Gateway Canyons Resort: Discovery of the Unexpected

Just days ago, I found myself at a fork in the road. Would I choose the same safe route I’ve always chosen or would I choose the road less traveled? In the end, I climbed through the window of a Pro Baja truck alongside a professional race driver and enjoyed the ride of my life on the off-road track at Gateway Canyons Resort in Southwestern Colorado. At times I thought I was on a roller coaster on steroids or the classic tilt-a-whirl ride at a county fair. As others who have experienced this adventure will attest, the smile never left my face.

Wait, what? You want me to back up? Where’s Gateway Canyons Resort and where’s Southwestern Colorado? Is it near Denver? Gateway Canyons Resort sits on the opposite side of Colorado from Denver about an hour from Grand Junction and two hours from Telluride. Okay, you recognize the name Telluride? Good.

For those of you who are not familiar with the area, Southwestern Colorado is a land of great scenic diversity, and within a two hour drive, you can experience majestic mountains, quaint towns, incredible deserts surrounded by towering rock formations, breathtaking canyons, raging rivers, and pastoral valleys. It is my ultimate favorite destination to visit.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I learned about Gateway Canyons Resort as there has not been a luxury resort in this particular area of Southwestern Colorado. I love the resort’s web site. As a member of Noble House Hotels and Resorts and affiliated with Associated Luxury Hotels International, Gateway Canyons benefits from larger than life pictures and exceptional marketing. In this case, however, a picture only says a thousand words. In fact, my desktop picture on my work computer is the below image taken on my husband’s cell phone camera, and I only wish I could transport myself like a character in a sci-fi movie through my computer screen into the picture. I would be back there in a heartbeat.

Maybe you’ve thought Colorado is boring, not luxurious, two dimensional. I believe anyone who has been to this area would beg to differ, as did John Hendricks (creator of Discovery Communications, i.e., Discovery Chanel and TLC) when he was first introduced to the Four Corner states. He tells the story in his 2013 released book A Curious Discovery of a trip to Kenya in the 1980s with the film crew from the BBC. When asked what they felt was “the most dramatic landscape they had seen”, they replied not with New Zealand, China, Scandinavia or South Africa but “the American Southwest” (Hendricks, p 330). Out of all of the various destinations they had traveled to and filmed, they chose a little corner of our country.

Shortly after this trip to Kenya ended, Hendricks went on the road looking for the perfect spot to develop a resort. Destiny brought him to Gateway, Colorado, a secluded high-desert paradise set down in the center of five startlingly beautiful and unique canyons. And so, the rest is history.

General Manager Rudy Sharp and his sales executives are quick to preface that Gateway Canyons is not the resort for everyone, so if you are only looking to relax poolside 24/7, then this isn’t the place for you. But if you are looking to replace the ordinary with the extraordinary, then you should consider Gateway Canyons for your next destination.

Now, don’t get me wrong; there’s a time and place for rejuvenating and relaxing, but out of the four days at the resort, I spent maybe an hour poolside. There are just too many incredible adventures: kayaking, mountain climbing, attending the pro-Baja truck driving school, driving ATVs, horseback riding, or participating in the soon to open evolution of weaponry. Piqued your interest yet?

With the philosophy of, “you want to create it, we’ll make it happen”, Gateway Canyons stands out as a signature property to surpass your participants’ wildest expectations. You want your VIPs to drive from the airport in exotic luxury cars owned by Hendricks? Sure thing. You want to do a progressive dinner in his classic car museum? We’d like nothing better. You want to shoot dynamite in a canyon? No problem. You want to try yoga on horseback? Okay. You want your participants to be comfortably uncomfortable? Definitely!

To sum it all up, I only wish I could put into words and describe through pictures this one-of-a-kind destination. But it is definitely a place you need to experience firsthand. Like my experience choosing to ride-along in the pro-Baja truck, there are moments in your life that you have to choose the road less traveled. So you’ve never thought of Colorado for your incentive or meeting. Well, open up your horizons to this incredibly dynamic destination. I heard so many people over my weekend there say, “I just never would have thought of Colorado. Now, I know differently.”

And, if I may say, JNR has been transforming the ordinary to the extraordinary for over 34 years and would like nothing better than to create an out-of-this-world program for your distinguished guests at this destination.

Discover the unexpected in Southwestern Colorado.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Katharine Heinz

Katharine Heinz has been with JNR for nine years, first as a Desktop Publisher and now as the Planning Business Administrator. When she is not researching the next hot destination or hotel, she can be found at home enjoying her family.

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Pharmaceutical Sales Incentives: A Case Study

The Pharmaceutical Industry is big business. Companies like Pfizer, Amgen and Sanofi have market capitalizations well over $50 billion with steady growth expected. Contrary to what you may think, even groundbreaking prescription drugs do not just sell themselves. The success of these companies rests largely on the performance of their Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives. Let’s learn a bit about who these individuals are and how to inspire them.

The position of Pharmaceutical Sales Representative boasted its way onto the top 100 “Best Jobs in America” list compiled by CNN Money in 2012. Several factors were considered for this ranking including a median pay of roughly $97,000 per year and 16.4% expected job growth over the next ten years. With over 400,000 jobs reported in the field at the time of the study, there is no shortage of opportunity for people wanting to join this industry. The position is very fast-paced and high turnover rates are common. Assertive, persistent and knowledgeable are a few of the most common adjectives used to describe successful Pharmaceutical Sales Reps. The majority of their time is spent on the road traveling to meetings with pharmacists, hospital personnel, doctors and others who have the ability to connect them to potential customers

Engaging a sales team to perform and stay motivated in this high paced atmosphere requires a strategic approach that goes beyond expected compensation. This is where a strong sales incentive program utilizing non-cash incentives comes in to play.

