Are you looking to increase HVAC sales? With today’s increasing HVAC demands, you may be scrambling to meet end-users needs for new, energy-efficient products. You may be focused on staying competitive in an industry with plenty of opportunities for newcomers to corner the market with regional, technological, and brand-value advantages. Whatever your business situation and needs are, an incentive program can boost the effectiveness of your sales strategies. You can use this template to create an incentive plan designed to increase HVAC sales. Print it out, copy/paste it into a document, or share it with your team to collaborate on your plan!
Step 1: List your goal(s).
Your sales goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Answering the following questions should help you determine the best goal for your incentive plan:
- Which products or product lines have the highest profit margin?
- Which products do dealer, distributors, contractors, and end-users need to be more educated on?
- What percentage of sales increase would help you reach annual or quarterly sales goals?
- Where are your customer or sales data knowledge gaps?
Using these answers, determine your goal.
Incentive Plan Goal
- What is the goal?
- Which key performance indicators (KPIs) will indicate you’re progressing toward your goal?
- What is the timeline/deadline for the goal?
Step 2: Select your incentive program audience.
Your incentive program participant audience should be a group of people who have a great deal of influence over your goal outcome. For a sales increase goal, for example, you likely want to target customers and/or salespeople. Answering these questions should help you identify your ideal incentive program audience:
- How many different types of distribution channel member types are involved in the goal, and which types are they? For ex., dealers, distributors, contractors, end-users.
- Whose actions most directly determine achievement of your goal?
- Who can indirectly influencing the achievement of your goal?
- Who has influence over those who can directly influence your goal outcome?
Using these answers, determine your incentive program audience.
Incentive Program Audience
- Who is your incentive program audience?
- Which type(s) of channel partner is your audience comprised of?
- What are the similarities and differences between your audience members? (For ex., region, culture/language, age, gender, lifestyle, job title)
Step 3: Develop a budget for your incentive plan.
Cost/budgeting is definitely a factor in maximize the effectiveness of your incentive plan. With incentive plans and programs, you have some flexibility in terms of cost and budgeting. Here are some questions you should answer to determine how to budget for your incentive plan:
- Which individuals or organizations outside of your company stand to benefit from your incentive plan’s success?
- Which departments within your organization will benefit directly from the achievement of your goal?
- How many participants are/will be in your incentive program?
- What individual contribution is needed from each program participant in order to achieve your goal?
- Are marketing dollar funds (MDFs) an option for investment in your incentive plan?
- Can you create a co-op of companies, departments, or individuals to invest in your incentive plan?
- If you’re using a reward points program, which type of billing model best suits your business needs?
- How much will you invest in your incentive program?
- Which organization(s), department(s), or individual(s) will be contributing incentive program funds?
- What is the ROI projection for this budget?
Step 4: Determine what incentive software or services you’ll use.
Various types of incentive technology and services exist to make your program easier to manage and achieve better results. Ask these questions to determine which types of tools and services can help you reach your incentive plan goals:
- Will it help your incentive plan to train sales reps?
- Will your channel partners or seps reps need to submit sales claims to earn rewards?
- Are you able to authenticate sales claims quickly?
- Do you have an in-house incentive program manager?
- Do you have in-house reward sourcing, reward fulfillment, and participant support for reward redemptions?
- Do you have a means of tracking sales performance?
- Which types of incentive modules or features will help you reach your goal?
- Which incentive program services and functions can you manage in-house?
- Which incentive program services and functions will you outsource to an incentive company?
- Which tools, features, or services will you use and how will they help you achieve your goal?
Step 5: Develop a marketing/communication plan.
Along with a complete incentive plan, you should have a communication or marketing strategy to promote your incentive program. The most effective incentive marketing strategy will have options for multichannel, automated, and segmented messaging. To develop your incentive marketing plan, answer the following questions:
- What are your program participants’ contact preferences? How many different channels do they prefer, and what is the percentage breakdown?
- Does your organization current use a marketing platform with automation, segmentation, and multichannel capabilities?
- Do you have a qualified in-house marketing professional or incentive expert to create and manage an annual, recurring incentive marketing plan?
- Do you have access to a creative professional to develop designs and themes to accompany your marketing messages?
- How frequently will you send marketing messages to your incentive participants?
- What will your main, incentive marketing calls to action (CTAs) be?
- How many different channels will you use for incentive marketing, and what tools, technology, materials, and/or expertise are needed for each?
Each HVAC distribution channel is different, with different market maturity, business needs, and sales processes. Don’t shy away from adding or subtracting from this incentive plan as you see fit. The beauty of incentive plans is in their flexibility—your incentive program can be as unique as your organization or sales channel! If you have questions, feel free to ask the incentive planning experts at Incentive Solutions.