“Prevail, accomplish, compete, strive, thrive, triumphed, achieve, mastered, win, success, gain, attain.“
What do these words have in common?
When used appropriately they have the power to increase performance by 15% (or more!).
Dr. Gary Latham replaced 12 words in an e-mail from a company president with the words above to demonstrate the power of word choice. Half of the company received the president’s original e-mail and half of the company received the same e-mail with 12 achievement-focused words added in.
After a week, objectively measured performance showed an increase in effectiveness by 15% and efficiency by 35% for the employees who received the achievement-centric email.
12 carefully placed words were all it took to significantly increase performance and efficiency. Are you sure you are using the right words when you communicate your incentives programs?
The medium you choose, the words you use, and the graphics you incorporate all work together to curate your audience’s perception, emotions, and behaviors.
Performance, retention, and growth are all crucial to a sales organization and well-designed incentives are a key facet to creating this formula. Investing in communications that do these programs justice is another.
How you communicate your incentives is vital.
Our work with one large medical device company showed that their sales representatives’ understanding of their incentive plan increased by over 18% after we reworked one piece of their plan communication. This one change also resulted in an increase of 25% in the understanding of what they needed to do to maximize their earnings!
Another company we worked with showed an improvement of 31% in plan attainment and sales performance after we took over all their IC plan communications. While we can’t show that all this improvement was due to just the communications, the Director of Sales Incentives, James Brewer stated:
“We grew sales for over five straight years after starting to work with The Lantern Group – that correlation isn’t just happenstance.”
We all know that communicating your incentive plans is important. What we don’t always realize is how important the details of those communications are. The words and images and structure that are used can dramatically impact your results.
By bringing behavioral science insights into the design and implementation of your incentives, you can improve both the understanding of your plans as well as positively impact how they drive behavior.