Don’t drop the quality of rewards
Our World | On 06, Jul 2009
In a recession, cutting costs is an essential business priority – always has been and always will be. It’s rule Number One in the economic handbook. However, equally if not more important, is rule Number Two – How are you going to get out of this recession?
Is your sales strategy:
- Sitting tight with your hands over your eyes and hope it goes away?
- Recognising market volume decline and trying to maintain market share?
- Limiting your sales slowdown and improving market share?
- Maintaining current volume levels?
- Looking for growth?
Whatever your answer, a well structured self-financing incentive programme is guaranteed to provide extra motivation and improve performance. And before you say nothing in life is guaranteed apart from death and taxes, I did say the plan had to be well structured!
When the sales and marketing teams present their reports, how many times do you hear “it’s the market”, “we’re doing well compared to so and so” or “everyone’s down, it’s a recession”?
Personally, I want sales people telling me how they have overcome the problem, how they managed to get our products at the top of our customers’ priority list, and how much they plan to grow this year. Yes, that’s right growth! It’s almost a dirty word right now.Sorry, but that doesn’t sound like a highly motivated team fighting for every scrap of business, it does sound like a team beaten before they start, a team who are all too willing to accept that their “customers have no money.”
I hear statements like, “well if you’re making a profit that’s good” – no it isn’t. In fact, it’s totally defeatist. You might walk onto the pitch knowing your playing the best team in the world and almost certain to lose, but the result will be 10 times worse if you don’t even try. Ask yourself every day – what you can do to keep what you’ve got and win more? Then you will have a better chance of success, instead of abrogating responsibility to the recession. I don’t mind people failing, but they had better not fail through lack of effort.
Norman Tebbit once famously said “get on your bike.” Well its time for us to get off our arses and start selling, and incentives are a key part. Imagine the impact of announcing an incentive to Mauritius! An instant buzz, “Hey, we’re back!”
Of course you need a solid business plan and self-financing structure, but you will have a far more motivated team than your competitors where their employees are “lucky to have a job”. “People buy people” is as valid today as it ever was and ever will be. As well as their products’ technical abilities, we buy people’s enthusiasm, commitment and passion – it’s infectious. By continuing to support and motivate your sales strategy you will have the best and most committed team and quite possibly be the “employer of choice”. In fact, you might just end up with a lot of your competitors’ best staff and customers!