Is your sales incentive full of middle lane hoggers?

Sales incentive middle lanersMotorists who hog the middle lane display a similar attitude to employees who coast through each day doing just enough to get by. A sales incentive can improve the performance of such individuals through  league tables, targets, e-learning and games.


BBC News reports that so-called motorway ‘middle-lane hoggers’ are to face quick justice with on-the-spot fixed penalties, under new measures announced by the government. From July, police will be able to issue £100 fines and three points for careless driving offences that would currently have to go to court.

Most of us would probably admit that we’ve been wound up by these middle lane hoggers in the past – but that doesn’t bother these drivers. They’re really quite happy pootling along in the middle lane with their blinkers on, seemingly unaware of anything around them!

Put these drivers in a sales incentive scenario. You’d hope that your sales incentive was engaging enough to motivate employees to try their very best to over-achieve, beat their best and get out of the middle lane into the fast lane. But what if it isn’t having the desired effect? What can you do if your employees are stuck, or even perfectly happy coasting along in the middle lane?

Better behaviours – Improving the performance of middle-laners

Unlike the government’s new rule, you can’t fine them. You need to focus on better engagement and give these employees more to work for. Your sales incentive needs:

  • League tables

    Make things a bit more exciting and inject a little friendly competition into the mix. When you have a league table for all to see employees will be motivated by the continual reminder of their performance against peers. Seeing their name sat in the middle of the table they are going to want to be in the fast lane to success!

  • Targets

    If your employees are given an overall target to meet, why not bring in weekly or bi-weekly ones to encourage continuous efforts and more regular reviews of progress. Giving employees a target then leaving them for a few months to achieve it isn’t likely to encourage consistently high performance – so keep giving them something to bite at!

  • Games

    Using games as part of a sales incentive works a treat. When employees know they can win adhoc rewards through games  it encourages them to keep going and working hard. While an end of year reward may generate initial interest this may fade over time – use games to maintain momentum.

  • E-Learning

    While your employees are engaged and focused on your sales incentive, why not add a bit of e-learning into the mix as well? Getting employees to complete product knowledge quizzes will not only help them learn about what they are selling but give them added motivation to do so.

To keep your employees engaged and motivated throughout the life of your sales incentive you need to use a variety of techniques. By ensuring continual engagement you should discourage middle lane hoggers and have your employees speeding down the fast lane in no time!


Sales Incentives Case Studies


Case Studies – See examples of sales incentives that have dramatically improved the performance of teams.



John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.

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