Sales departments within the medical device industry face a number of challenges. If you sell routine products that require no government regulation, such as surgical gloves, you may need to compete heavily on price and rely on high sales volume. You may also be competing with a small handful of large suppliers who offer a broad range of products, or smaller, upcoming companies specializing in innovative new technology. Whatever your go-to-market and sales strategies may be, a sales incentive program can help you reach your goals. The incentive services and technology you use can make a vast difference in how well your incentive program performance.
Let’s look at some of the incentive services that make the biggest impact on your incentive program:
Incentive Program Planning
Expert planning and preparation can set your incentive program started on the right foot, avoiding common pitfalls. An expert incentive program provider who takes the time to research your business and understand your unique needs can help you develop an incentive plan configured for success. You can utilize their expertise in these important aspects of program-planning:
Incentive Program Goals
Incentive experts develop a specific, measurable, and achievable goal that targets suitable areas of opportunity or improvement. Identify the particular initiatives that will be most influenced by incentive strategies, or prime testing ground for increasing sales growth.
An incentive company can provide valuable insights about companies similar to yours, and the channel partners or sales reps that make the best incentive program audience members.
Long-term Lifecycle Planning
If you plan to run a long-term sales incentive program, your greatest chance of success lies in understanding the typical changes in a program’s lifespan. Between year two and five, for example, the incentive program tends to plateau and benefits from expansion or change. You don’t want to change the program up too much too soon, however. Incentive services providers can help you plan a successful long-game that steadily increases the program’s ROI over time.
Assistance from Advanced Incentive Technology
Online incentive platforms are often as versatile and powerful as sales and marketing software. Which tools and features are best suited to your sales goals? Does the incentive platform offer the option to add on specific tools over time? The incentive program provider you partner with should provide guidance and insight on which pieces of their incentive software will yield the greatest results. Some examples include:
Sales Data Collection
Along with incentive sales promotions that drive sales motivation and engagement, you can reap ancillary benefits from an incentive program, such as additional sales and customer data.
Instant Claims Upload & Verification
An online sales claims upload tool makes it easier for your sales reps to submit invoices or receipts validating their qualifying sales. As soon as the documents are submitted digitally to your incentive program, you can quickly authenticate the claims according to the qualifiers you’ve set. This speeds up the claims submission and reward issuance process, which makes your sale reps more likely to repeat the process.
A training incentive platform helps you quickly deliver training content in the form of complete courses, quizzes, or daily trivia. You can then quickly and easily reward your sales reps for maintaining and expanding their product knowledge.
Diverse, Agnostic Reward Solutions
The ultimate goal of your sales incentive program should be to grow your sales, not distribute specific rewards. An incentive provider who’s invested in your best interests will offer diverse incentive technology and reward solutions so you can build the program that works best for you. Here are the biggest advantages of each reward type:
Merchandise rewards are usually offered through an online rewards catalog. Incentive program participants can redeem online reward points for merchandise items such as electronics, home goods, movies, games, even event tickets and travel packages. Because participants accumulate reward points over time, points-based rewards are ideal for long-term sales incentive plans.
Another advantage of merchandise rewards is the ability to serve a large and diverse participant base. Online reward catalogs like Incentive Solutions’ contain millions of items, so there’s something for everyone.
Debit and Gift Card Incentives
Debit and gift cards have the flexibility of cash and program participants tend to spend them quickly. For this reason, debit and gift card rewards are perfect for short-term sales performance funds (SPIFFs).
Debit cards in particular have additional reward delivery options: pre-paid cards, reloadable cards, or virtual cards. This gives you more control over the amount of debit cards you distribute and how many funds they contain. Bonus: virtual debit cards eliminate overseas shipping risks and wait times, making them an excellent reward choice for an international participant audience.
Group travel rewards
Group travel rewards require a larger investment of time and money than other types of rewards. The upside is that the ROI of incentive travel is greater and longer-lasting. A S. Travel Association study reported that incentive travel yields “$2.90 in profits for every dollar spent.”
Group travel rewards are best reserved for your top-performing sales reps, those who may have built up immunity to the novelty of other rewards. An incentive trip is one of the best ways to build stronger bonds with these individuals and ensure long-term, positive relationships with them.
If you’re in the market for a sales incentive solution, I highly recommend that you look into the incentive services provided by your chosen partner, along with their technology. Software is only as effective as the expertise and strategy powering it, after all. Like many other sales and marketing strategies, an incentive plan works best as an aligned, collaborative initiative. Work with incentive experts who have a proven track record of helping medical device companies grow their sales and prove incentive program ROI.