It’s now early May and for those who live in the Bay area, it finally feels like spring or perhaps that we have gone straight to summer. Either way — it’s a welcome change from the cold and rain — and for those on offset quarters, it may very well be the start of Q2. Recently, we’ve discussed Q1 best practices and what to accomplish in blogs and webinars; however, another event has now come and gone — Sales Club or President’s Club or 100% Club or whatever a company chooses to name it.
Yesterday, I was at lunch with some friends and we were talking about places we’ve been and nice hotels we’ve been lucky enough to stay at and some of those experiences were on “Club” trips. My friends, who are non-sales people, were amazed on how much a company may spend on Club between the hotels, airfare, meals, gifts and activities, which adds up to a healthy line item. But as I explained to them, if you think about how much revenue those Club attendees generated for the company, it becomes fairly obvious why it’s a wise investment. Here are a few topline reasons why.
Effectively Motivate Employees with Travel
In the past, I have had people (again non-sales folks) ask, “Wouldn’t a salesperson just rather have the money instead of the trip so that they could spend it how they wished?” In a few cases this might be true but the large majority of salespeople would rather have the trip as an incentive. And for good reason — Sales Club is exactly that, a club, and an exclusive one at that!
Reward The Right People (And Their Supporters)
Achieving Club means you were one of the very best salespeople in the company and it is a very public recognition of that. Moreover, Clubs often include spouses or significant others and provide them with an opportunity to see what a great job the rep is doing. When Club becomes part of the culture, spouses and significant others expect to be there year after year. The Club becomes part of the sales culture and lore of the company, I have reminisced many times with former teammates about the fun times at Club.
Grant Access to Your Top Performers
But what are the critical components of a club? The tangibles (the trip; the location, meals, activities, etc.) are important but don’t forget that access is the most important thing. By that I mean Senior Management needs to be there to interact with the reps and show their appreciation to the top performers. These reps appreciate the opportunity to interact with the Company’s leaders in a more casual environment.
Ensure Your Executives Make the Effort
For some CEO’s this can be difficult as they may not be naturally inclined to be highly social but it's critical they make the effort. Sales leaders can also take this opportunity to thank their direct reports for all the work they did to help get them there. These elusive intangibles are valuable to both the company’s bottom line and the employee you’re rewarding.
Everyone likes to be rewarded for their hard work and recognition/incentive programs can effectively acknowledge a job while done as well as encourage future performance. While Clubs are not the only factor in retaining top talent, when used properly, they are big factor as they reinforce that esprit de corps among the sales team and encourage top performers to want to be members of that community.
In future blogs we’ll talk about how to set the appropriate goals for Club achievement that make the investment a great one. Stay tuned!