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Glory Days Sales Rewards

Motivate your employees with sales-incentive and reward programs

In a perfect world, all employees would give 110 percent of their efforts 100 percent of the time. But in the real world, even great employees sometimes need more motivation than displaying a good work ethic to make them go the extra mile.

"Set achievable goals and ideal, or 'stretch,' goals," said Christine Corelli, president and chief creative officer of Christine Corelli & Associates, Inc., which helps companies increase sales, improve management-employee and customer relationships, and establish higher levels of customer loyalty. "Give employees rewards for both goals."

Corelli, author of Wake Up and Smell the Competition and The ART of Influencing Customers to BUY From YOU, also suggests showing staff how much they sold last year, or last quarter, and the resulting commission, compared with the dollar amount of the commission that they'll make if they sell a certain amount now. "That will stand out in their minds and will be much more motivational."

In addition to basic sales commissions, Corelli suggests implementing other reward programs to drive employees and encourage team spirit. As the commission structure is different for everyone, sit down with your accountant to figure out what you can afford to do. "Right now it's all so tough," says Corelli, "but you have to motivate people in good times and bad. You have to give them something to work for."

Corelli also says that owners and managers must be models for their employees. "Remember whose job it is to motivate them," she says. "You have to do what you are asking them to do."

Check out Corelli's advice below for reward programs you can implement at your design firm. There is one main concept to motivating employees, she says: "Treat them like gold all year long."

• Give an award for Showroom Salesperson of the Year for the employee with the highest sales figures. Let them have their choice of reward, such as a cash bonus, a weekend for two, or free attendance and travel for two to K/BIS with a couple of extra days for vacation.

• Throughout the year, give simple rewards of $25 and up, such as gift certificates, pre-paid credit cards or dinner for two. These small perks can go to the employee with the biggest sale of the month, exceptional customer service, a staff member who went the extra mile for the owner, or one who got the largest turnout at a special event.

• Include awards that are voted on by other staff members, such as Dream Design of the Year and Team Member of the Year. Present the winners with a nice gift that is meaningful and memorable for the individual, such as a golf excursion, yoga package or money toward travel to their favorite destination.

• Include unexpected rewards throughout the year. If you had a great month, bring in Chinese food for everyone's lunch one day or hand out small gift cards for the local coffee spot.

• Do special things that show you care. If someone wins an award, take them to dinner and have their spouse or significant other there as a surprise. "It's the little things that make a difference," said Corelli.

Don't miss Christine's appearance at K/BIS: May 1 on Center Stage at 3:30 pm. To learn more about Christine, visit www.christinespeaks.com.

Source: Kitchen and Bath Business