In February, 2013, research from the Aberdeen Group, a Boston based research firm, shows top-performing companies are more likely to motivate their sales teams with non-cash rewards and incentives. That information supports data in an April, 2012 article in Incentive Magazine that states best-in-class firms were more than twice as likely (21% vs. 10%) to use non-cash incentives as industry average or laggard firms. The Aberdeen research goes on to show that firms with formal internal sales emplyee recognition programs had 14.8% higher team quota attainment and a 5.9% higher customer renewal rate.
So what types of non-cash rewards are most likely to motivate a company’s sales force? As is the case with every corporate merchandise purchase aimed at employees or customers, the answer depends on the audience. A target audience consisting mostly of women prefer home, health and jewelry selections. A male based demographic is motivated by lifestyle products like backyard grills, technology items and recreational equipment. Group travel appeals to all participants, and verbal praise, public recognition and peer-to-peer recognition remain important ingredients to a successful incentive program.
Professional incentive management professionals can offer a variety of tools to build a custom program aimed at the sales associates of any company, large or small. And since the most important members of that sales team are the top performers, it may be time to call your incentive program professional and investigate more compelling non-cash rewards for better sales results at the end of the year.