Companies that want to remain competitive need to constantly seek new ways to market and sell their products during uncertain times.

One way to strategically increase sales for a subset of products or services is through the use of SPIFF programs. SPIFF (Sales Performance Incentive Funding Formula) is an acronym used to define a structured incentive methodology that helps companies, and channel partners reach short-term sales goals in a systematized nature. 

A well-designed SPIFF incentive program can skyrocket your company’s success. It will allow you to meet internal sales goals and deliver lasting loyalty from your B2B partners.

So, how do you get started?

The key questions to ask when starting a SPIFF program:

  • Do we have measurable sales KPIs?
  • Who is responsible for program administration?
  • Do we have the capability to offer a varied range of rewards?
  • What is the program structure and timeframe?
  • What is the program budget? Is it optimal for our company?
  • Do we have the right technology or partner to successfully operate the program and report on its success?

1) SPIFF program strategy and structure 

There are plenty of SPIFF examples and best practices that you can draw from when designing your program. But regardless of the end technology or strategy that you end up with, you need to start out with clearly-defined sales goals that are aligned closely with your products or services. You need to define a clear KPI structure for your program. One of the biggest mistakes a company can make when starting a SPIFF program is not properly thinking through the goals and outcomes. When an objective is met in the SPIFF program, it needs to result in a clear business outcome with measurable results.


2) Make it fun and accessible!

Beyond the structure of your program, make sure that your B2B incentive program is not only easy for your sales reps or channel sales partners to participate in, but that it’s also fun for them to participate. While monetary incentives can drive results, they don’t necessarily always drive sales participation.

When your SPIFF program is enjoyable and achievable, you’re more likely to have higher participation and sales success rates. One way is by adding elements of gamification or fun competitions to the program. You can think of this in terms of tiers, where your reps can “climb the ladder” of the program for each new incentive.

3) Identify the right rewards mix

It’s important to customize the rewards for your SPIFF program to each different segment of your sales reps (internal or external). Start with a baseline SPIFF program with general reward options, then tailor the rewards to be very specific for each audience.

Try different reward mixes. Have contests where reps can win big travel packages or electronics bundles. Experiment with short, attainable sales goals that offer gift card rewards. There’s no right or wrong answer. Your audience and the results will help you determine what is working, and what you need to remove.

How do SPIFF programs work?

SPIFF programs reward specific sales actions in an immediate nature. They can be structured as part of a larger sales incentive program, or as standalone incentives.

What kind of rewards work with SPIFFs?

There are numerous reward possibilities for a SPIFF program. You could provide gift cards, cash payouts, electronics, travel packages, and more. Determining the right rewards mix is one of the most important steps when designing your SPIFF program.

4) Rewards Need to Be Delivered Fast

To make your SPIFF incentives as attractive as possible, you need to make sure that the rewards are distributed quickly. If you truly want to motivate a sales rep to take a specific action, then you want to connect the reward to the action as quickly as possible.

5) The Best Time to Start a SPIFF Program? Now!

If you don’t have a SPIFF program in place, now is a great time to get started on one. Start by thinking about what specific sales actions you want to drive first. Then, find the right technology, processes, and people to drive those actions.

While creating a general SPIFF program may seem simple at first glance, it can be very challenging to create a highly effective one if you don’t take the right steps. It’s very important that you partner with a company that is experienced in doing so.

It’s vitally important to find the right technology partner to help you create a SPIFF program designed specifically with your goals, and  sales reps, and channel partners in mind.

Related articles

How Spiff Incentives And Rebate Programs Drive B2b Sales Results