Tips for measuring the effectiveness of a sales incentives program

Tips for measuring the effectiveness of a sales incentives program

How To Create a Company Culture That Illustrates Your Core Values

Sales need motivation, therefore, you need to have an incentive program in place. Creating a sales incentive program and rolling it out is no joke. A lot of work and brainstorming needs to go behind creating a program that’s holistic and realistic. From setting achievable goals to having customized plans to being open to feedback, there’s a lot that goes into designing a well-planned incentive program.  

Once the ball sets to roll, you might want to relax because you know that you have a winner on your platter. But, that’s where most incentive program champions go wrong! There’s a crucial part that you need to address – measuring sales incentive ROI.  

After all, the stakeholders of the program would be keen to know how it is progressing and what are the returns. There are certain objectives that the program needs to meet and it’s only when you measure certain key sales incentive metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) that you’ll be able to justify the budgets and the investment. 

If you thought designing and executing the program as a task, measuring it becomes even harder as it depends on tracking the required data and deriving insights from it.  

Tips for Tracking Sales Incentive Success 

Micro-Plan the Program 

Break down the program. Create a flowchart with clear steps and an action plan. Accountability has to be clearly mentioned for every step/process. Keep it concise, easy to understand, and transparent. It is one of the prerequisites for the accurate determination of sales incentive results. 

Where to start? Begin by making someone from the leadership team in charge of the incentive program – appoint a champion. Share this information with everyone – sales, finance, marketing, HR, etc., so that people know whom to contact in case of doubts. Similarly, there needs to be someone accountable at every step.  

The Chief Research Officer at IRF (Incentive Research Foundation) puts it across this way, Once the program is implemented, the tendency can be to put it on ‘autopilot.” This is especially prevalent when a program is designed by a team and once it is launched, the team disperses and no one is assigned to or accountable for the program’s operation and ultimate success. 

Evaluating sales incentive programs and their success can be a tough fight in this case.  

Record the Pre-Incentive Scenarios  

To know that you have made progress with the program, you need to know clearly what it was like before. Therefore, record scenarios that existed before the incentive program is rolled out. For example, if your program aims to reward the achievement of sales volumes and targets, you need to have data regarding existing sales. 

You will also need to analyze in micro bits and not just the overall figures. In the above example, if you find that the sales went up but by a small number of units in the quarter just after implementation, your obvious take would be that the program is not a success. However, when you track the performance of salespersons participating in the program versus those that are not, you may find that participating salespeople sold double the units compared to the units sold in the pre-incentive duration while non-participating salespeople sold less than half of what they sold previously, you could term the program as a success even though, overall, the sales were not dramatically high. 

Set SMART Goals 

Another tip for determining the impact of sales incentives is to strategize smartly. In this case, SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals. What we mean are goals for the incentive program because unrealistic and unattainable goals can only lead to frustrations and unlimited challenges.  

Decide the Duration  

As per the Incentive Research Foundation, it is important to determine the duration of the program so that the assessment results are validated. The IRF says the program should run for a year at least. Even if you have planned quarterly sales contests, you must run them for a whole year to gauge the true potential and impact of the program. 

Use an Incentive ROI Calculator  

Typically, measuring sales incentive ROI has a simple formula to it. It is  

ROI = (Value – Investment or Cost)/ Investment or Cost 

For example, if you have invested Rs. 1,00,000 in the incentive program, and the revenue achieved due to the program is Rs. 2,00,000, then you have achieved 100% ROI which is great news.  

Incentive ROI calculations can be more complicated than this example. You will need to check with your incentive solutions partner if they can provide an ROI calculator for calculations. Consequently, you will be able to assess what money to invest, what to expect, and how to grow it further.  

Use Technology to Gather Data 

There are tools for sales incentive results and your incentive program partner can guide you on the same. Generally, you need to keep a close watch on: 

  • Sales Performance: Ensure that the platform has functionalities for sales reps to prove their claims so that distributing rewards becomes an accurate process. 
  • Activity: The platform will generate data to show how sales reps have been using the program. Tech platforms offer real-time data and exportable reports that will throw light on the usage of the platform. 
  • Engagement: This parameter can be evaluated by checking out metrics like email open rates, email bounce rates, email click rates, and so on.  

These details can be further analyzed to see how your sales team is responding to various facets of the incentive program. 

Take Help From The Incentive Solutions Partner 

Let the partner offer key metrics and analytics because it is their forte and not yours. Don’t look at them just as a software provider. They know more about sales incentives, and what works and what doesn’t. Hence, keep them in the loop, and don’t hesitate to ask for regular program reviews so that the pain points can be highlighted and addressed. 

