3 Reasons to Include an Incentive Sales Program in Your 2022 Budget

How to boost employment engagement, retention and your bottom line in the new year. 

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Sharpen your pencils, dust off your calculators and prep your spreadsheets for budget season! Have you added a sales incentive program to your 2022 strategic plan? 

Consider this: Employee motivation and engagement are low. From a pandemic that hasn’t ended, to offices that are still vacant, there are plenty of reasons why corporate cultures are suffering. Waning interest in your team could lead to wandering eyes. Employees aren’t afraid to change jobs or careers as they seek a better culture fit, more work/life harmony and increased benefits.

It costs more to hire new employees than it does to retain the top performers you already have on your team, so it makes sense to invest in your current employees. How do you begin? Start by unleashing the potential of your top performers with a sales incentive program. Following are three reasons why sales incentive programs should be included in your 2022 budget.

Employees want sales incentive programs.

Prior to the pandemic, we conducted a survey of 3,000 working adults in the U.S. to determine the strength of their relationships between employees, their companies, and their managers. The results were telling. Employees desire frequent recognition. In fact, 74 percent of them were more likely to remain an employee of a company when they felt like they were being properly recognized by their company.

Remember, this was  before the pandemic. Fast-forward to current day and see how much the workplace has changed. During this tumultuous time, your employees desire even more recognition than ever before. One way to support this recognition is by implementing a sales incentive program that offers a choice of rewards that can appeal to the wide variety of people on your team. No two employees are exactly the same. They don’t look the same, they don’t act the same, and they aren’t necessarily motivated by the same things. That’s why your sales incentive program should offer diverse rewards to appeal to different audiences.

Your competitors are offering incentive programs.

The IRF 2020 Top Performer Study focused on identifying how different companies used and succeeded at offering incentives and rewards. The study showed that incentive programs are popular. Very popular. According to the survey, those companies who were strong supporters of reward and recognition programs rose from 86 percent in 2019 to 94 percent in 2020. Overall, companies in a variety of verticals understand that sales incentive programs can be a competitive advantage, so more companies are investing time and money in implementing them to meet the needs of their employees.

As more and more executives realize the importance of utilizing sales incentive programs to motivate teams and recognize and reward top performers, simply having a sales incentive program is no longer an option. Instead, having a well-oiled sales incentive machine will be critical to business success. That’s where engaging with a trusted partner comes in handy. 

Your business needs incentive programs.

We’re all looking for ways to gain a competitive edge, move the needle and enhance our bottom line. After a year (or two) like no other, it’s time to try something new and disruptive that will harness the energy from your teams or channel partners, create meaningful connections, and increase your business outcomes. This is where a sales incentive program can help you thrive by looking inward so you can realize the potential of your people power.

We start every sales incentive program by examining your objectives, determining what specific behaviors you’d like to modify, and identifying who can impact your success. It’s a strategic approach that is designed to help you create meaningful connections with your internal teams and channel partners so you can ultimately reach your business goals.

The people who make up your teams are your most important asset. Why not ensure they stay engaged, are more productive, and are rewarded for their hard work? This is the value of a sales incentive program, which is why you need to add it as a line item on your 2022 budget.

Samantha Decker is the marketing director at One10, a motivation firm based in Minneapolis.