Spiff 101: Sales incentives. Best practices and case studies.
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Spiff 101: Sales incentives. Best practices and case studies.



This presentation provides a high level background on Spiff programs as well as some practical examples. If you want to know how to motivate your sales force, then you should read this.

This presentation provides a high level background on Spiff programs as well as some practical examples. If you want to know how to motivate your sales force, then you should read this.



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  • SPIFF. Sales Incentives. Best practices and case studies.
  • This term has been around for awhile.
  • So has the idea of rewarding sales people for their performance.
  • Everybody always comments on the missing second “F”.
  • Typical spiff program flow. 1. Salesman sells Ginsu knives to restaurant. 2. Restaurant buys knives and gives money to Ginsu. 3. Ginsu receives money and pays salesman. 4. Salesman receives regular commission for sale. 5. Salesman receives added incentive pay in the form of spiff rewards. In this example the spiff reward is cash that is loaded onto a Vis gift card for the salesman to spend at his discretion.
  • Why this works. The spiff reward gives the sales person something tangible to use as a goal. Their basic commission might be enough of an incentive for them to reach their quota. But when they have a separate account that is earning extra money for whatever they want to use it on, now those extra sales don’t just mean that they are beating their quota, they mean they are earning a jet ski or a trip to Hawaii or golf vacation or whatever. The spiff makes their fantasy a reality and gives them a way of achieving it. They are no longer selling a product, they’re building a boat. They’re no longer generating leads, they’re adding to their set of golf clubs.
  • Huntington Homes/Highland Homes is a Texas based home builder that shares one thing in common with other builders: incentive programs for realtors.  Numantra helped Huntington Homes/Highland Homes introduce their latest incentive program with this over-sized brochure.  The piece touts the big bonuses while it reinforces their Texas point of difference by reminding the realtor that “everything’s bigger in Texas. This is the front and back of an accordion fold brochure. The spiff program here involved a rechargeable credit card that would automatically receive cash bonuses when sales were completed. These bonuses were in addition to the standard #% commission and basically meant that a realtor could get paid as much as 5% commission on sales.
  • This spiff program we developed for Hoya was designed to eye care professionals working at dispensaries recommend and sell more HOYA lenses. The program goes something like this: Sell qualifying HOYALUX ® progressive lens designs to earn something green — add HOYA anti-reflective coatings, Transitions ® lenses or NuPolar ® polarized lenses for even more green. In addition to great prizes, monthly winners will receive cold hard cash. Plus, two lucky grand prize drawing winners will walk away with the keys to something even greener — a Lexus ®  GS 450h Hybrid two-year lease. Remember, the more you sell, the more green you can win.
  • Click on the website image above (center picture) or go to http://numantra.com/sites/Hoya_Go_Green/index.php to review the site that supported the program.
  • The next spiff prlogram for HOYA was like the previous one. This time the grand prize was a trip to Greece.
  • This time, we added more prizes and with a grand prize trip to Greece, we were able to make the prize pool more thematic. Check it out by clicking on the website image above (middle) or visit the following link: http://numantra.com/sites/Hoya_Greek/index.php
  • To increase program participation, we teased the next promotion with print ads that ran in the trade publications.
  • The print ads lead to a landing page where eye care professionals could sign up to be informed of the prize destination by email. They were also invited to guess at the destination for a chance to win a free gift.
  • Finally the destination was revealed. Spain! Visit the website by clicking the image above or visiting http://numantra.com/sites/Hoya_Splendor/
  • More thematic prizes were added to this promotion than before.
  • And a virtual itinerary was created to lead eye care professionals around the various destinations of the grand prize.
  • In addition to the stickers they can earn for selling HOYA product, they were also invited to take weekly quizzes that helped to sharpen their product knowledge. Correct answers on the quizzes were also rewarded.
  • Product information was important to this program so in addition to the quizzes, every page had a revolving series of questions incorporated into the upper right corner.
  • Quarterly sweepstakes keep sales people interested. A new promotion is announced each quarter.
  • An email is sent each month. One moth, the email announces the promotion. The next month, the email provides a sales tip, announces the winner of the last promotion and announces the next upcoming promotion. And the third email invites sales tips from the salesforce. And then the cycle is repeated.
  • When too many points have been accumlated but not redeemed, we launch a point burner. It’s a promotion designed to encourage salespeople to spend their points. In this case, they can spend their points for a chance to win cash instantly.
  • Dentzone private labels their service so we also provide versions of the spiff porgram that are specific to those individual company salesforces.
  • For Good Days from CDF, we helped generate a spiff program for their Walgreens fundraiser. When employees of Walgreens receive %5 donations for Good Days from their customers, they give the customer a free 2012 calendar. And the employees that receive the most donations receive free movie passes. Plus the stores that perform the best receive movie watching parties.
  • A managers guide and checklist was created to help managers launch and support the promotion.
  • Calendars and coupon books were given to customers when they made donations.
  • ePrize is a leading e-promotion company that we have consulted with a several occasions. The following three slides are examples of their case studies.