The Bottom Line 

Measuring sales incentive metrics is important because it lets you know if the program investment was worth it or if it was a waste of time and money. These tips will help you measure the results effectively. 

Remember, however, that the sales incentive program is not just about sales growth and revenues. It should also take into account other aspects like the motivational levels of your salespeople, how involved they feel with their job and targets on hand, how happy they are with the rewards system, and so on. 

Try incentivizing your sales team with My Incentives, a new-age tool that’s helping many companies manage their incentive programs effectively.  

Business values can heavily influence your brand identity and how outsiders view your company. It is therefore imperative that a company has very firm values and the same is embodied in all aspects of their business.  

Let’s begin with a quick recap of what we know about values. Values are individual belief systems that motivate people to act one way or another. They serve as a guide for human behaviour. Generally, people are predisposed to adopt the values that they are raised with. Ethical decision-making often involves weighing values against each other and choosing which values to elevate. Conflicts can result when people have different values, leading to a clash of preferences and priorities. Some values have intrinsic worth, such as love, truth, and freedom. Other values, such as ambition, responsibility, and courage, describe traits or behaviours that are instrumental as a means to an end.  

As an individual, values essentially serve as a guide to growth and development. They help us create the future we want to experience. Much like individuals, organizations also need values directed towards a specific purpose, be it growth, development or business success. These cannot be attained in the absence of a strong value-based organizational culture that embodies it’s core values. 

Strong value-based work culture is a precursor to business success 

Organisations are involved in making hundreds of decisions every day. The decisions they make are a reflection of their values and beliefs, and they are always directed towards a specific purpose. That purpose is the satisfaction of organizational needs. Organizational values reflect how your organization operates in the business world. Successful organizations develop and follow their organizational values. 

For instance – Walt Disney; it is not just among the most recognizable brands in the world, they also are the kindest community on the planet. A brand which is almost synonymous with magic, Disney extends the magical experience even to its employees as a part of the company’s culture. (quoted from surveysparrow blog-7 Fabulous Organizational Culture Examples You Can Learn From!) 

What Sets Them Apart: Unparalleled heritage, pride and culture, wonderful community, amazing growth opportunity, and a creative atmosphere sets them apart, says a Disney employee.  Disney only hires people who align with what their brand stands for. The organizational benefits of being a Disney employee include access to Mickey’s Retreat (an exclusive area accessible only to Cast Members and their families), generous discounts on Disney parks, hotels and merchandise, incentive schemes and private healthcare. Takeaway:  Disney strives to make every place the happiest place to work and is compassionate towards each other. People can tell when their company cares for them and in Disney’s case, employees care back! 

It was Peter Drucker who famously said that Culture eats strategy for breakfast’. No kidding. A work culture can absolutely be the deal-breaker or decisive factor when it comes to defining a company’s success. Great company culture just doesn’t happen on its own. It’s more than mere fun and games. It’s beyond the inspirational quotes and artwork chalked onto the pillar, glowing customer recommendations lining the walls, and bean bags littered across the floor. All that is nice and makes life more pleasant, but it does not change the core of who you are as a company. Great organizational work culture is more than paychecks, fun, and perks. 


Company culture is a difficult concept to put into words but it is synonymous with your business environment. Good company culture takes years to develop, but there are some steps that you can take today to get this plan in motion: 


1. Pin Down your core values:

Alright! First things first, you need strong core values to set up the base for your company’s culture. Your core values need to be established and ingrained in your company if you are to have a successful company culture. If your core values are not defined, there will be no culture. In the absence of a defined culture, organizations usually form their own culture, which is not based on values and best practices. This can be detrimental to the business image in the long run.

“When I began my startup, I did not have any set values. Personally yes, I had a set of values I operated upon, but however, it didn’t seem necessary to establish company values at such an early stage. Eventually, my business grew and so did my team. I now started seeing the challenge of encouraging the team to make decisions, based on the values I personally embody as guidelines. This became an even bigger challenge with employees who operated remotely. I finally realized the importance of having set company values. However, I kept putting it off since I didn’t know where to begin. But once I sat to actually pen down Moneyjar’s values, it didn’t take more than 15 mins” – Rohan Agarwal (Co-Founder Moneyjar) 

 To create your business values, think about your personal values, business objectives and align them to match it with your workforce potential. See which value-based decisions have kept you on your growth track and which have helped your employees perform better. Keep the ones that serve your indicators of success and match the goals you have chalked out for your business. A quick search on google with also reveals a great set of values you can imbibe.  Go ahead if that suits you, however, remember your values must be tailor-made and should not be more than 3-4 in number. 

