These days, customers don’t just care about the product or service you offer. It’s about the entire customer journey: their experience with your business or brand from start to finish- and beyond. Getting the customers through the door –whether in bricks and mortar or digitally– is only one small part of it. How you make them feel is often what leads to a sale. In many cases, your employees are the key to getting that sale over the line.
So how do you maximize those sales opportunities in your organization? Much emphasis in recent years has been placed on building and nurturing a positive company culture, and that remains absolutely vital. But going one step further, employee incentivization is reaching new levels in order to help employees excel and even earn more– for the company, and for themselves. As Richard Branson said: “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.
What exactly is an incentive? It is a motivational tool that allows employees to increase their productivity, in the knowledge that they will be rewarded. Incentives come in different shapes and forms; it could be on a cash basis, something tangible or intangible, or an invaluable, once in a lifetime experience. The purpose of an incentive program is for businesses to increase their revenue within a certain timeframe. This applies to most industries and companies who are largely driven by a sales force.
Every business will have nuanced ways to measure key performances, but these often include KPIs, sales, productivity or customer satisfaction feedback. In most cases, usual sales team are often divided in three categories:
1. The top 20% a.k.a. your best performers They are your key players that have a natural instinct for sales or productivity and are good at what they do. They usually are in the leaderboard when launching an incentive and will likely stay there.
2. The middle 60% a.k.a. the soft belly This category encompasses the majority of your employees and where the majority of the sales are generated. Their performance is from regular to good, but does not have a “wow” factor, unlike the top performers.
3. The low 20% a.k.a. the bad performers These are the employees that clock-in and clock-out of work every day, they are here to collect their pay check at the end of the month, and do what it takes just to survive in the company.
When incentivizing employees, most companies fall into a very common trap– they only reward the top performers, who as we see from above, typically encompass a small portion of your sales force. What about the rest? It is vital to the success of your business to have an inclusive system in place, in order to help bring out the best of your team. Everyone who participates is compensated based on his or her productivity.
Specialist software can be tailored for companies to roll out a proper incentive program, measurable in real-time– whether on desktop, mobile or tablet. These types of tools are designed for absolute ease of use; staff can easily access and monitor progress via a dashboard and if you add a gamification element, they can compete with their colleagues. We’ve found that gamification is really growing among our customers; it’s fun but comes with real tangible benefits to your bottom line.
This type of software also offers actionable insight to the C-suite. They can easily identify what product lines are performing well, as well as tracking employee performance– if there are weaknesses, business leaders can swiftly identify these and work with their staff to improve.
Fundamentally, no employee should get left behind. By making sure everyone gets a piece of the pie, this will increase the overall satisfaction/happiness in the company, reduce the turnover, improve internal communications, and at the end of it all, maintain a healthier working environment.