The Brief

In this special report, we asked nine companies - three incentive management firms, two marketing communications companies, an incentive travel supplier, two resorts and a consultant - to put together a proposal in response to a fictitious case study.The companies were...

In this special report, we asked nine companies – three incentive management firms, two marketing communications companies, an incentive travel supplier, two resorts and a consultant – to put together a proposal in response to a fictitious case study.

The companies were asked to respond to the case study as if it were a brief from a prospective client who wanted some broad-stroke motivational ideas that would energize an already hard-working salesforce within a specified budget.

Each participant in the challenge was provided with the following brief:

We are a home-building company based in Calgary, and have a number of small subdivisions spread throughout the province.

Our salesforce consists of 30 full-time sales staff, comprised equally of men and women.

Our company is five years old.

Reference

We received your name from a business associate who has used your services in the past in helping to design and implement a sales motivation program.

Here is our current position in a nutshell.

We have just come through two extremely tough years, and feel that we have accomplished a lot just by keeping our heads above water.

We created what we considered reasonable sales forecasts and our sales team will finish this year on target and probably even do a little bit better. We will know the full picture in two months.

Pleased

We are extremely pleased and feel fortunate to be in this position.

However, we are worried that the salesforce has worked so hard to hit the targets we set that in two months’ time their energy will be spent. The team is relatively young (average age is 35), eager and enthusiastic.

While the individuals know each other, they work fairly independently. They do not socialize often. They could be best described as entrepreneurial, and are highly motivated by money.

To date, we have relied exclusively on financial compensation (salary, commission and bonuses) as a motivating force. Our successful salespeople earn anywhere from $80,000 to $120,000, and there is no cap on what they can earn.

More than money

We are worried that heading into next year we will need to find something beyond strict monetary reward to keep these people operating at their peak.

We have never ventured into the territory of sophisticated sales motivation techniques. We are certainly aware that other companies plan exotic trips and organize carefully tailored merchandise incentive programs. All we have are questions.

Should we be planning a getaway? And if so, where?

Would we be better off looking at a more tangible gift of some sort?

Reward program

Do we need a structured reward program in which the salespeople earn points?

And there are other fundamental questions, such as the timing of the announcement of any such program.

Where do we even start?

Our goal is simple: it is to keep this dynamic team on track.

We are shopping for solutions. Our minds are open to any suggestions, although we are leaning towards some program that would involve spouses or guests. You are one of a number of people we are contacting for ideas.

We do not expect a detailed proposal. We simply want a framework from which we can make a decision on which way we should – or could – go.

We have established a budget of between $150,000 and $250,000, which we are prepared to devote to this project.