How to Create a Sales Incentive Program

Imagine your company’s sales have dropped or become stagnant over the past year. Or imagine sales are doing well, but you want to push them to a higher plateau. Creating a sales incentive program could be the best solution for both situations.

But first things first: What comprises an effective a sales incentive program? How should the program be executed? This is what we look at below, exploring four building blocks that are essential for creating almost any type of sales incentive program.

  1. Reward Budget

Before you choose the incentive for sales performance, determine how much you can comfortably spend. The prospect of revenue growth is a major reason for incentivizing sales performance. But you don’t want to break even after delivering the incentive. You want a sizeable chunk of income leftover that goes straight to the bottom line and grows your company’s wealth.

  1. Reward Schedule

The schedule on which a reward is given is determined mostly by the type of reward. For example, say the incentive is additional commission for closing a sale within two weeks. It would be a short-term incentive structure that should ideally pay out bimonthly.

On the other hand, if you use a large reward that involves more than adding another digit to a paycheck, you’ll probably deliver the reward after a few months have passed. For instance, if the incentive is a travel trip, you’ll probably offer it once or twice a year for two reasons: cost, and avoiding spending too many would-be work hours on pleasure activities.

  1. Reward Requirements

A sales incentive program requires salespeople to reach a revenue plateau before the incentive is triggered. Products and services are sold at different costs, and it’s important to consider this fact before choosing the reward. For example, selling a new B2B software solution to a single client would probably be more lucrative than closing the deal on a new type of office blinds with the same client.

Additional reward requirements sales incentive programs use include: feedback from new customers that is placed in a performance scoring program, revenue generated from selling in region-specific sales zones, and the time it takes to transition a lead to a customer.

  1. Type of Reward

Rewards for a sales incentive program entail various types of attractive offers, from cash bonuses, to new vehicles, to company stock. What you offer is up to you, but keep in mind that you’ll probably be rewarding a high earner who may already enjoy these things.

One thing the person doesn’t enjoy yet is a unique travel trip — with heavy emphasis on uniqueness — to a world class destination. Using unique travels as a reward also makes sense in another respect: Practically everyone loves to travel to great destinations, which means everyone should be highly motivated to qualify for the reward.

Need a Sales Incentive Reward?

If so, Incentive Travel Solutions can help you plan an unforgettable trip that rewards your top performers and brings them closer together through shared experiences. The trips we plan aren’t like the average vacation. The destination and activities are truly amazing, and a travel staff goes with you to ensure the itinerary goes precisely as planned.

To start planning an incentive travel trip, call us today at (704) 540-1482, or use our contact form. We look forward to helping you plan an amazing trip that motivates your team!



4 Traits of Sales Motivation Plans That Work

What goes into sales motivation plans that work? There can be several answers. Below, we present four strategies that your company can use to create sales motivation plans that work best for increasing sales. If you need help implementing incentive-based travel in the reward structure, we’re here to assist you.

  1. Leading the Team With “Carrots” Instead of “Sticks”

In the book The Carrot Principle, researchers Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton explore whether praise, criticism, or a combination of both is most motivating to employees. Because no sales team operates perfectly, most companies need to use both approaches.

However, the authors find that balancing sticks with carrots, or offering more carrots than sticks, creates the highest motivation. Offering verbal rewards can be as important as offering tangible awards, the researchers found.

  1. Offering Small Rewards Leading Up to a Large Reward

A large reward, such as incentive travel trip to a unique destination, can create a high level of motivation. To help sustain the motivation, consider offering small performance rewards, such as monthly bonuses for generating quality leads or closing sales, that lead up to the large reward.

Offering small rewards is money well-spent for two reasons: It encourages employees to achieve high success over both the short-term and the long-term, and it helps them qualify for the large reward.

  1. Offering a Reward With a High Degree of Novelty

Small incentive-based awards are a great way to sustain motivation from month to month, but offering a large award that has a high degree of novelty adds a new level of incentive to the equation.

Novelty means different things to people, but one form of novelty everyone seems to appreciate is traveling to a unique, worldwide destination, and enjoying special activities while there. This is why we’ve created a successful business out of helping companies plan incentive travel trips.

  1. Rewards Given According to the Incentive Program

When it comes to incentive-based motivation, one of the worst things a company can do is fail to honor terms on which rewards are given. Whether an employee fails to receive a weekly bonus or an annual incentive travel trip, the motivation that came from the prospect of receiving it is gone.

