Incentives for Direct Sales

by: Mark Herbert October 28, 2020

For manufacturers, farmers, craftsmen, and other industry “producers,” direct sales are often the first form of distribution considered when trying to promote one’s product.

As opposed to indirect distribution which relies on a channel of varying intermediaries to place products in the hands of consumers, direct sales simply involve the manufacturer of the product and the consumer at the point of sale.

When it comes to driving direct sales, 90% of top-performing companies use incentives to motivate and reward their sales teams for meeting specific goals. Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits of incentives for direct sales.

The Benefits of Incentives for Direct Sales Teams

As touched upon earlier, statistics show that sales incentive programs are a key driving force in the world of direct sales.

For a sales team member, this means earning a sales reward that is separate from base salary and any type of cash commission. From all-expenses-paid travel to gift cards and high-end merchandise, these non-cash rewards are given for behavior that goes above and beyond standard sales goals and contributes to overall revenue growth.

For companies looking to motivate direct sales teams located nationally or globally, investing in a fully-fleshed sales incentive program provides an advanced level of:

    • administration;
    • automation of sales tracking;
    • organization of reward payouts; and
    • reporting.

Let’s break down this list even further to explore the specific offerings of today's sales incentive programs.

1. Clearly defined KPIs.

A sales incentive program is the most effective way of keeping company goals top of mind for direct sales team members. Companies can enact multiple sales promotions with varying levels of rewards based on the KPI’s that are most important. Common KPIs for sales incentive programs include:

    • overall ROI (per promotion period, per year, etc.)
    • total sales increase
    • total sales of a specified product
    • average size order
    • average order frequency

2. Goal tracking and reporting.

Being able to easily track and identify sales progress is crucial to knowing whether marketing and direct sales initiatives are having their intended effect. From long-term, big picture initiatives to incremental sales growth, performance tracking technology helps organize sales teams and their data into a variety of performance-tiers.

Promotion eligibility can be defined by:

    • vertical
    • role
    • region
    • organization
    • program activity level and more!

No two markets are alike, and no two salespeople are alike. By personalizing the sales incentive experience, all team members can be motivated under a sales incentive initiative to achieve based on their performance history and their unique potential. With the help of program automation, funneling essential sales data into easy- to- read reports and dashboards allows for live program updates and quickly implemented marketing and sales strategies.

3. Sales team engagement.

Harness the power of your sales team by evoking friendly competition to boost sales! Sales incentive programs provide a virtual platform to recognize top sales members for going above and beyond.  With automated tracking and interactive features, leaderboards are a convenient way for sales team members to see where they stand in the current promotion, helping to easily qualify direct sales reps with top-tiered rewards such as incentive travel.

Incentives for Direct Sales Leaderboard

4. Growth, development, and retention.

Sales reps that know your product are best equipped to sell it. Promote continued learning with the help of a sales incentive learn-and-earn platform, providing rewards for achieving varying levels of product certification. Customized training not only promotes your brand, but it delivers updates to policies and procedures in an engaging way. From quizzes to daily trivia, your sales team will have access to the latest on product development and will be inspired to learn.

Alternatively, businesses can learn from their sales reps by encouraging survey submissions. Understand how sales initiatives are being received by your sales force, and what you can do to make the process better. Open lines of communication make for happier sales reps who are committed to your company and your brand.

Check out these Direct Sales Incentive Program Stats!

This industrial manufacturing company saw a 32% increase in sales after launching a sales incentive program. And this infrastructure equipment provider achieved a positive ROI on all eleven of its sales incentive promotions.

Ready to see how your direct sales can grow with the help of a sales incentive program? Project your potential growth with our ROI calculator below, or speak with an incentive program provider today!

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

Click Here to Calculate!


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.