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Who and what should be rewarded in a challenge?

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What is a challenge?

Challenges are reward programs designed to increase the sales of companies. They aim to reward the best performance of the company's direct or indirect sales forces, whether they are salespeople, points of sale, franchises or distributors.

We all know the famous cruise won by our father or uncle, because that year he had made very good sales. The azure photos of this fabulous trip will remain among the most beautiful in the family photo album. But the sales force incentive is also a fabulous back margin market. For example, it is estimated that laboratories pay out nearly 1 billion euros to pharmacies each year, in France alone.

In terms of quality and volume, the stakes of a challenge program are therefore crucial for the company. Because they concern both the "perceived value" generated by the relational program and the "real value" it generates on the company's turnover. However, the risk seems low for the company, since if the incentive program fails, it will cost the company almost nothing. Because if the additional turnover is not there, then there are no more rewards to finance. Hence the lack of real KPIs and ROI on these programs. Most of the time, these programs are perceived by the company as an enhancement, rather than an optimization.


The problem of under-equipment...

This probably explains why most companies still manage their incentive programs internally (79%) with tools from the last century. We are talking about a vital relationship to maintain and grow for the company, between them and their sales forces, with huge financial stakes, but we are often left with Excel management, emailing campaigns, a "showcase" gift site or gift vouchers, while no one writes vouchers anymore...

Can you imagine a world without CRM, without Salesforce for example, to manage customer relations? How was customer relationship management before? Well, it was precisely managed with Excel and emailing, either in-house or by firms that brought their know-how and proprietary technology. As it is the case today for the relationship with direct/indirect sales forces and incentive agencies. This is the most surprising thing: this market has evolved very little technologically, despite its growth and size (market estimated at + $200 billion worldwide, with 8% growth), because the risk for the company is ultimately very low, if its incentive program does not work.

The problem of under-equipment...leads to under-motivation.

How can you motivate your sales force when you are not motivated to implement the best solutions to motivate them? Because, let's face it, incentive programs have very different performances depending on the means they use.

BURN side

For example, while the points earned in a "showcase" gift store are spent at an average of 48%, the burn score reaches 92% with a dematerialized payment solution giving access to e-commerce sites. The choice of the endowment (the gifts) is therefore fundamental to satisfy the beneficiaries. The real value of the gift must correspond to its perceived value (the company's promise), which will motivate them all the more, for the next challenge.

EARN side

But it is on the EARN side that the biggest problems of motivation and commitment arise. This is due to various factors that our story-telling must necessarily take into account, if it wants to get the maximum adhesion of the sales forces to the challenge.

  1. An incentive program that only rewards the best can have a de-motivating effect on all salespeople, and produce the opposite result to what we expect. Because even before the challenge, everyone often knows who will get the gift in the end. It's the best salesperson... who didn't wait for the challenge to be the best salesperson: because he or she may have the best territory, the best customer portfolio, the best product catalog, the greatest talent... and he or she wins the challenge every year. In short, in this configuration, your challenge is at risk and can be very counter-productive. Hence the importance of having a technology solution that can implement personalized objectives and speak individually to each member of the sales force.

  2. A motivation program based on competition values may not necessarily correspond to the values of the company and its sales force, even if it rewards several winners. This is often the case in the world of mutuals, for example, where we are more interested in instilling performance values without putting people in competition, as competition between individuals who have to work together is ultimately very badly perceived. Hence the importance of having a technological solution capable of implementing collective objectives and speaking in a segmented way to each of the teams making up the sales force, depending on their progress and results.

  3. Too many incentive programs are satisfied with a grand launch, with no other day-to-day communication. Without any communication plan. Yet, we often forget that a motivational program is first and foremost a relational program, before being a reward program. Because, like everyone else, good resolutions and motivation wither away in daily life. The famous New Year's resolutions are not enough. Your sales force is quickly called back to their comfort zone. And it's not a gift that will make them change their mindset, if you don't give them the energy they need to overcome the inertia of their daily lives. Hence the importance of having a technology solution that can implement regular communication and goals, both individually and collectively.

  4. Finally, competitive values or daily communication that is not adapted to the profile can be a great source of stress and become very counterproductive. The individual story-telling, i.e. the communication and reward plan, must therefore also be adapted to the listening time of the future beneficiary. Because a good sales force motivation plan must ultimately produce only beneficiaries on all your sales forces and raise each one in their results. Hence the importance of having a technological solution capable of talking to the person individually at the right time, even in the context of collective objectives.

In conclusion, the purpose of a good motivation program is to federate the maximum of your direct and indirect sales forces. Because, quite simply, it is better to increase by 10% the sales of the soft underbelly of your sales force, than to increase by 10% the sales of your best salesperson, who already knows he is going to win, even before the challenge. It will be much more profitable for your company. But of course, we cannot give the bonus to the "average" or "weak" without rewarding the "best". Hence the importance of having a technological solution capable of motivating and rewarding everyone according to their profile, their team, their context and their results.

That's why we created tooodooo©. To be able to launch in a few minutes a challenge program able to reward the sales force person according to :
  • its profile
  • its team and its level
  • according to your brands, products or catalogs
  • according to your periods
  • according to your territories

And all this from 49 € / month.

That's why, whether you are :
  • in the marketing department of a company
  • or in a marketing agency that would like to capture the marketing budgets of incentive agencies, specialized in reward management

I strongly encourage you to ask our team for a demo, because I am sure it will amaze you ;-)

Laurent Pioche - Co-founder of tooodooo