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Sales Force Incentives

If sales incentives are so simple why do they generate so much debate and discussion and often prove to be expensive and demotivating?

Understanding your needs

Sales force incentive plans are a significant and long-standing component of the reward package received by a salesperson.

The underlying principle is a simple one, rewarding an individual for every sale they make. These schemes are expected to be engaging for the salesperson as well as being self-funding and cost effective. However, if they are so simple why do they generate so much debate and discussion and often prove to be expensive and demotivating?

The answer is often because they have been overcomplicated to the point where the document explaining how they work is a lengthy manual written in a way which few can actually understand and with a complicated matrix of multipliers, pay-out curves and differentiated payments per product, often driven by an underpinning technology platform that was introduced to make scheme administration easier. The risk is that this then becomes demotivating for sales professionals who make a sale with no real sense of understanding of the personal benefit.

A demotivated and confused sales force is a very clear risk to a business and to the performance of that business!

How we can help

We support our clients by reviewing their existing schemes and helping to design new, value adding evolutions. We take our clients back to first principles and begin by analysing current schemes to identify strengths and weaknesses through a blend of desk-based analytics and conversation with sales professionals and sales leaders. This enables us to provide pragmatic and practical analysis and recommendations for the effective evolution of any scheme that are rooted in data and supported by participant experience.

As part of this we also understand the importance of being able to communicate any scheme effectively. This is central to any recommendations we make as we know that salespeople must be able to understand and anticipate their awards accurately.

The support we can provide includes reviewing existing schemes and/ or developing new schemes through a process which would typically look to:

  • Understand the scheme design and mechanics
  • Understand the sales process (the buyer, the timeline, the competitive market etc)
  • Chart the pay/ performance curve
  • Review payment cycle alignment with the sales process
  • Gather feedback and perceptions from stakeholders
  • Review communication documentation
  • Develop options and solutions for review and refinement
  • Develop a change implementation activity plan and time-line

Contact Stuart

Stuart Hyland
Stuart Hyland
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