“Incentives matter tremendously. You really want people to be rewarded for doing the right thing for the customers and the organisation,” Ramez Naam.
#2 Experiences at work: Sales incentives
In this ten-part series, we suggest ways to ‘shift people’s experience of work’. #1 talked about connection to purpose. In this second post we look at best practice when it comes to using experiences as sales incentives for your teams, business partners and in a B2B context and why it delivers consistent results.
When BRG Co-Founder Naomi Simson founded online experience brand RedBalloon in 2001 the business was all about delivering memorable experiences to customers – it still is. But corporate gifting wasn’t necessarily part of the fabric from day one. However, only six month in, Simson saw the opportunity to provide experiences in the workplace… as a powerful way to motivate employees, inspire results and shift behaviour.
It was Fuji Xerox who inspired the initial move into using experiences as corporate sales incentives. The business wanted to use RedBalloon vouchers to incentivise sales of their printers through both their own workforce and their third party distributors. They asked RedBalloon to build a special system for them as an incentive program, and while the platform didn’t exist at the time, they soon built it. That program continued for more than 18 months, and over the years literally the who’s who of the ASX – and small businesses alike have chosen experience vouchers as an incentive – it just works, it’s ‘different’ and people talk about it.
Using experiences is a powerful sales incentive for business. Time and time again it has been proven that cash rewards are simply not as effective as non cash rewards in motivating people and inspiring specific behaviours. Shared experiences produce relationships – they generate conversations, create memories and build emotional bonds; they are the currency of making dreams come true. Something that cash incentives cannot replicate.
And taking it a step further to issuing experiences as rewards means the recipient not only feels special on receipt of the reward, but also enjoys the anticipation leading up to the event, the event itself and then the lasting memories and stories after the experience. That’s what RedBalloon saw with the Fuji Xerox example – the real power was in the storytelling that followed the incentive. And it also inspired those participants to keep performing in their sales duties.
Experiences create a tangible outcome and deliver the type of emotional connection to your brand that other incentives simply cannot. There is power in experiences simply because aspirational incentives are more likely to change behavior, and be more memorable than cash or products… it is worth considering them as a part of your sales incentive program.
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Also published on Medium.