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Iron out sales incentive programs for better results

Although employee recognition and rewards incentives are still in the relatively early stages of corporate acceptance on a large scale, sales incentive programs have been around for decades, and many companies have benefited from taking a hardline approach toward motivating their client-facing staff members.

Although employee recognition and rewards incentives are still in the relatively early stages of corporate acceptance on a large scale, sales incentive programs have been around for decades, and many companies have benefited from taking a hardline approach toward motivating their client-facing staff members. Several trends that have surfaced in the past few years have further increased the need for well-trained and highly engaged salespeople, especially the increased competition that has come amid the economic recovery. 

Additionally, the Internet has had a dramatic impact on the sales cycle itself, with some studies indicating that the average corporate purchaser is further along into the buying process before getting on the phone with the first vendor than ever before. Aside from training and increased measurement of performance in these departments, sales incentive programs can ensure that employees are happy, motivated and ready to improve in their procedures every day. 

Problems on the radar
One of the fundamental tenets of employee engagement is the connection and camaraderie among staff members within a certain department, as well as those in other areas of the business. MIT News recently reported that there seems to be a growing rift between sales departments and marketers, as well as managers involved in pricing and product oversight, that might be hindering companies in their pursuits of optimal client retention and prospect targeting. 

The source explained that research has shown that 70 to 80 percent of corporate transactions between businesses involve products and services that have had their prices lowered by sales managers. This, along with other increasingly common practices, has appeared to make marketers and product managers upset and a bit resentful of the sales staff, which could quickly hinder engagement. 

One of the fundamental tenets of employee engagement is the connection and camaraderie among staff members.

The tension is, the sales force thinks that the product managers are just unrealistic in terms of the prices they are trying to charge," MIT professor Duncan Simester affirmed, according to MIT News. "The product managers think the sales force is just trying to make their own jobs easier."

What can be done?
In many ways, these types of issues can be completely avoided when the right types of management frameworks are in place, while incentive programs should likely include at least some guidance on the best practices of marking down products and services. This all ties back into transparency, which every engagement program must sustain to be effective. 

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