If you're a business owner planning to set up a sales incentive program for the benefit of both your employees and the company as a whole, then you'll likely already have an idea of all the careful and tedious work that goes into planning and executing this said provision. With several key operations running within your organization at once, and entire teams of people to manage and interact with, taking on the enormous task of planning such incentive programs can be a step in the wrong direction, especially if you do not have the expertise and industry experience to complete this successfully.
With this in mind, your best step would be to hire independent meeting and travel incentive planners who can ease the burden off your shoulders and craft a program that is customized to meet your company's unique vision, goals and budgetary requirements. Such professionals would have extensive experience and know-how to put together programs that can motivate your team, raise performance and quality levels, and help boost the organization's overall excellence.
Taking cues from industry surveys
Of course, it can be a significant challenge to design incentive programs for companies of varying sizes, specializations and cultures, so it helps to take a peek at the information that organizations like the Incentive Research Foundation or IRF regularly gather to keep a finger on the pulse of the incentive program industry. Using these valuable details, planners and their client companies can find ideas for incentive packages that work and planning considerations that prove beneficial to all parties involved.
Here are some of the IRF's key survey results for 2015:
If you're stressed out about your company not earning additional revenue that could be channeled toward your incentive programs, you need not fret — the IRF found that only 54% of in-house planners cited increased incentive travel budgets for this year. This means that even if companies experienced higher sales, their incentive travel budgets were not automatically increased; much more importance is still assigned to justifying the program beyond the growth of company revenue, and maintaining the program's alignment with core values and goals.
You don't always have to think outside of the country. Exotic destinations from the farthest reaches of the globe may be thought to be the incentives that employees and sales teams would aim for the most, but you don't have to pressure your organization and your planner to make this happen for you. Eighty percent of respondents to the IRF/MeetingsNet Incentive Travel Survey revealed that they are choosing destinations within the United States for their incentive programs. This is good news for the economy, and it shows how companies with less than 12 months to source locations are making use of their time to secure their destinations. For the companies that do go past the local borders, Europe and Mexico are proving to be popular choices.
Add a creative spin to upping the program's desirability factor. There's no need to offer extended travel periods or more extravagant activities for incentive trips in the event that you do have a budget increase coming your way. Many survey respondents shared that details like upgraded accommodations or additional off-site events are what they have in mind when it comes to improving their programs. These details work to enhance the employees' experience and provide more value, and they help the company stay more on-budget than increasing the number of nights for their stay does.