Ten Tips to Create Inbound Telemarketing Incentives That Work

By Kaela Heft

Managing inbound incentives for telemarketing services can be easy if you know your team, what they like, and what drives them. It’s also the fun part of the job, for both the frontline team as well as the managers. Call center work is a tough job, and shame on us if we don’t take every opportunity we can to make the job more fun.

It’s All About Prizes, Money, and Recognition: Many managers think the best incentives that drive a team to do better are prizes and money. Yet if there is one thing I have learned in eighteen years in the telemarketing services industry, the biggest prize that drives the frontline team is recognition for a job done well.

Yes, prizes and money are great, but the satisfaction of hearing your manager give a shout out such as “Great job” or “Thank you” is something much more valuable. Recognition is a guaranteed confidence booster, and it will drive reps to want to do better and keep them motivated and happy. Motivated employees are productive employees, and happy employees create satisfied customers. 

Great Incentives Help a Team Hit Their Goals: Of course, money and prizes are an added bonus that no one will turn down. The key is to find what motivates the team and helps drive performance.

Here are my top ten tips for successful inbound incentives.

  1. Make sure everyone knows the goal. Your key performance indicators (KPIs) won’t be achieved if everyone isn’t aware of them and working to reach them.
  2. Gear incentives around different products reps are not used to pitching. I call this “moving their cheese.” The more they pitch the product, the better they understand it.
  3. Offer incentives that relate to their job—something they can use in their office, such as a headset, office supplies, or a bookshelf.
  4. Plan incentives around each season. For example, in the summer I like to give away outdoor rewards such as a fire pit, a grill, or a water tube.
  5. Give the reps an opportunity to tell you what they would like to see for incentives that month. Get them involved.
  6. Play a game each month, and make it something different from month to month to keep your team excited.
  7. Base incentives around their successes. For example, if they score a 90 percent or above on their quality monitoring, have a prize geared around that.
  8. Set goals—not only for the team, but for each individual.
  9. Engage with agents. Asking telemarketing services frontline reps to share successes with the team is another huge motivator. This lets your frontline know that you recognize their abilities and appreciate their hard work and dedication. This also helps reps who are struggling to get a different perspective on how to improve.
  10. Tap positive competition. A little friendly rivalry never hurt anyone and is good for the team. Create it and reward it.

Whether you are looking for telemarketing services or you are working to improve your own team in outsourced telemarketing, knowing what motivates your staff is crucial. Every team is different, and when you can determine what works and what doesn’t, it’s a win-win situation.

Kaela Heft is a customer service supervisor for Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced inbound and outbound telemarketing organization. Kaela has been in the telemarketing business for over eighteen years. She currently supervises a team of customer service representatives with QCS At Home, a work-from-home telemarketing and call center operation.

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