5 Critical Changes MGM Made to Its Sales Incentive Program

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The MGM incentive winners at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great  Exuma.
The MGM incentive winners at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma.

When Mike Dominguez joined MGM Resorts International two years ago, he immediately saw that the sales incentive program that was intended to incentivize his team wasn’t working the way he needed it to. So he revamped it. The new trip was held at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas, in May. Dominguez, senior vice president of sales, shared some of the most important changes he made and lessons he learned:

1)   Recognition is everything—What Dominguez found was that 80 percent of his company’s meetings came from small meetings of 100 rooms or less, but those salespeople who handle these groups would never qualify for the incentive trip under the old rules. It also was concerning that a sales person achieving 100 percent or more received no recognition unless they achieved 150 percent. So he created “The 100 Club” with a President’s and Chairman’s level who would qualify for the sales incentive.

2)   Group travel trumps individual trips—The company’s previous incentive trip offered individual travel awards for top performers. “But it needs to be all about the team,” he said. “You can’t celebrate the team’s success without bringing people together.”

3)   Don’t make your salespeople sacrifice to go on the trip—Everyone is working 24/7 these days, and free time is a commodity. Dominguez scheduled the three-night trip on the weekdays so attendees didn’t have to give up their family time.

4)   Thank the families—Not only did he personally thank the spouses at the awards dinner, but Dominguez created a video with the children of all the winners congratulating their parents on their success, actually bringing them all together to shoot it, then letting them feast on a candy buffet they had set up.

5)   Give people free time and customize their experience—The best thank-you for all that hard work is an unstructured trip, he said. “I was very cautious about the agenda not being too rigid. I even removed myself so people could relax and have fun.” He also set up customized touches throughout, such as a meeting room at check-in where attendees could choose their beverages, snacks and other treats for the stay.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.