How can incentive travel help businesses reach sales targets?
Businesses set sales targets to ensure that their sales team have a clear idea of where the business is going and what actions need to be taken to get there.
However, it’s often easy to take the eye off the ball and consequently fall behind on meeting these targets. In this case, offering a reward system to motivate a team is a great way to drive productivity and meet those all-important sales targets.
Incentive travel is a visual and tangible reward that acts as a fantastic target for sales professionals with a guarantee of ROI in many ways. Unlike a cash incentive, offering the opportunity to take part in a ‘priceless’ experience would not only be aspirational but a strong performance motivator for employees. According to the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE, 2017) “99% of incentive programs are somewhat, or very effective in achieving important objective performance”.
As well as achieving a desired level of productivity and performance, the investment into a positive working environment can potentially encourage employee engagement, long term commitment, and improved quality of service. Adhering to the idea that feeling valued is a much more desired reward than that of money, this can be shown through spending time with employees, especially in a much more personal setting away from the stressful working environment. Incentive travel can offer this and so much more.
Having visited over 40 destinations over the past 12 months alone, we’re experienced in managing incentive travel and understanding how it can help motivate a sales team; consequently exceeding company targets.
Deciding on a destination
Choosing a destination is the starting point of creating any incentive travel experience. The best way to do this is through knowing employees. Demographics have to be taken into account in order to provide an experience that a sales team are excited and driven by. Selecting a location with these demographics in mind will ensure that an event is adapted to what the intended audience will enjoy.
As an event management company, we’re aware of what different destinations can offer and how these destinations would or wouldn’t work for specific groups of people. Whilst a younger, more youthful target audience might enjoy a vibrant and activity-filled trip, an older, well-travelled age group may be motivated by a relaxed and luxurious event experience.
First Event Account Executive, Holly Bedford, believes that the defining factors of a sales team and those who are a part of it is crucial when selecting a destination for an event:
“The demographics of the company are important when organising an incentive event. We often take historical or cultural significance and relevance into consideration to create a unique and meaningful experience. Due to incentive travel being used as a reward, we like to select locations that aren’t necessarily ‘popular’ holiday destinations to provide event participants with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“The end goal is basically to make the guests feel like VIP’s. The trip is a reward and those attending have earned it, so giving them a sense of achievement and recognition is paramount.”
Marketing your event
Event marketing is an essential part of any incentive travel scheme. It builds momentum and keeps employees up-to-date and enthusiastic about the potential of being rewarded with a luxurious and hard-earned trip. Positive, aspirational messages for an event as well as utilising readily available communicative tools wisely can work to optimise an event and the excitement around it.
Stephanie Caldecott, our PR & Communications Executive, believes that the way an event is marketed can make a huge impact on how people respond to an incentive scheme:
“Providing accessible ways for event participants to interact with a reward scheme is paramount in the successful marketing of an event. Creating engaging communications over the entire course of an incentive travel scheme keeps employees informed and excited about the promise of a reward upon meeting their sales targets.”
Continuous communication and providing a ‘hub’ (such as a website) for event participants to refer to is a great way to allow people to familiarise themselves with the event, as well as being a constant reminder to stay focused on reaching those all-important targets. The increase in popularity of mobile technology use (especially in the business world) means that people are able to access communications whenever and wherever they like, so those on-the-go won’t miss out.
Making it memorable
Finally, another significant aspect of a successful incentive is making it memorable. Despite this kind of event being exclusive to those who meet and exceed sales targets, it’s important to remember not to exclude anyone who didn’t quite qualify. The reception of the trip should be enough to motivate both those who attended and those who missed out to work even harder to meet future sales targets and guarantee themselves a place on the next incentive trip.
Establishing an incentive travel scheme as a core motivator for a sales team is important when driving employee productivity and increasing performance. Making it a recurring and aspirational occasion which is familiar to the business is a good way to gain loyalty and respect from grateful employees, whilst being able to reward hard workers with a trip that they won’t want to miss out on.
Incorporating personal touches into an event is a foolproof way to ensure that event participants are provided with an unforgettable experience like no other. Taking the interests of individuals into account and producing an event that reflects these interests gives employees a sense of importance and value, and of course, creates an event that is personal to a certain group of people. Bespoke, memorable, and authentic.
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