by Alex Palmer | July 19, 2013
Organizations frustrated by the weak performance of their sales team should consider bolstering their rewards and recognition program, according to a new white paper. The report draws on a pair of case studies and research on the workplace to make the case that sales managers can boost their sales by enhancing their incentive programs. 

Titled “Enough is Enough: How to Solve Lackluster Sales Performance Once and For All,” the report is written by Anderson Performance Improvement Company’s president Louise Anderson. It is published as a collaboration between the Performance Improvement Council and Incentive Marketing Association. 

In the paper, Anderson discusses a “Fortune 500 client” that was having difficulty improving sales, even after expanding its training program. Her company determined that the client needed to increase supervisor buy-in to the new sales processes and improve the relationships between supervisors and sales reps. Key to these efforts was strengthening the company’s rewards and recognition program.

“What was especially critical with this client’s success was that it recognized and rewarded both the results that its employees achieved as well as the mastery of the activities that drove the results,” writes Anderson. “Properly designed and implemented, these non-case recognition and rewards programs can be the ‘X factor’ in helping a company catapult its sales performance.”

Anderson points to the February 2013 Aberdeen Group report that found that 55 percent of sales organizations at best-in-class companies held that non-cash incentives were “a vital component of sales performance management.”

The paper also explores the experiences of a financial services client of 3,000 employees, which sought to raise awareness among its customers of the bank’s automated services. The bank launched a 90-day incentive program that rewarded employees for every demonstration they conducted, as well as the managers who oversaw their work.

“By using a broad organizational model that involved employees across a range of functions, this client succeeded in conducting 37,000 demonstrations,” writes Anderson.

“It is reassuring to know that the key to finding a solution to this recurring problem can be solved with proven resources that are readily available to any company open to modifying its traditional approach to employee compensation,” said Jerry Klein, PIC Executive Team member and Maritz vice president, in a statement.

The complete report can be viewed here