If a company doesn’t follow through on its incentive program, it can become like the boy who cried wolf. Employees are less likely to take future incentives seriously, which essentially means that opportunities to motivate them become fewer.

About Our Company

Incentive Travel Solutions is an incentive trip planner that helps companies plan and embark on novel travels to amazing destinations, and enjoy unforgettable activities during the journey. Trips we facilitate aren’t like standard vacations. They’re designed to create memories that last a lifetime, which is a major element of motivating employees to qualify for incentive-based travel.

To inquire about our services, call us today at (704) 540-1482, or refer to the contact form on our website. We look forward to learning about your company and presenting travel options for rewarding your hard working sales team — options that create sales motivation plans that work.




4 Ways Companies Can Improve Employee Engagement

Most seasoned executives have been to a company meeting where employees stared off into space with glazed eyes, appearing to be disengaged, when the point of the rendezvous was to be highly engaged and move along with business. If the meeting was held right after lunch — the hour for the traditional Mexican siesta — that alone may be the problem. But, jokes aside, the disengagement could instead stem from a lack of meaningful performance incentives.

Strategies for Improving Engagement

In the field of business psychology, there are hundreds of approaches companies can take to increase the engagement — and, by extension, improve the performance — of their workers. But some strategies have a broader range of application than others. Below, we list four such strategies, and comment on each from the perspective of employee motivation.

  1. Be Generous With Financial Compensation

Mark Twain famously said, “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” His statement is a humorous rejoinder to the Biblical observation that money is root of all evil, but to employees who are financially under-compensated, Twain’s aphorism speaks the truth.

Miserly financial compensation leads workers to feel unappreciated, which leads to low morale, which leads to a lack of motivation to be engaged, which leads to a lack of productivity. In reality, not being generous with employees can be costlier than ponying up and providing great, performance-based financial incentives are possible if you have the profit column for it.

  1. Offer Incentive Travel Trips to Top Performers

Incentive travel trips to unforgettable destinations that entail awesome activities don’t replace financial compensation, but they can serve as a meaningful motivator to upper level employees who are accustomed to receiving generous bonuses, raises, stock options, etc. The key is to ensure that the trip is truly novel and not a cookie cutter vacation, as the novelty of the journey is largely responsible for motivating travelers to perform well enough to qualify for future travel.

  1. Implement a Well-Defined Promotional Track

Not to be rhetorical, but what kind of employees would you rather have: ones who don’t mind staying in their current position forever, or ones who are motivated to succeed greatly and reach higher levels? Practically every company offers job promotions, but not every business gives employees a clear, experience-based and performance-based appraisal of how the promotional process works.

According to Peter Vasic, Director Sales & Marketing at Engraving Services Co., “Replacement costs for an employee can cost a company anywhere between 100–250% of the employee’s annual salary.” Giving employees clear idea of the promotional path helps keep them in-house and motivated to reach the next tier of success in their work life.”

  1. Lead With “Carrots” Instead of “Sticks”

In The Carrot Principle  — a seminal book on employee performance in relation to leadership styles  — researchers Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick state that “Recognition answers a universal need to matter to those with whom we work.” Furthermore, “[The] #1 reason employees leave an organization is that they feel unappreciated.”

One thing that precipitates feeling unappreciated is a management style that leads with “sticks”  — a style that recognizes mistakes far more than successes  — instead of a management style that leads with “carrots”  — a style that essentially takes the opposite tact. Put yourself in your employees’ shoes. Would you really feel motivated to engage more deeply with company business if your talents seemed taken for granted?

Who We Are

Incentive Travels Solutions is an incentive travel trip planner that specializes in creating and managing unforgettable, incentive-based travel trips that support teambuilding and motivation in the workplace. To inquire about our services, please call us today at (704) 540-1482, or use our contact form. We look forward to learning about your business and its reward structure.




Best Corporate Travel Programs – Three Key Features that Set the Experts Apart

Planning incentive-based travel trips that reward employees for great performance is similar to playing the game of golf: Almost anyone can do it, but few people do it exceptionally well. This is why your company should consider using the services of a travel planner that has experience in helping companies get the most value from their corporate travel programs.

