Would more money motivate you?

How about a gift certificate, your own parking space or a plaque with your name? Maybe a trip would trip your trig-ger. Take your pick. These are just some of the incentives companies are using to motivate their sales force.

“Incentive programs are very impor-tant,” says Donna Morreale, vice presi-dent of operations for Dynamark Security Centers in Hagerstown, Md. “Not only do they encourage salespeople but they show support from the company. The right kind of program also indicates trust.”

Incentive rewards can take different forms, including monetary payments, extra days off, merchandise and group activities. Some alarm companies have even insti-tuted sales quotas, which help identify lackluster performance as well as stellar work.

Monthly Contests Help Keep Sales Staffs Fresh

According to Morreale, an incentive program has to start at the very beginning of the month. “You have to let them know what you expect of them and how they can get there,” she says.

“Excitement in an incentive program is important,” adds Morreale. “But I can’t wait until the 28th of the month to call up my sales consultants. The goal has to be in front of them all the time.”

Sharon Kenney, director of sales and marketing for Richmond Alarm in Rich-mond, Va., agrees. She starts at the be-ginning of each year with a goal sheet that is several pages long. It contains questions about the sales staff’s achievements dur-ing the past year, what they can do better and what the company can do to help them. They are also asked to list their monetary, personal and business goals. “Then they come in and we have a one on one,” says Kenney. At that time, they are given their new quota.

“A lot of people don’t like quotas,” says Kenney. “Salespeople should always be measured by the bottom line. That’s what they are there for, to bring business into a company, whether you call it a goal or a quota is irrelevant.”

Kenney gives her sales consultants an outline of things they need to be doing on a consistent basis to achieve their quota with a monetary amount listed on their goal sheet.

Dynamark uses a number of different “Security Consultant of the Month” award programs as incentives. One is for highest volume. Other awards include closing percentage, average add-ons and percent of the sales that are self-generated.

At Richmond Alarm, the winner of the percent-over-quota contest gets $50, good for dinner or whatever else they choose.

George DeMarco, president of Greater Alarm Co., Inc. in Irvine, Calif., says his sales force gets compensated based on revenues. Core revenue includes security, access control, fire, camera surveillance and recurring services. Non-core offers a lower commision rate and includes home theater, satellite dishes and central vac-uum.

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