Do incentive programs work? After 22 years in the business, our experts believe a well-run incentive program is very effective in driving business growth because customers generally become excited about incentive programs and become fully engaged. That’s why we have outlined the top four business benefits of an incentive program.
During the running of the incentive program, your business can expect to see increases in sales growth, as your customers will be motivated to buy from your business. By having a reward available for those buying your product, it encourages them to switch from competitors. The more incremental sales made, the more incremental profit the business makes. This level of profit should reflect the value of reward achievable.
One of the true benefits of an incentive program is that it keep your products top of mind with your customers. According to Business Australia, “giving your customers a reward for returning to your business can be an effective way of encouraging your customers to stay loyal to you.” Business Australia also explained an incentive can “help you keep loyal customers, while also generating word of mouth for your business.”
Incentive programs also establish an emotional connection between your business, sales representatives and your customers. The bond is created as they work together to achieve a result; there is a sense of mutual satisfaction in achieving the target. The incentive could be an all-expenses paid-for trip or a money-can’t-buy thrill experience. The bond will then become stronger if they both go on an exclusive trip or experience together. The more memorable the experience, the greater the word of mouth will be; meaning it is more likely to succeed bigger and better in the years following.
Within a business, there can be a number of buyers and it is important to identify which buyer you’re targeting, so you can influence their behaviour. Buyers are the biggest influence on your business when it comes to success, so it is important that their change in behaviour is for the positive and not the negative. Sometimes your incentive program will provide the reward to the buyer or it may reward the owner.
If buyers know they may be rewarded for achieving a target, they will be more inclined to change their behaviour. This could be short-term or once they are into a pattern, long term. Incentive programs should never be capped; they should be designed to always encourage a customer to reach a target. They will be more interested in achieving the next target if they have a reward tier to meet. For example, tier one could be a two-day getaway to Hamilton Island, tier two an extended stay for five-days and tier three could include a private boat cruise.
By implementing an incentive program, it will boost engagement amongst your sales team. An incentive program should include a reward for the top performing sales team member(s). If the reward is attractive to your team, it will encourage them to go above and beyond to achieve substantial sales growth during the buying period. While encouraging staff to perform well, an incentive program also keeps them focused on individual customers, both short and long-term.
A well-run incentive program will provide your business with numerous opportunities to succeed and grow in both short term and long term. While it builds and maintains relationships between your business and customers, it also increases your sales growth over a period of time. Though, it is important to remember not to expect too much at the beginning of the program and to allow a significant amount of time until you see the results you are after. The most important thing about an incentive program is that it creates behavioural change, meaning your customers need to give more, to get more. Therefore, you only pay for the reward once the targets have been achieved – this has a positive affect on both sales and profit.
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