Identify behaviours that demonstrate these values:

Once you have nailed down your core values, you must bring it into action. Sometimes organizations may be operating under unspoken core values, communicate them formally to the workforce and practise it daily. Daily reinforcement is the best way to form a habit. Identify touchpoints to remind them of these values. Everyday things like setting business hours, determining employee benefits and internal communication with employees, reflects your culture. So, ingrain your values in these decisions from the start. 

Establish Key Behavioural Indicators that demonstrate your core values. For instance, If you are a customer service based company which has adopted “Going the extra mile to achieve customer satisfaction” as a core value, your employees must embody the same value and must be willing to go that extra mile whenever the opportune moment surfaces. 

For example, you have probably heard of the Ritz-Carlton, a hotel chain known for their great customer service. On one particular visit, a mother together with her two children had spent a few days there on vacation, and when they got back home, her son discovered that his beloved stuffed giraffe, Joshie, had gone missing. The boy was devastated, so his parents decided to tell him that “Joshie is just taking an extra-long vacation at the resort.” This conversation was overheard an attendant at the front desk and he took it upon himself to ensure they leave happy. That very same night, the Ritz-Carlton called to tell them that they found Joshie. The relieved parents asked if the staff would mind taking a picture of the giraffe at the hotel to authenticate a fabricated “long vacation” story. After a couple of days, the parents received a package with Joshie and a bunch of pictures that proved Joshie’s prolonged holiday. (quoted from Brand24 blog) (once again keep the formatting same across sections and while quoting another blog also add the link) 

Organizational culture depends largely upon the behaviour of its employees. So you must ensure that employees behave in a fashion that resonates your core values. Not just existing employees, but even new hires should be done keeping in mind the core values, so it becomes easier to integrate them into the organizational setup. Many companies have started carrying out an interview with a culture fitment angle to ensure the right candidate is hired.

3. Induct all employees into the values: 

When bringing on new employees or when you update your company values, don’t skip onboarding and training. These are great opportunities for you to set the tone. Talking about your core values periodically can also help you to implement them in your corporate culture. You can send out monthly newsletters that showcase employees who are successful in following your business’s values. Also, you can bring up core values in goals meetings and determine whether you are reaching goals., You can discuss core values during employee performance reviews. Don’t let them get cosy in the corner of your small business. Frame them and hang them on the wall for employees and customers to see. Post them on your website, on your social media pages, and on any other digital front, you can. Many companies proudly display their core values on video walls or television screens in the frontal view of the office, to ensure both employees and customers understand them. Customers/ employees can get an idea of what the organization’s culture will be like basis the values displayed and take decisions accordingly. 

4. Reward employees when they act as per the desired behaviour:

So the values are set, the employees are inducted and business is great! It’s no wonder these thoroughly thought out core values worked like a charm. If you’re thinking you’ve created your business Utopia, think again! Is it enough to just establish a successful culture? Employee Recognition plays an important role when it comes to building a company culture. Once the values are set and let’s say employees strive to adhere to them, then as an organization, it becomes your responsibility to recognize these efforts and reward these behaviours. These values help gauge the performance of employees and recognize their efforts in order to keep them engaged. Acknowledging and rewarding value-based behaviour encourages the employee to perpetuate this behaviour throughout his/her tenure with the organization. When these behaviours are rewarded it creates an emotional connection between the employee and company and they achieve a state of synergy and eventually attain employee engagement.  

 In today’s day and time, employee recognition can be also done digitally which also allows business owners to track individual performance and measure it against core values and reward employees. Such unique platforms provide superior employee engagement, not just among superiors and subordinates but also enhance peer-to-peer engagement. For instance, Let’s Buzzz platform allows peer-to-peer employee appreciation model, where employees across departments and ranks appreciate and recognize fellow employees for demonstrating certain behaviours by buzzing about it and thereby creating a chain reaction of acknowledgement and occasionally nudging whenever a core value is displayed, which in turn leads to driving a value-based culture. Core values are beliefs your business must follow in all aspects of its operations, be it marketing, human resources, administration and finance. They guide decision-making and define what your business stands for. But, if you and your employees fail to uphold your core values, you could face bemused or disappointed customers.  

Tags: No tags

Comments are closed.