by Leo Jakobson & Andrea Doyle | February 05, 2014
When an incentive program is consistently falling short of expectations, it’s time to reinvent it, not give up. Here are two sales incentive programs, one channel and one employee, that were turned around by focusing on motivation and engagement, back-end reporting, and more desirable rewards.

Siemens PLM Engages Globally

Siemens Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), a software division of Siemens, turned to a points-based merchandise incentive program to refresh and reinvigorate its Siemens Industry Software Partner Rewards Program, a channel sales incentive program covering about 1,800 sales representatives employed by some 600 independent partner companies around the world.

The main goal was to motivate sales people to increase sales to new customers and induce existing ones to upgrade, but the company was also looking for a program that could integrate a robust communications, training, and certification program to improve Siemens PLM’s mindshare with the sales reps and increase their loyalty to the brand. The company also wanted the program to be consistent across the globe, easy to use, and automated — it would integrate data from to allow real-time tracking of each rep’s productivity.

Working with Irving, TX-based incentive house Spear One, Siemens created a tiered rewards program, offering sales reps with elite status extra rewards. Large transactions and those combined with other Siemens software earn point bonuses. Engagement, loyalty, and motivation levels have increased year-over-year, and revenue from the sale of new licenses has more than paid for the program.

Patterson Dental Supply Opens Wide

When Patterson Dental Supply found that its existing sales incentive program for 1,500 territory representatives and in-house sales employees was underperforming, it turned to Pine Brook, NJ-based Rymax Marketing Services to create a new one.

The previous program, which offered gift card rewards, did not provide sufficient back-end tracking capabilities, and more than $1 million in rewards — a high percentage — went unredeemed, a sign that the existing sales incentive program was not engaging the audience.

The new program aimed to engage salespeople by offering more desirable awards such as brand-name merchandise, as well as improving customer service, providing an online platform that made participation easier, and adding more robust back-end tracking. An ongoing communications program supported the re-launch.

It also made it easier for the company to run multiple incentive programs around specific brands it carries, increasing the number of
manufacturer-sponsored incentive programs.

The results were very strong. Seventy-two percent of Patterson Dental Supply’s salesforce enrolled in the new program, and award redemption rates nearly doubled. Sales improved and far more salespeople surpassed their goals, resulting in a bottom-line revenue increase of 30 percent.