5 Ideas to Treat “Hockey Stick Syndrome”

I’ve heard many sales or business leaders complain that the chart of their sales during the course of the qualifying period of an incentive program resembles a hockey stick.  And not a strong, upright stick that’s ready for play, but one that’s lying on the ground, flat, with only the blade of the stick pointing skyward.

How does this happen?  Oftentimes even the best salespeople take it easy or channel partners divert business elsewhere until the deadline to achieve an incentive sales award is looming.  Then they focus and the sales come in.  Wouldn’t you prefer a better effort all year long?

Here are 5 ideas to treat the “hockey stick syndrome.”

1)      Design a program that offers bonus points when certain levels of sales are realized by certain dates during the contest period.

2)      Provide an extra incentive if the total sales goal is achieved prior to the end of the contest.

3)      Assign extra incentives to certain products.  Work with a manufacturer to subsidize the cost of the additional reward that is associated with their product.

4)      Build in a “quick start contest” which rewards early successes.

5)      Reward consistency.  For instance, put some rules in place that would encourage a certain level of sales for consecutive months.

Remember, customers who buy early, have the opportunity to buy more during the contest period.  If you don’t encourage sales earlier in the game, you are leaving revenues on the table.

For more inspired ideas on designing the right incentive reward program for your team, contact Colin Higgins at colin@peincentives.com or (978) 287-9500.

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