by Leo Jakobson | February 10, 2014
Small sales incentives seem to be the order of the day, according to Incentive’s 2014 “Sales IQ” survey. Even though more than half (52 percent) of 2014 respondents say they are increasing per recipient budgets, and just 3.2 percent are decreasing them, this year’s respondents are more focused on programs with smaller per-recipient budgets. In 2014, 55.9 percent say they have programs with per-recipient reward budgets under $100, compared to just 43 percent in 2013.

One reason for this may be the drop in programs focused on internal salespeople. That group accounted for 54.8 percent of respondents this year, compared to 67.4 percent in 2013. The number of channel sales programs was down more than 6 percent. Another reason may be that the primary objectives of these programs are changing. The number of those who said that increasing or maintaining sales was the primary objective of their sales reward programs dropped to 48.6 percent this year, down from 61.4 percent in 2013.

Recognizing performance decreased to 36.4 percent, while increasing or maintaining market share dropped to 21.5 percent in 2014. Building employee morale rose to 43 percent, while creating new markets increased to 27.1
percent in 2014 from 21.2 percent in 2013.

The number of respondents who cancelled sales incentive programs for 2014 was less than 12 percent, as opposed to more than 16 percent in 2013. But of those, nearly 60 percent said they did so because of budget cuts, compared to just under 40 percent last year.

On the reward side, merchandise (37.4 percent) remained the most popular award type, with retailer gift cards (35.4 percent) coming in second.
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