Spiff 101: Sales incentives. Best practices and case studies. Spiff 101: Sales incentives. Best practices and case studies. Presentation Transcript

  • Overview
    • SPIFF Definition
    • SPIFF Best Practices
    • Numantra examples
    • Eprize examples
    • Key Considerations
  • What’s a SPIFF?
    • Spiff 1
    • verb (used with object) Informal . to make spiffy (usually followed by up ): Let's spiff up this office with new furniture.
    • Origin: 1875–80;  perhaps v. use of dial. spiff  well-dressed; see spiffy
  • What’s a SPIFF?
    • spiff 2
    • noun 1. a bonus or other form of remuneration given to retail salespeople for promoting the products of a particular manufacturer.
    • verb (used with object) 2. to reward (a salesperson) with a spiff.
    • Origin: 1855–60;  origin uncertain
  • “ Special Performance Incentive Fund”
  • 1 . Salesman sells company’s product to customers 2 . Customers pay company for products 3 . Company pays salesman 4 . Salesman receives regular commission 5 . Salesman receives SPIFF rewards
  • SPIFF Best Practices
    • When a manufacturer wants to gain market adoption with a new product
    • When a retailer wants to liquidate some of its inventory
    • To incent sales people to sell certain combinations of widgets, etc.
  • SPIFF Best Practices
    • Budget of all programs should not exceed the total earnings of the sales force by 3% .
    • Spiffs should be used for “doing something new for the first time.”
    • They should not be used to spike performance during a period.
    • They are narcotic in nature: the more you use them the more you need to use them. Moderation of use with healthy hoopla is the best prescription for success.
    • Avoid the use of “chance” to determine winners and payouts
  • SPIFF Best Practices
    • Most contests or spiffs are made up of three components:
    • A Sales Driver
    • Measurement To Win
    • A Prize
  • SPIFF Sales Drivers
    • Sales Dollars, Revenue Dollars, Sales/Revenue For Target Products, Attainment of Quota, Average Order Size, New Business- Renewals-Winbacks, Pipeline Built, Quotes/Proposals Sent, Quote/Proposal Close Rate, Telephone Calls, Face To Face Visits, Decision Maker Contacts, Voicemails Returned/Inbound Calls, Phone Time
    • You may also want to tie your contest to sales behaviors. For example: Listening for sales reps using sales scripting or voicemail messages that you’ve coached them to use. Sales behaviors do drive sales, but are harder to track and measure.
  • SPIFF Sales Measurement
    • First, Most or Highest
    • Most improved or biggest gains in specific period, ex. day over day, week over week
    • Best team performance
    • Most team members achieving drivers (ex. 70% of team, versus 30% of team)
  • SPIFF Prizes
    • If Reps have a very lucrative commission plan outside of the contest, the prize for your contest will need to be lucrative enough in comparison to drive any results.
    • For example, if my monthly incentive target is $10,000 and is tied to hitting my sales dollar quota, if you run a contest tied to the best voicemail messages and the prize is only $100 or a company golf shirt, I will probably not participate. It would be in my best interest to focus on driving sales toward my $10,000 payout. On the flipside, if the contest prize is too lucrative, I may stop focusing on my core responsibilities and just try to win the contest prize.
  • DentZone Proposed Sales Incentive Program We’re going to keep dealership employees selling with the Dent Zone Sales Rewards program! First, we’ll create a 12-month long sweepstakes program with multiple entries. In order to receive an entry, the dealership employees will need to watch a video or engage with the brand. We’ll also implement a sales reward program that will reward dealership employees for selling Dent Zone services. We’ll verify sales via a unique code, or integration with a back-end server that tracks all sales. For each sale and employee makes, they get a spin on the SPIFF Wheel! The SPIFF Wheel is pre-populated with different cash amounts that employees will win – from $5 to $500! The more you sell, the more chance of bringing in some huge cash! Employees will receive monthly emails with valuable content and reminders to sell and participate in the sweepstakes.
  • DentZone Proposed Sales Incentive Program
    • Monthly Emails. Employees will receive one email every month with great content and a reminder to sell more and participate in the Sweepstakes.
    • Sweepstakes Overlays. Low-hurdle participation element to keep employees engaged over the course of the year, and educated about the service.
    • SPIFF Wheel . High-level rewards keep players excited and engaged. They will sell more, knowing it increases their chances at larger rewards!
    • Virtual Punchcard . Virtual Punchcard is a continuity approach designed to reward multiple behaviors over a longer campaign period. Increasing rewards over multiple thresholds helps reinforce behaviors, drive sales, and maintain interest.
  • Key Considerations
    • Goals and Objectives. What do you want to accomplish? What activity or behavior do you want to incentivize?
    • Mechanics. What formats and channels will be used to communicate the program and support program activity?
    • Logistics. How will the program be implemented? How will we protect against fraud? How will incentives be rewarded? How will success be measured, tracked and reported?