Black Tie and Beyond: The Role of Awards

6 min read

If you’re reading this article carefully, you’ll notice some of the words are spelled slightly differently than you’re used to, and that’s because we were lucky enough to have our Vice President, EMEA, Tom Castley, write this insightful post. Make sure you’re following @XactlyEMEA and @castleyt on Twitter to stay up to date with all of the exciting things going on across the pond. Last Wednesday saw members of the Xactly EMEA team out in all our black tie finery at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London for dinner. While I’d love you to think that this is a normal weekday evening for Xactly, I should come clean and admit that we were at the 2016 British Excellence in Sales and Marketing Awards (BESMA) and Xactly was represented both as a sponsor and a nominee for the evening. BESMA is organised by the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management, and looks to reward outstanding performances by individuals and sales teams. Xactly sponsored the Sales Team of the Year Award (50 plus employees) – which saw our EMEA Marketing Director taking to the stage to hand the trophy to Helen Peake at YELL. But we were on the receiving end of several commendations too. We were thrilled to be awarded second place in the Best Sales & Marketing Assessment Tool category for Xactly Incent Express, but were even prouder that our very own Kevin Henderson was awarded the very prestigious Sales Professional of the Year Award. Of course, we’re already aware that Kevin is a fantastic salesman. But it’s not enough for managers to know who their star performers are and keep the information to themselves. Employees need external recognition to stay engaged and motivated. It’s vital for team members to know that their own efforts and successes will have consequences – and that their performance will not only be acknowledged, but rewarded. Awards are one very public way of rewarding success, but businesses should consider them as part of a broader reward strategy. A strong reward strategy is vital for keeping team members engaged – and helping to support the company’s growth. Our research has shown that the most effective reward strategies make use of financial incentives; over a quarter of UK employees state that a financial bonus is their main motivator. Intelligent bonus schemes go beyond handing out dividends when the business makes its targets, and instead tie compensation into personal performance to reward ongoing success. Used in this way, incentive schemes can work as a key lever for the business. So, how can businesses build a strong reward strategy for staff?

  • Identify what good looks like – The first step to creating an effective reward strategy is working out what should be rewarded. Intelligent incentive schemes tie employee remuneration to behaviours which benefit the business. Identify those key elements of performance that will drive business growth, and then work out the monetary value that should be attached to these achievements.
  • Monitor performance effectively – Businesses must then ensure that employees are being judged objectively against these key objectives, so that compensation is worked out correctly. Xactly Incent automatically calculates employees’ compensation based on data from the CRM system. This ensures compensation is an accurate reflection of performance, and gives both employers and employees visibility on how rewards are calculated.
  • Assess and optimise – Every reward scheme should be assessed critically on an ongoing basis, to refine plans and discover what works best. Xactly Incent enables businesses to model variations in the bonus scheme, to project total costs. Moreover, businesses can use data from Xactly Insights to benchmark their reward scheme against others in their country or sector.

And finally… acknowledge success publicly. Awards are a fantastic way of sharing individuals and team’s successes, whether that’s within your company or as part of an industry wide event. Public recognition can be a fantastic motivator. Plus, who doesn’t love a night in black tie?