Designing the right sales incentive structure to help your organization meet — and exceed — goals is especially relevant in today’s changing business environment. Having a reward strategy that is limited to just your top achievers, however, is a miss. One of the leading areas of neglect in a company’s incentive strategy is the second-tier performers. Year after year, and program after program, it seems that the top 20% — your peak performers — are the same familiar faces. You might even hear things like…

As we evaluate program effectiveness, we often learn that what is meant to be an incentive for the entire sales team is actually perceived, by the majority of the organization, to be recognition for only the top 20%. We were recently appointed to audit a legacy program and after interviewing all kinds of players, both winners and non-winners, we heard things like “The program doesn’t motivate me at all. It’s just background noise.”

Does this mean you should cancel your group travel reward? Not at all! We know that group incentive travel is effective. But, according to the Incentive Research Foundation, individual incentive travel awards received high ratings for motivational appeal, with 84% saying individual travel awards are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ motivating, while group incentive received high ratings by 80% of the audience. This puts individual travel awards slightly ahead of group incentive programs for motivation factor!

Every sales leader wants to get the most out of their entire sales organization. A good solution for widescale lift may be implementing a tier two (stretch) target for those middle performers and offering them a smaller individual travel reward for their achievement. Increasing their performance by just a small percentage can often produce a healthy increase in your year-over-year sales. Use that bump in revenue to fund individual travel rewards at a lower price point than your per-person group travel budget. It’s a win-win, as more of your team is actively engaged and motivated.

Looking to boost your incentive program’s motivation factor?