1.Award only the “top performers”

All salespeople know who are the best in a store. When a company decides to reward only the highest-ranking employees in a campaign, it can contribute to professionals not being motivated to participate effectively. With that, the dispute of the action is practically restricted and does not develop the feeling of competitiveness among all. In this case, it is important to develop campaigns capable of benefiting all professionals. To solve this problem, the most recommended thing is to carry out the distribution of prizes and experiences from the “top performers” to the people who are far from the top of the sales ranking.

2.Establish the same goal for all soldres

Salespeople work in different realities. There are stores or units of the same brand with different sizes, structures, locations, etc. When a “one size fits all” goal is set – an egalitarian goal in free translation – for an entire retail chain, the campaign ends up neglecting this diversity, which directly impacts results. Most of the time, this lack of tact on the part of the decision maker tends to create unbalanced and unstimulating actions. The best alternative in this situation is to produce an individual goal for each salesperson based on their characteristics. This can be a major factor in increasing the performance of professionals working in the retail channel and, consequently, the performance of the entire team.

3.Use most of the budget for a single grand prize

Indeed, it is important to choose a really interesting and eye-catching reward for an incentive campaign. However, the activation efficiency will be affected if the option is to choose only a single awardee. The most assertive decision, in this case, is to provide a “long tail” of awards. By applying this concept, the company manages to keep sellers interested in performing and engaged in reaching, at least, the first level of award of the action.

4.Focus only on financial rewards

Financial premiums are obviously the sellers’ preference, but it is also important to make this amount tangible, that is, to make it more playful and attractive. Instead of informing professionals exactly about the value of the award, the most recommended thing is to award items with greater added value – similar to the amount they would like to receive. For this, before implementing an incentive campaign, it is worth doing a brief internal survey to find out which products and experiences can bring greater satisfaction to sellers.

5.Include other metrics to make the award available

The incentive campaign is an important tool to direct and ensure a focus for sellers. For example, if the purpose of the action is to increase the commercialization of a certain product among the professionals of a store, the measurement must be linked only to this metric. Including other prerequisites that are outside of the salesperson’s performance purview, such as the store’s overall sales goal, becomes a big shot in the foot. In addition to an ineffective strategy, the company will certainly lose employee engagement.

6. Lack of transparency

The lack of transparency is another common misconception in this type of action. Often companies end up leaving some rules out of the regulation. This practice causes the campaign to start in the wrong way, not to mention the risk of loss of credibility and demotivation of sellers. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of this type of situation, inserting the rules in a crystalline way for all participants from the beginning of the action.

7.Exclude underperforming sellers from the stock

There are several factors that can contribute to a salesperson’s poor performance over a period of time. The manager needs to evaluate case by case, as the problem can be a return from vacation, a bad season for the trade, a weak store, a new professional in the store or in the position, etc. Anyway, as the main objective of an incentive campaign is to motivate employees, the project can be an important step for them to improve results. Therefore, leaving underperforming sellers out of the stock is an unwise choice and will only exacerbate what is already bad.

*Jansen Moreira is CEO and founder of Incentive.me, a technology startup for managing sales incentive campaigns. Having worked at companies such as Huawei and Tetra Pak, Jansen holds a degree in industrial design with an MBA in Marketing and Customer Management

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