Compared to travel planners that lack experience with corporate travel programs, planners that specialize in corporate travel typically possess three key features: They help you plan the trip down to the smallest detail, assist you with choosing trip activities that are unforgettable, and provide travel staff to attend you on your trip. Let’s take a look at the benefits of each feature.

1. Comprehensive Planning

Comprehensive planning starts with major tasks such as hotel negotiation and airline contract negotiation and ends with detail-oriented tasks such as ensuring that hotel spa services include specific treatments and ensuring that a specific type of champagne will be available on the flight. Your standard travel planner will handle the big details, but it won’t spend hours making sure that your trip is meticulously planned down to the smallest, value-added travel benefits.

2. Unforgettable Activities

We like to say that unforgettable travel activities have what we call the “wow factor”. Unless employees are “wowed” by what they experience on a trip, their motivation to qualify for the next trip may not be especially high, which could translate into mediocre sales growth and an average customer retention rate for the coming year. Activities for trips we plan are more than just fun. They are unforgettable occasions that motivate employees to qualify for the next trip.

3. Dedicated Travel Staff

Almost everyone who has taken their fair share of vacation trips has experienced some type of glitch in travel plans that a trip would have been more enjoyable without. This is why travel planners that have expertise in corporate travel programs commonly include on-site travel staff for your trip. If any aspect of the trip isn’t going as expected, or you need personal assistance during activities, on-site travel staff will be there to make the situation right and lend a hand.

Ready to Plan an Incentive Travel Trip?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Incentive Travel Solutions has years of experience helping companies of all sizes in various industries leverage corporate travel programs to provide highly meaningful rewards for top performers, and increase annual productivity by motivating these employees to qualify for the next trip. Comprehensive trip planning, planning unforgettable trip activities, and providing on-site travel staff are three essential keys for achieving the goals.

To get started on planning a corporate travel trip that can have a positive impact on customer retention and sales growth, please call us today at (704) 540-1482, or complete our contact form. We look forward to helping you plan trips that are highly memorable for your top performers and motivate them to work even harder for the success of your company.


5 Employee Incentive Programs That Work

Motivating their employees to perform at the highest level has always been a challenge for companies. In most most cases, employees perform well, but how do you get them to go the extra mile and maximize their capabilities? One way to provide this motivation is to implement a performance-based reward program that compensates employees who reach important business goals. Below are five great examples of employee incentive programs that work.

Salary Increase

Most employees enter a profession with an idea of how much salary they expect to earn, as they gain experience and attain higher positions within the company. Providing employees with meaningful annual bonuses both satisfies them presently and motivates them to work harder to realize the dream of business success that they have envisioned achieving for many years.

Performance Bonuses

Every company knows that the business performance of employees is tied to financial compensation. As honorable as a company’s mission may be — and as enjoyable as the work environment is — money still makes the business world go around. The nice thing about performance bonuses is that they aren’t set in stone. The harder employees work, the more they can expect to receive in performance bonuses. In terms of productivity, this is a winning situation.

Valuable Special Gifts

Rewarding excellent performance with a special gift is another way to keep employees motivated from quarter to quarter. Naturally, the nicer the gift, the more motivation it inspires. For example, there is a big difference between offering a top performer a gift certificate to a salon and offering him or her a new BMW. If you want your employees to strive for new business heights, put your money where your mouth is, and offer them a truly valuable, special gift.

Opportunity for Promotion

Failing to be promoted after they have demonstrated business excellence is one of the main reasons employees leave a company in pursuit of better opportunities at companies where they would expect to feel more appreciated. Human resources are the most valuable resources, as the old saying goes. In order to put the principle into practice, you need to reward top performers with lucrative promotions. Otherwise, they may become bored and feel poorly paid.

Qualifying for an Incentive Travel Trip

When it comes to employee incentive programs that work, giving top performers the opportunity to qualify for a travel trip that entails a highly desirable destination and travels filled with unforgettable experiences, is the most unique incentive presented here, but it is also one of the most effective, especially for well-paid employees who are near the top of the career ladder. The exceptional uniqueness of the trip naturally motivates such employees to qualify for the next one.

Ready to Plan a Travel Trip?

If your company is dedicated to retaining top talent and compensating top performers with meaningful awards, it should consider making incentive travel trips a part of the reward structure. With the assistance of Incentive Travel Solutions, the trips you offer will be ones that create lasting memories, help employees form stronger bonds as co-workers, and motivate them to work diligently to qualify for the next incentive-based travel trip.