We all know that moving a firm’s business development efforts forward in a meaningful, long-lasting way (i.e., not solely dependent on a business development professional or the marketing department) requires an organized team effort. It also progresses faster with frequent communications, elements of fun and surprise … and an incentive program that excites people. The following cornerstones of a marketing rewards program will form the foundation for team-wide marketing and business development success.
Focus on Targeted Activities
Most people in firms are willing to do more marketing, but they aren’t clear on all of the options that are available to them; the full range of choices – everything from speaking at a Chamber of Commerce meeting to writing an article to taking a business broker out to lunch counts. Your rewards program should include a list of the marketing and sales activities – and behaviors – that you want to embolden. The list is long, so make sure that all options are communicated and the firm’s partners allow everyone to stretch his/her wings.
Find Out What People Can Do
Not everyone wants to take part in the social mixer at the neighboring law firm, post on social media or be in the firm’s video. The key is to find out what people want to do, which activities they’re comfortable undertaking and what they’ll be good at doing. When those factors are in harmony, they’ll be encouraged to do more of it. Think of it all in terms of serving a buffet – not everyone will choose the same items, but collectively all of the food winds up being gone.
Use a Tracking System
The reporting of each person’s activity has to be simple and enforce the right behavior at the right level. The more hoops involved, the lower the chance of success. Whatever way you decide to track the activity, it all has to end up being visible and easily communicated. Not all activities have equal weight, so it’s important to align the degree of time, difficulty and perhaps even risk of an activity parallel to a proper point value. Sending Christmas cards to referral sources shouldn’t be the same point value as spending several hours writing a detailed whitepaper.
Communicate & Keep People Energized
Keeping everyone informed and updated on a regular basis is essential to the success of the program and the desired overall goals of more business, a higher quality of business, increased teamwork and deeper relationships with those outside of the firm. Regular communication in writing, group in-person announcements and the periodic walks around the office by partners will keep people in the loop and enthusiastic about contributing.
As with any type of incentive program, the simpler, the better. It has to be understandable, easily-trackable, provide incentives that people want and, of course, be in alignment with the goals of the firm. Communication is key, especially during busy periods when it’s easy to forget about a lot of things other than the technical work at hand. Frequent communications must be locked in place, ensuring that messaging, updates and tales of successes don’t fall through the cracks with the program being forgotten about for several weeks. Momentum can never be lost with marketing rewards programs. Keep the foot on the gas and your firm will speed toward success!