Teeing Up Sales

To motivate salespeople, move an incentive competition to the web -- and look out

Robert Tuchman, president of corporate-marketing company TSE Sports & Entertainment, has orchestrated more than 850 sales-incentives programs. Often that means creating contests or sweepstakes to motivate salespeople and distributors. But the volume of phone calls and paperwork necessary to track each salesperson's progress, then update all the others, threatened to turn the offices of his New York company into a three-ring circus.

Tuchman, realizing there had to be a better way, moved the process online in 2002. "When companies try to motivate their sales and marketing teams, the people are almost always in different territories," he says. "The online component can centralize everything." Now clients get their own customized Web sites, eliminating almost all the headache-inducing paperwork and phone calls. Tuchman estimates the 75 custom sites that TSE has built so far have generated about $3 million for his $15 million company. Says Tuchman, "This gives us a creative edge when companies compare us to competitors."

TSE builds and hosts the sites in-house. It spent about $65,000 in hardware and labor to get started, and ongoing costs run about $40,000 a year.

When liquor distributor Remy Cointreau USA wanted to boost sales of its Mount Gay Rum, TSE built a golf-themed site linked to Remy's main site. In a video clip, Australian golf pro Ian Baker Finch announced that top sellers would win a trip to Barbados to play a round of golf with him. The 200 participating distributors could log in at any time to check their progress. Top performers' names were listed on a leaderboard similar to those at golf tournaments. The contest helped Remy hit its aggressive sales targets, says Nicholas Guillant, brand manager for Mount Gay. And 42 top distributors won a trip to Barbados to work on their golf games.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.