Successful brands need realistic channel incentive budgets to reward participants in meaningful ways. But it can be challenging to know what your budget should be and if it will move the needle.
Our customizable incentive program budget calculator—developed by analysts with decades of incentive program experience—does the math for you. With a framework, you’ll be in a good position to dive deeper into the budgeting process. Our experts are happy to help guide you through exercises to make a pragmatic budget that’s personalized to your needs and audience.
Building a Better Incentive Program Budget
When building an incentive budget, it’s important to go about it methodically. Don’t just guess! A budget chosen in the dark, without any background or analysis, can fail to achieve the performance change you’re looking for.
Different budgeting methods should be used based on who you’re trying to influence. Most commonly, incentive programs are used to motivate salespeople to increase sales or to close the gap between their goals and the current pipeline. Additionally, behavior-based incentives can be rolled out for sales audiences to focus on changing the sales process, filling the funnel and completing learning tracks to enhance rep knowledge.
In recent years, we’ve seen a surge in incentive programs for non-sales roles, such as technicians, call center representatives, service teams and sales engineers. Meaningful incentives for these roles aid in driving performance, efficiency, customer experience and retention, which are top of mind for many leaders in the current economy.
Our calculator has customizable options for the most important variables to create a simple, practical budget:
- Sales vs. non-sales audiences to cover all your bases
- Participation percentage because rarely does a program have 100% participation
- Number of qualifying team members so you can scale the budget effectively
Getting More From Your Incentive Calculator Results
The calculator results are designed to be an entry point into designing an incentive program budget. It generates a rewards budget only. After you try the calculator, we can share our modeling tools to test your budget against real-world scenarios.
To get more out of your results, walk through an in-depth budget exercise with our experts to add nuance to your budget. These include factors such as:
- Incremental sales growth to fund the budget
- Incentive time frame (year-long vs. spurt budgets)
- Potential ROI estimates depending on behaviors being modified
- Ballpark estimates for program administration, communication and technology
- Multiple behavior-based incentives and how to spread budget between them
Going through this deeper process creates a more accurate, personalized budget tailored specifically to your business data and participants. You may even find after the deep dive that your budget changed significantly (up or down) from the initial starting point found in the calculator. That’s okay! Part of adding in nuance means adjusting to fit what works best for your goals.
And finally, an expert can help you navigate the nitty gritty aspects of the rules of the program, including best practices
for setting the parameters of who qualifies and what behavior you are seeking to change.
By starting with the channel incentive calculator and then analyzing the results in more detail, you can effectively find a realistic-yet-impactful budget for your needs.
Ready to get started? Try the personalized incentive budget calculator.