by Alex Palmer | April 23, 2019

Looking to motivate salepeople in a new way, leaders of telecommunications firm Frontier Communications decided to use a football theme for their incentive program. Their goal for the season: increase sales referrals and close more leads.

Frontier partnered with Brightspot Incentives & Events, which previously had run small programs for the company. The new program was on a much grander scale, covering Frontier's approximately 28,000 technicians in 270 locations throughout the U.S. Together, the two companies laid out a plan designed to motivate employees to upsell existing customers or find new customers while on service calls, and to encourage the salespeople to turn those referrals into sales.

"They don't really have a central hub or a central office and could be dispatched from anywhere, so engagement and communication were the two keys that we wanted to make sure we got right," says Pali Chhabra, marketing program manager at Brightspot.

The Red Zone Referral Program, a tiered point system that rewarded participants for weekly and quarterly goals, was the solution. A grand prize sure to inspire the program's (predominantly male) participants was announced -- an all-expenses-paid trip to Super Bowl LII -- and tiers were developed to motivate referrals and sales, with more points awarded to items that were more challenging to sell.

Sales and referrals grew, says Chhabra, and "managers saw a visible boost to morale." Thanks to the program's success, Frontier has opted to launch a similar program for different departments, offering a trio of enticing reward options: a trip to the ESPY Awards (for sports fans), a Napa Valley weekend or a "smart home" makeover.

Organized each year by Incentive, the Motivation Master awards honor four category winners in the areas of sales, channel sales, recognition and loyalty. In addition, the Grand Motivation Master award celebrates outstanding overall achievement. The winners were announced last month at an awards ceremony held during Incentive LiveNorthstar Meetings Group's incentive, loyalty and motivation event at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park.