Too many non-cash incentive programs focus too much on the award and the earning criteria. The program is designed to that there are only a couple of criteria for earning an awards. Sell more earn a trip. Sell this and earn 20,000 points. Be in the top 20 and get an award. Once in a great while I’ll see a program design where there are a couple of other “sales” promotions during the program to “spice it up.”

That’s a mistake.

“One More Thing”

Steve Jobs was famous for adding something a little extra in all his product announcements. The “One More Thing” moment. Everyone waited for it. Jobs knew that when you have your audiences attention you leverage it.

When you run an incentive program you have your audience’s attention. Do the same.

  • Ask your audience questions about how you can position your product better.
  • Ask questions that can help you identify the friction salespeople experience working with you.
  • Ask questions on what your audience sells instead of your product.
  • Ask questions period.

Why can’t you use the same “currency” you’re using to reward people for selling to find out more information about your product and service? Throw some points out there for engaging in a dialogue about your business.

If you’re running an incentive program and all you’re doing is rewarding sales you’re doing it wrong.

Think bigger. Think wider. Think deeper.