Incentive travel rewards are the best ways to show your leadership team that you appreciate their hard work and dedication to your company's success.
However, many sales teams struggle with how to sell incentive travel programs to their leadership, especially when competing with other companies offering highly competitive perks like merchandise or cash bonuses.
Here are a few tips to help you successfully sell incentive travel to your leadership.
Making your sales reps travel across a country or a continent can be daunting, but it's also an effective way to drive business growth.
If you are considering incentive travel to push your salespeople over that revenue-growth hurdle, there are some things you should know first. What is incentive travel? Who travels on incentive trips? How do I make sure my sales team enjoys their rewards trip instead of dreading it? And how do I keep costs under control? We have answers to all these questions and more.
Let us dive in!
Why do we have incentive travel?
We might have a few ideas. The first is that people love rewards and recognition.
Even if you never get on a plane, just thinking about some fun activity—and all those business-related incentives—can be motivating.
When it comes time to sit down and work, your brain is excited by everything that awaits you at your destination.
And as anyone who has done an incentive trip knows, there are plenty of ways to make sure that everyone stays focused while away from home.
But even if there were no such thing as an incentive trip, it would still be essential to recognize top performers with something tangible.
A simple thank-you note can go a long way; so, can lunch with your boss or dinner out with colleagues.
What are our organization's priorities?
It's important to remember that incentive travel is a tool, like all rewards and recognition. If you don't have clear sales goals at your organization, it will be hard to argue why you should invest in an incentive trip or program.
So, before you start selling your ideas internally, make sure your top leadership understands what they want out of an incentive trip—is it better performance? Better business relationships? A more significant share of the wallet?
Have their support behind using incentive travel as a key part of getting there. Then show them how incentives align with those priorities and ask them if they think that might be something they want in their plan. Chances are, they will.
How can incentive travel align with our goals?
To determine whether incentive travel is a good fit, ask yourself how it aligns with your goals. If you're trying to bring a team together and encourage collaboration, incentive travel can be a great way to do that. Are you trying to help leadership become more aware of what's happening on their teams? That's a good reason for incentive travel, too. Does your organization have specific goals tied in with revenue or financial targets? You might find that making corporate-level leaders experience first-hand why hitting those goals is essential could be an effective strategy. The key is to make sure incentive travel complements your overall goals—if not, it may not be worth doing.
How will incentive travel benefit my business area?
Whether you're trying to grow sales or improve customer retention, incentive travel can drive positive change.
This is especially true if your business area has never used incentives before. Remember that it's in your company's best interest to sell your leadership on incentive travel.
It would help if you had their support—and, ultimately, their money—to pull off a successful event. Before approaching them with an incentive trip idea, explain how incentives benefit your business area and why it's worth investing in it now.
For example, say you have an underperforming sales team that makes up 20 percent of total revenue—incentives could be an excellent way to boost those numbers without spending much money.
Use these ideas as inspiration to help your leadership understand incentive travel benefits:
Understanding and Assessing Risk Section
The first thing you have to understand about incentive travel is that it's a significant expense, but it can reap huge rewards if executed correctly.
Assess your company's risk tolerance before making any decisions. Some companies don't allow incentive travel; others take advantage of it, implementing tighter controls on spending and documentation.
If your company doesn't enable incentive travel, keep an eye out: Policies change over time, and they may loosen up to keep employees engaged and committed.
If there's resistance from management, suggest an experimental project with a small number of employees first.
This will allow everyone involved to see how incentive travel impacts performance without risking too much money or too many resources.
It also gives you time to get feedback from participants to make changes ahead of larger projects. And remember: Everyone has their own opinion on incentive travel—but only yours matters when trying to sell them!
Be prepared with data and statistics showing why incentive travel helps productivity, retention rates, and other essential business metrics. Even better?
Show them how their employees feel about incentive trips—many managers are surprised by how much positive feedback they receive after sending their teams away for work!