Pharmaceutical Sales Incentive Programs can produce massive gains in terms of incremental sales revenues when implemented and managed properly. In addition to cash commissions and bonuses, effective programs also use non-cash incentives, training opportunities and contests to motivate. Non-cash incentives can include travel prizes, merchandise rewards and recognition awards from management. These incentives are awarded not only for those who win sales contests but also for those who complete training portals to increase their product knowledge.

Participants that frequently receive progress reports and standings updates naturally exhibit higher levels of competition and are more driven to sell. It is also important to make sure that the program rules are clear, fair and easy to understand with effective communication plans to support the initiative.

These Sales Incentive Programs are particularly vital when new drugs are introduced into the market, when existing drug sales are falling or when sales reps need to be reinvigorated due to declining performance.

Situation: Novo Nordisk Uses a Sales Incentive Program to Introduce New Non-Insulin Medication Victoza

Incentive Magazine shared a fascinating case study about Danish health care company Novo Nordisk and their recent sales incentive program that introduced Victoza, a non-insulin medication for adults with Type 2 diabetes. Their goal was to engage more than 2,000 sales reps with this campaign and encourage them to sell Victoza.

An online-based five-day incentive program called “Welcome to Club V” was introduced and themed around an exclusive nightclub incorporating a virtual red carpet and VIP experiences. This virtual “nightclub” made it easy to access training portals, progress reports, contest rules and the award shopping mall. The award shopping mall allowed participants to select prizes of their choosing based on various achievements.

Essentially, participants were awarded with prizes in exchange for the completion of training portals and victories in sales contests.

Results: 100% Participating in Competitions, 95% Taking Daily Quizzes

The program was quite engaging to say the least. An astounding 95% of the sales force took daily quizzes and every participant competed in the individual and team sales competitions. The program rewarded these Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives for doing what they already did, but for doing it better by encouraging continuous growth in their job knowledge.

Jamie Jones, senior director for Novo Nordisk strongly believes that sales reps become tired of selling a product after just six to eight weeks no matter what the product is. Incentives are the only way to keep them engaged in selling.

This “club” took the rather dull experience of learning about and selling medications and turned it into a fun, competitive and exciting way to earn prizes. The representatives received incentives. The company enjoyed the results of more educated employees and increased sales revenues. Everybody was victorious here.

The Keys to the Success of This Program

The rewards were selected to match the objective of the program and target demographic. Choosing interesting rewards for Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives can be difficult, but experienced gift buyers will have the answers at the right price. Large rewards can include exquisitely planned trips to exotic locales and activities that are not commonly open to the public. Smaller awards can include luxury name-brand gifts that resonate with your target audience.

Many touch points were present. Communication, training, measurement and reinforcement were articulately designed. It is essential that participants know the value of offered incentives and how they are able to win them. Keeping the competitive spirit of participants alive with constant reminders is also vital. Email blasts, printed collateral, meetings, online standings websites and even teaser gift items are effective in this area.

If you are looking to create or revamp your pharmaceutical sales incentive program, give us a call at 949.476.2788 or email us at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com. We understand your target demographic and what drives them, the communications necessary to get them to participate, the metrics to demonstrate value to executive management and even ways to increase your corporate social responsibility in the process.

To learn more about the important role that marketing communications play in sales incentive programs, please click here.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Why Travel Incentives? Beyond the Research

I recently had a client ask me: “How do you know that Travel Incentives really work?”

There are statistics, and lots of them, proving the value of travel as a motivator and reward mechanism. See Incentive Research Foundation for more details on that.

But I could tell he wasn’t convinced with the “data” I presented. So I went about it another way. So simple, but it seemed to be effective. See if it resonates with you…

Allow your mind to picture a specific time in your life that you were happy. Think of a couple of times like this.

I would place a bet that you’ve pictured yourself somewhere with someone. As much as we also enjoy those moments alone on the couch watching TV, our best times in life are usually spent with others. And very often, they are spent somewhere special.

Did you picture a trip somewhere? A beautiful beach or exciting zip line? Maybe you pictured getting married? Having a baby? Accomplishing a goal? Playing with your kids?

When developing an Incentive or Meeting Travel Program, I always remember that we have the privileged job of designing experiences for people that involve putting them somewhere with someone. I know it’s these moments in people’s lives that have the power to stay with them and perhaps make a difference in their outlook.

I believe our industry does more than only educate, motivate, train and reward. We create memories and joy when we do it right. Now without sounding too lofty, when we take measurement of our impact on the world, I for one am proud to be part of an industry that makes people happy.

Oh . . .I can’t forget the strong close . . . .call JNR to help you create memorable travel programs!!  Really, we will make you and your participants happy.

Contact us by emailing jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com, giving us a call at 949.476.2788 or visiting the Incentive Travel section of our website here or blog titled “Incentive Travel May Be The Key to Engaged Employees” here for more information.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Vicki Kern – Vice President, Travel Planning

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.