As suspicious as I am about spot bonuses (see “Deadly Sin #4 – Too Much in ‘All-or-Nothing’ Bonuses”), we’re in the year end holiday spirit, so even we CFOs are willing to make exceptions. Use one-time rewards to recognize behavior that you might not normally see in your sales reps – or your customers/prospects. Here are some examples:
- Unwrap BEFORE Christmas. If your business depends on a relatively small number of big, complex deals, offer an additional $1,000 for any deal that’s fully closed – signed, sealed, and delivered – by Christmas. Getting deals done before 12/25 means a calmer Christmas (or Chanukah, at least this year) for all concerned, especially senior management. And it gives everyone more time to focus between 12/26 and 12/31 on those remaining deals that are hardest to close. And the more business you already have in the bag, the less unforeseen events – like blizzards – risk ruining your quarter/year.
- Wise men bear gifts. In person. Schedule a face-to-face opportunity to deliver that excellent bottle of wine or those sports tickets. A wise man once observed that no one buys anything over e-mail. Gift-giving is one more physical opportunity to nail down that close… and may even “guilt” the prospect into giving you the order.
- It’s the thought that counts. Some accomplishments don’t necessarily deserve a financial reward, but do deserve recognition. Examples include the most heroic year-end close, or the most exciting new-name customer. Recognition could be a reserved parking space for a month, or the rep’s name inscribed on a plaque in the lobby, or tickets in the company box at the local sports arena.
If you have any suggestions on how sales organization can spice up the holiday season, we want to hear from you.
Season’s greetings, and enjoy the holidays!