Alleviating sales incentive compensation concerns with better planning

There are certain expenses that companies need to consider when hiring sales staff and creating long-term retention strategies. It's important to provide some kind of financial or benefits-centered motivation package for new hires and existing personnel alike, thereby keeping everyone engaged and interested in making the next deal.

If companies want to be able to keep closing, they have to conduct careful cost-benefit analyses on a regular basis. Just because a plan seems to be vital to the ongoing viability of an organization's salesforce doesn't mean it's sustainable financially for the duration. Balancing returns with expenses is essential in the sales incentive compensation life cycle, as overspending and insufficient rewards could sabotage success.

Benefiting trends
Buck Consultants, a Xerox organization, showed in a recent study that it's becoming popular again to use cash as the primary means of rewarding personnel. That means that companies should have some means of planning and implementing the dissemination of these sales incentive compensation methods, providing some as short-term motivation but finding alternative options as well.

The source showed that some long-term strategies are helping increase retention and loyalty while providing a means of incentive compensation. Some of the most successful include:

  • Stock options and vestment
  • Grants and loans
  • Equity opportunities
  • Paid training, travel and seminars
  • Management education
  • Time-based restricted funds
  • Retirement options

Of course, while these resources allow companies to create a sense of engagement and corporate reliance for long-term personal stability, there also need to be more tangible rewards in the day-to-day activities of workforce. Sales incentive compensation needs to align with overall corporate goals, as well as staying flexible enough to meet new objectives and generate enthusiasm for seasonal projects.

Aaron Hall wrote for the Standard-Examiner that it's important to strike a balance between motivation and frustration, creating a desire to keep winning rather than a dogged sense of being forced into routine schedules. Creating a dynamic array of incentives gives people a sense of choice and motivation to earn different rewards, thereby keeping them actively engaged in the game instead of just trying to stay average.

Employee recognition
One of the most powerful tools in the compensation management repertoire is recognition, the art of identifying people for their expertise or dedication and making them known to the rest of the organization. This method shows the rest of the team the kind of performance they should strive for. It also proves to the individual that his or her work is noticed and valued by leadership, promoting a sense that every person in the corporation matters. Creating a sense of pride and confidence in one's work can be a powerful source of sales motivation.

Offering people non-tangible rewards is a great solution for companies that want create a sense of urgency and drive in the workplace without spending a lot of money to achieve that outcome. In order to ensure that this system is working, it's important that leaders verify two things:

  1. Uniform understanding of sales incentive compensation and how to earn rewards
  2. Ease of calculation and comprehension for management and employees regarding why bonuses are offered in exchange for specific amounts of work

Planning alternative incentives and creating general understanding of these benefits is essential for creating a harmonious business environment. Combining immediate bonuses and long-term investment opportunities allows companies to engage workers for years to come while also cultivating a corporate landscape that is motivated to meet new and changing goals.