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Incentive Planning Tips For Direct Sales Leaders


Direct sales team recognition involves many factors. Don’t just create an incentive or bonus recognition without thinking carefully about it.

In direct sales there are a multitude of behaviors you or your company could recognize. Sales, recruits, new product launches, re-activations, increases from previous periods, etc. could all be recognized on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.

Make sure that your goals, the steps to get there, and rewards are clear and specific.

Align team goals with company goals

As a leader it is important that your recognition supports the bigger picture of the company’s goals. When thinking about giving your personal team recognition, first think about what the company is focusing on at the time, then decide how you can create a smaller incentive that leads your team in the direction of the bigger one. If your team incentives distract your distributors from the results that the main office is incentivizing, you are wasting money and reducing the effectiveness of both incentives.

A simple example:
The company may be providing a special monthly distributor bonus of extra trip points when a certain dollar value of new catalog launch products are sold in the catalog launch month.

If you run a bookings incentive you will have your team running in 2 directions. Instead, offer a smaller stepping stone bonus when they sell their first 2 new catalog launch products in the first week.

A leader should always be piggy-backing their incentives or focus on the corporate focus.

Direct sales rewards for different personalities

What motivates one team member may not have any effect on another. There are as many motivational hot buttons as there are choices when it comes time to figure out your incentive gift. If your recognition is not meaningful to enough it will be ineffective.

Travel, cash, cars, gift cards, products, specific items from stores, or shopping sprees in the catalog as well as jewelry or just a pat on the back can be motivational to many and, as easily, not motivational to many. When I worked the field as a top achieving distributor I earned every incentive offered without trying so nothing motivated me because I was motivating myself to perform far above the incentive levels. I did not pay attention to the incentives and when they were earned I was often disappointed in the rewards because I did not need any more product, one more pin or bracelet! I always said that the incentives should be offered as choices in a reward package at achievement.

Some people will be motivated by pins, jewelry, a walk across stage, or more free product!

In planning an effective promotion for your team, as you strategically think about your goal, gifts, and actions required, think about who will earn it automatically. Recognize and assign the dollar expense to that group to your budget and remove them from the equation before you create the full package.

After removing your top achievers, plan your incentives so that they support your company’s goals, compensation plan, and incentives and do your best to serve all the personalities on your team!



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