Three Reasons You’re Still Designing 2015 Plans, and How to Fix Them

Posted by Steve Marley on Fri, Mar, 20, 2015

You may have read the title of this blog and thought, “I’m not designing my 2015 plans. We wrapped that up by the end of December 2014!”

If that’s the case, congratulations!

I may be guilty of a base rate fallacy (or selection bias), because the companies that approach me need help with sales compensation, but in my experience, a significant number do not roll out or communicate their compensation plans by January 1 (when that’s the start of the new plan period).

So, why do so many companies fail to deliver their plans to the sales force on time? Here are three reasons why plans are late, and what you can do to prevent the delay.

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Topics: sales compensation, sales, ZS Associates, Incentive compensation, ZS, Steve Marley, incentive plan, compensation

Is Dollar-One Commission Plan Limiting Sales Growth?

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Wed, Mar, 11, 2015

Companies that have “grown up” on highly leveraged commission plans are running into a dilemma–they can change the plan and risk alienating some of their highest-grossing salespeople, or do nothing and risk lower overall sales growth. The situation is more common than some realize, and demands solutions that can balance sales growth with retaining salespeople.

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, tech sales & marketing trends, quotas, ZS, Sales Force, incentive plan, sales team, dollar-one commission

Do Your Managers Understand the Sales Compensation Plan?

Posted by Mike Martin on Fri, Mar, 06, 2015

At this point in the year, new sales compensation plans have been rolled out, but we are still a month or two from understanding how they are working. We do not have enough sales results yet to judge the incentive plans’ impact, so what can we do during this so-called downtime?

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, Sales Managers, ZS, Sales Force, incentive plan, Mike Martin, sales team, Managers

How ‘Balanced’ is Your Sales Incentive Plan?

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Mon, Feb, 16, 2015

Many companies have inserted “balanced selling” mechanisms into their sales incentive plans to encourage their sales forces to sell multiple products—and penalize them if they don’t. Yet these same companies often scrap the balanced selling incentive because it doesn’t work, is overly complicated or, in some cases, actually reduces sales.

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Sales Force, incentive plan, Chad Albrecht, sales team, balanced selling incentives

It’s That Time of Year Again: NBA All-Star Weekend and President’s Club Announcements

Posted by Mike Martin on Thu, Feb, 12, 2015

Valentine’s Day is this weekend.  But for sports fans, it’s also another exciting holiday: The 2015 NBA All-Star game is coming to New York City. The annual event is a chance for the league to recognize its top performers, much like president’s club sales incentive programs recognize top sales reps across industries. The similarities do not have to end there. Let’s look at some of the details of the NBA’s version of a president’s club to see if any lessons also apply to sales teams:

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Sales Force, incentive plan, Mike Martin, president's club, sales team, basket ball

One Company’s Unique Response When Salespeople Miss Their Sales Goals

Posted by Steve Marley on Thu, Feb, 05, 2015

The other week, I was doing some online reading and came across an interesting article.

I wasn’t 100% certain whether these “sales execs” were the equivalent of sales leaders, managers or reps (but the comment about “failing to meet their targets” leads me to believe it was the latter).

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Steve Marley, incentive plan, sales target, sales force motivation, Sales Goals

Revamp Your Recognition Programs to Motivate Top Sales Performers

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Wed, Jan, 28, 2015

Sales incentive programs are designed to motivate salespeople to excel. But how do you motivate your top performers when they’ve already exceeded their quota and have made plenty of incentive dollars? Even the best salespeople need an extra boost to maintain a high level of performance. According to ZS’s annual incentive practices research (IPR) study, the best way to provide this boost is to complement the sales incentive plan with an annual recognition program.

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Topics: sales compensation, sales, ZS Associates, Incentive compensation, ZS, incentive plan, Chad Albrecht, compensation, top sales performers, reward program

Four Lessons Sales Compensation Can Learn From New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by Steve Marley on Thu, Jan, 15, 2015

Happy New Year, sales compensation professionals! Did you make a resolution? Many people do, out of tradition, habit or peer pressure. Resolutions can be personal (“I’m going to start going to the gym” or “I’m going to quit smoking”) or related to work (“I’m going to become an expert in PowerPoint” or “I’m going to close 25% more deals”). It’s a safe bet your salespeople are making resolutions this year, too. But according to an article on Forbes.com, only 8% of people keep their resolutions. The article described four things done by people who succeed at keeping resolutions.

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Topics: sales compensation, sales, ZS Associates, Incentive compensation, ZS, Steve Marley, incentive plan, compensation

Is The Elf on the Shelf an Effective Incentive Plan for Kids?

Posted by Mike Martin on Thu, Dec, 18, 2014

Have you heard of Elf on the Shelf? My family has one. Becoming pretty popular, the 10-year-old tradition works like this: A family first buys an elf that will “appear” after Thanksgiving. Once named, the elf comes alive, but only at night. The elf does not move at all during the day, but as we tell our kids, he or she is always watching. At night, the elf flies back to the North Pole and reports to Santa on how the kids are behaving. The next morning, the elf returns to a new spot in the house to start the process all over again.

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Topics: ZS Associates, Incentive compensation, ZS, incentive plan, Mike Martin, compensation

Four Lessons on Team Sales Incentives From the Service Industry

Posted by Steve Marley on Fri, Dec, 12, 2014

I was having dinner with a colleague at a restaurant the other week, and I noticed something interesting that applies to sales incentives. Our server took our drink order and, shortly after, our food order. After she brought our food and drinks, and around halfway through the meal, another server stopped by our table and asked if she could get us anything else. After she left, my colleague and I both wondered what happened to our original server. Did her shift finish? Do we have a new server? Were two or more servers “sharing the floor”?

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Topics: sales compensation, ZS Associates, sales incentives, ZS, Steve Marley, sales people, service industry

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