Podcast Recap: 4 Hacks for Incentive Program Rules

by | October 13, 2021 | Blog, Lincoln's Insights

Recently, I was lucky enough to be included on the Motivation Insiders podcast. Hosted by Tim Houlihan in partnership with the Incentive & Engagement Solution Providers (IESP), this podcast helps to spread knowledge and know-how on all things incentives and behavioral science.

On the first episode titled, 4 Fantastic Hacks to Improve the Design of Incentive Program Rules, we talked through sales incentives and how your rule structure can help save you from having to reward someone who didn’t really earn it.

In my piece, I covered who the target audiences are and objectives of the program.

Segmenting Your Audience

Finding your target audience is all about looking at your data. What does it tell you? The best way to set up program rules is to find segments within your sales organization that will apply to them. Then, as you execute, you’ll want to continually experiment and validate the decisions you’ve made.

What do I mean by that? Well, companies typically see a bell curve of performance in their purchasing and sales data, exemplified by the graph below.

move the middle

If your typical performance every year looks like this, chances are there are some opportunities that you can take advantage of. The first place we look for opportunities in sales growth is the right side of that bell curve.

With some well-placed and well-worded rules, you may be able to achieve a segment of people who shift closer to the right side of the bell curve. Something like this chart below.

move the middle

Measurement on Goals

As with any business strategy, it’s important to be constantly measuring yourself up against your goals, goals that you set at the start.

It’s important to have this touch base on the program at every lifecycle stage of it. At every reasonable interval, look at the objectives and make sure you’re not just running your program blind.

Finally, are your rules acting as intended? Are they helping to lead you down a path to success? Dr. David Cox from Motivforce touches on this further in the podcast, saying that most programs fail when their rules aren’t clearly articulated and not overcomplicated. If you’re goal is to drive a behavior, your rules need to reflect, as simply as possible, the smoothest route to achieving those behaviors.


If you want to get to the bottom of rule creation I’d highly recommend giving the podcast, 4 Fantastic Hacks to Improve the Design of Incentive Program Rules a listen today.

Image Credit: Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash

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