Building a Sales Incentive Program: Evaluate Your Audience

Mar 9, 2020 | Data & Analytics, Incentives & Recognition

Analyze Your Sales Incentive Program


You’ve done it! After months of strategy sessions to identify your audience, determine their motivations, and design and implement a successful sales incentive program that moves the needle on your business goals, you’ve accomplished a colossal feat. Your sales channel trust you, they’re aligned with, and they’re committed to you. Or are they merely going through the motions?

How do you know if your sales incentive program has accomplished what you set forth to change in the first place? Do you even know if employees enjoyed the experience?  A robust measurement plan is essential to determine if your initiative was a success. Better yet, don’t wait until it is over to begin evaluating key performance data.

Here are our tips for properly evaluating your sales incentive:

Ask the right questions

Two fundamental questions to always ask when assessing the effectiveness of an incentive are:

  • “What is your measurable objective” and
  • “What is your ROI goal?”

These questions are only effective when asked together. Consider this: your program achieved your measurable objectives and reached your goal. Congratulations! But, wait, there’s more. Implementing the technology costs you way more than your return. You lost so much that you are now unprofitable, and you have to close locations. Your program didn’t have a strong ROI. This example isn’t the definition of a successful sales incentive. It is why you must ask both questions. 

Ask the right questions at the right time:

Your incentive program doesn’t have to be completed before you begin evaluating the effectiveness. It’s best to weave in evaluation mechanisms throughout so you can adjust, if necessary, based on the data.

Here are a few guidelines for when to begin your evaluation:

  • After the program starts, ask your participants: “Do you know the rules for the incentive experience you are enrolled in? Do you know how to look up your progress on the leaderboard?”
  • Midway through the program, ask: “Have you changed your selling behavior as a result of the sales incentive? Do you feel the goal is attainable?”
  • Toward the end, ask: “What are you doing differently? Are you on track to reach your sales goals and win a reward?”
  • At the end, ask: “Did you achieve your objective at a reasonable price? Was the time and the energy required worth the reward I received?”

Once you have all this participant data, you can get a better picture of the overall incentive program—from the lens of the participant. Efficacy is the only thing that matters. If the participants are not interested in the program, we can pretty much guess where your ROI will end up.

Gather Information

How do you get this info from your participants? Two evaluation methodologies work well when evaluating a sales incentive program.

  • Offer a short survey or single question when they log into the sales incentive program portal to look at the leaderboard. Keep it simple, like asking, “Are you on track to achieve the goal?” This feedback can help you determine levels of engagement so you can adjust their experience as needed.
  • Track actual behaviors. Using an incentive platform—such as One10’s PerformX solution—that tracks progression throughout the system is a critical evaluation tool. Knowing participants are logging in to track their performance is a key indicator that people are engaged in your sales incentive program. It also allows you the important opportunity to identify lagging performers.

Don’t invest time, money, and resources on a sales incentive program just to falter when it comes to judging the program’s success. By asking the right questions, at the right time—and using appropriate technology to track progress—you can ensure that your incentive experience is inspiring your teams, motivating and rewarding new behavior, and helping you achieve your business goals.

Jennifer Albee

Jennifer Albee

Jennifer is a Performance Improvement professional with 20 years’ practice in consulting with clients on Learning Strategy, Instructional Design, Development and Delivery. She leads a team of experienced, award-winning professionals that specializes in Curriculum Strategy, e-Learning design & development, Performance Support Systems, Employee Engagement, new hire training and product/process training. Jennifer has extensive experience providing training solutions within the automotive sector as well as with clients in the retail, hospitality and manufacturing industries.