5 Steps to Securing Executive Support for Your Incentive Program

by: Mark Herbert September 9, 2020

You’ve read the case studies and gathered the stats. You’ve seen the incentive software in action and are excited about the potential growth your company can achieve. The only thing left to do before embarking on your incentive program journey: solidifying executive support.

Simple enough, right?

Top-quality incentive programs are an investment with benefits across multiple departments. To get your incentive program off the ground, chances are you will need to obtain buy-in from various levels of management. With each member of the leadership team tasked with unique departmental considerations and goals, the process of selling each member of the C-suite on an incentive program will take some personalization.

In today’s blog, we’ll walk through the process of gaining executive support, including:

  • The process for building your case;
  • Tips for becoming an incentive program advocate; and
  • A breakdown of incentive program benefits as they apply to specific departments.

Step 1 for Gaining Executive Support: Why Incentives?

At their most basic, incentives are a behavior modification tool. Through a variety of cash commission, non-cash incentives, and recognition, the goal is to positively re-enforce the desired action so that it will be repeated over time.

Today’s top-performing incentive programs take the concept of rewards to a whole new level. Thanks to the help of incentive technology, reward distribution is just one piece of the puzzle.

An online incentive platform not only markets your brand’s latest products, but it also collects valuable end-user data and tracks channel partner activity. Integrate this data with your existing CRM platform, and your sales and marketing teams have a complete picture of your customers and their buying habits. Whether you’re looking to boost sales, collect end-user data, or encourage customer loyalty, an incentive program can help you do it.

According to a list of this year’s latest loyalty program statistics:

  • Companies with strong loyalty marketing programs grow revenues 5 times faster than their competitors and generate 100-400% higher returns to shareholders;
  • Members of top-performing loyalty programs are 77% more likely to choose your brand over the competition; and
  • 64% of companies say their loyalty program is the best way to connect with customers.

With stats like that, the question becomes: why not incentives?

Step 2: Building your Case

Executive Support Check List

Now that we’ve covered the potential benefits of an incentive program, it is time to frame your case around your company’s specific needs. Start by answering the following questions:

  1. Why do you want to implement an incentive program? What is your goal and how can your incentive program help to achieve it?
  2. What are some possible objections you might run into? Outdated views on incentive programs are common, coupled with budgetary restrictions. The better you can anticipate pushback, the more prepared you will be to address it.
  3. Does your competition have an incentive program? Give your initiative a sense of urgency by listing out all the perks your competitors are offering to potential customers.
  4. Have you calculated the potential ROI your business can achieve with an incentive program? With help from your sales department, you can project your investment returns using our ROI calculator and some of your current sales metrics.
  5. Can you specify how your incentive program provider can solve the following logistical problems for you? In your research, make sure to outline the following benefits:
      • Planning & Strategy
      • Onboarding
      • Integrating Technology
      • Managing Your Program
      • Compliance
      • Monitoring Program Health
      • Reward Fulfillment

Once you’ve compiled the answers to this question, you are one step closer to securing growth for your business.

Start Building Your Incentive Program Case Today!

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Step 3 for Gaining Executive Support: Becoming an Advocate

To implement real change in a business, someone needs to lead the charge. Even better? Supporting that leader with a team of advocates!

Being personally invested in the growth of your business is an admirable quality, but it isn’t necessarily enough to guarantee executive support. Below are a few suggestions for becoming the best possible incentive program advocate:

  1. Have a plan. With answers to the above questions paired with measurable goals in an allotted time frame, your executive team will feel confident in your clear sense of direction.
  2. Communicate value. Knowing the value proposition of your program (think ROI) will guarantee your ability to communicate it persuasively.
  3. Take action. Taking bold, decisive action is about bringing the plan off of the paper. How hard are you willing to see your initiative through?
  4. Build Support: Securing support from other departments, specifically sales and marketing, will help build momentum for your proposition and help justify the need.

Step 4: Securing Your Stake-holders

As mentioned earlier, an incentive program functions as both a sales and marketing strategy. Securing support from both departments will make your goal that much more achievable. Let’s take a look below at the ways these two departments stand to benefit.Sales-vs-Marketing-Executive-Support-PS

From a marketing perspective, incentive programs can be used to expand account profiles, connect with new verticals, educate customers, or improve relationships with existing accounts.  From a sales perspective, the emotional impact of rewards will improve your relationships with channel partners and B2B customers, helping with lead generation and increased sales.

Step 5: Presenting to the C-Suite!

With your preparation complete and your key questions answered, there is nothing left to do but present. Your greatest resource will be your potential incentive program provider. From sales and marketing heads, to finance, IT, and procurement, we here at ISI have 25+ years of experience in how your program will affect your departments (for the better!).

Whether it providing free demos of our technology or helping calculate potential ROI, we are armed with experience and ready to help with any questions. Give us a call- we’re nice!

See your Potential Return on an Incentive Program with our ROI Calcualtor!

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About Mark Herbert

Mark Herbert is President and CEO of Incentive Solutions. He has more than 30 years of experience overseeing business operations within the incentives industry, helping companies increase channel sales, build customer loyalty, motivate employees, and grow their business.