The Best Sales Incentive Destination is…

One of the most effective ways to inspire sales professionals to perform to the best of their abilities and supercharge the bottom line of their employing company is to effectively incentivize them. While monetary compensation, perks, bonuses and gifts are valuable incentive tools, the power of experiential travel incentives is unmatched.

Elite salespeople are often rewarded for their victories in sales incentive programs by receiving trips that are typically called “Summit Club” or “President’s Club” and send them to destinations around the world for a vacation.

The destination choice for participants is extremely critical to the success of the program. While a trip to South Africa will be sufficiently enticing to most, it may not be realistic financially. On the converse, a trip within a four hour drive of your office may be low cost and easy to plan, but few will strive to win.

Incentive travel planners are tasked with the challenge of maximizing destination appeal and minimizing cost to achieve the greatest incremental performance increase for the lowest cost to optimize return on investment (ROI).

A recent study surveyed sales professionals in an attempt to determine what destination they preferred for sales incentive trips and found the following:

Ranking of Destination Preference

  1. Hawaii
  2. Caribbean (Jamaica, Bahamas)
  3. Machu Picchu
  4. Mountain Resort (Aspen, Vail)
  5. Florida Beach (Pensacola, Miami)
  6. Las Vegas
  7. New York
  8. Disney Theme Park

How The Trips Were Earned

Landing in the top 10% for overall sales quota is the most common way for survey respondents to ensure a spot on a trip.  Other common benchmark goals for winners were achieving 100% to 125% of quota in a specified sales period.  If you are designing a program, these might be appropriate program rules to utilize.

Did the Trip Increase Motivation?

73% of respondents either responded “strongly agree” or “moderately agree” when asked if the trip influenced their motivation to work hard. The most common response was “strongly agree” which is quite encouraging data if you are looking to prove the value of these programs to senior management.

Did the Trip Increase Job Satisfaction?

76% agreed that club incentives influenced their job satisfaction. Those satisfied with their job tend to exhibit higher rates of performance, productivity, efficiency and loyalty.

Did the Trip Influence Job Performance?

77% agreed that club incentives influenced job performance. The incremental sales gains yielding from three quarters of your sales force’s increased efforts can provide quite impressive ROI.

What is the Typical Size of Companies Offering Travel Incentives?

78% of companies with 251-1000 employees and 60% of all companies utilized travel incentives for their sales team. If your company has 251-1000 employees and is not offering travel incentives, you may be putting your organization at a disadvantage.

Suggested Reading:

Why Travel Incentives? Beyond the Research” – JNR Travel Planner Vicki Kern uses her 17 years of experience in the industry to explain why travel is such a strong motivator for salespeople.

Peru: A Dynamic and Dramatic Incentive Reward Destination” – JNR Director of Planning Matt Kisser lends his 20+ years in the business to give you insight on how to do an incentive trip to Machu Picchu in style.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin


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.

6-Step Guide to Creating a Successful Sales Incentive Program

Sales incentive programs are intended to drive profits and help your sales team rise to new levels of success. Creating a successful incentive program involves adhering to several key components. The following is a 6-Step Guide for driving incremental sales with your incentive program:

1. Define Objectives: Before you begin creating an incentive program, it is important to gather the right information and ask the right questions:

  • Why does your team need to be motivated?
  • What behaviors need to be influenced?
  • How does the incentive program align with your business goals?
  • How will these objectives be measured?

2. Decide the Type of Reward: What type of reward will best motivate the members of your team? You may want to offer travel, merchandise, prepaid MasterCard® reward cards or customized promotional items.

3. Acquire Budget Approval: When implemented correctly, incentive programs are self-funding strategies that are paid for with the profits generated by the program. Demonstrate that the program is a win-win by illustrating scenarios of sales results at each level.

4. Create a Buzz: Decide how you will promote the program. How will you get your sales team excited about the program before it starts? How will you kick off the program and continue to encourage your team from start to finish?

5. Craft a Communication Campaign: Continuous communication is key to a successful sales incentive program. A creative communications campaign can integrate elements of meetings, emails, newsletters, promotional products or announcements from beginning to end. Inform your participants of their proximity to required goals, and continually coach them on how to reach their goals.

6. Track Progress.  Decide on the best method to track progress. The measure chosen should help the organization track progress towards strategic objectives and reflect improvement in productivity. Real time, up-to-the-minute reports determining patterns of participant engagement are an integral element of the program’s success.

For more information on the steps to creating a successful incentive program Click Here

Kelly Woolsey