Long Term Incentive Plan Best Practices

by: Mark Herbert August 25, 2021

An incentive program can be a swift energizer to pump motivation and action into channel sales and marketing efforts. Rewards such as debit cards, gift cards, merchandise, or group trips can add excitement to promotions or tap into your customers' emotions. But what about when initial incentive program buzz has died down? How do you turn that "new incentive energy" into a sustainable asset that incrementally grows your business over time? Let's look at some long-term incentive plan best practices so your program stays fresh, effective, and engaging.

Use your incentive program to collect data.

You can reward participating salespeople for submitting sales & customer data. It helps to provide an online document upload tool so they can upload documents and get rewards instantly. Make data submission a big part of the incentive program's goals from the beginning. That way, you have the info you need to build increasingly better incentive strategies.

Invest in incentive marketing—it will pay off.

Utilize incentive marketing services, including fully-planned 12-month campaigns, multichannel communication tools, as well as automation and scheduling. Marketing and branding your incentive program will help integrate it into your organization and lengthen its lifecycle.

reward points

Don't source your own rewards.

Sourcing rewards requires time and resources. Rather than trying to do it yourself, use participant support and reward fulfillment services. When you have dedicated, full-time responsiveness to technical and reward delivery issues, it creates a better participant experience, which leads to more activity and engagement.

Reward participants with reward points.

Participants can accumulate these points over time and spend them on items in an online rewards catalog.

Implement sales training incentives.

You can use your incentive program to deliver various types of training to encourage a steady, long-term lift of product knowledge and sales enablement.

Allow open enrollment program.

When you grant open sign-up for your incentive program, you can collect customer and channel partner data you didn't have before. This allows you to refine sales and marketing strategies over time.

Segment your audience.

Rather than taking the less effective one-size-fits all approach, segment your channel members to manage multiple groups with different goals and messaging. By focusing each segment on tailored goals and strategies, your program spend will be more efficient and sustainable.

Track the program’s performance.

Use incentive technology with real-time exportable data and visuals so you can assess program progress and grow ROI over time.


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.