How to Use Incentive Compensation and Not Screw Up your Sales Team

Wrecking the top runners of your organization can actually cost you more than benefitting. Only a truly effective incentive compensation plan keeps a balance between the organizational goals and needs of the workforce.

Indeed, the best incentive compensation plan design reflects in its rewards, transparency, simple and smooth processes that remodel sales operations from beginning till the end.

Hallmarks of Incentive Compensation Plan

If you ever run out of ways to encourage your employees to perform their best, here are a few ways to make sure they engage and stay motivated to meet new goals:

Trust and Transparency

It is essential for businesses to lay down the objectives of the incentive compensation program and how to achieve them. This practice will make sales employees clear as to what is expected of them and rewards and recognition they can receive for their individual contributions.

Pay According to the Worth

If you want your employees to change their behavior patterns or work with more diligence, then it becomes even more important to keep the weight of the bonus program high. Employees will be able to determine if the reward is worth changing their work approach or not. So, bring good to the employee table so they feel encouraged to achieve their performance goals.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Make sure you keep the incentive compensation program flexible so if the market gets hit, the business strategy can change. To capture such opportunities right, you need to plan for the upcoming changes.

If sales leaders can easily make modifications to the compensation plan design and drive selling behaviors towards accomplishing new objectives, the organization eventually becomes flexible to stay competitive, despite the challenges.

Keep it Simple

Companies need to communicate the compensation plan clearly to the sales employees. Sales leaders need to explain the ‘why’ behind every sale goal and then track, compare, and adjust the plan if the need arises.

It might be a little daunting for organizational leaders to spend their time on this important activity. However, it can be easily achieved by offloading regular operational tasks. This gives time to focus on future strategies and directing the workforce in the right direction.

Compensate for Every Sale

When sales representatives make a sale that adds to the profit of the organization significantly, compensate them. Compensating only on the sales of specific products and not others demotivate the workforce and force them to leave the organization.

Only credible sale companies pay high commissions on sales that produce higher profits despite the type of product. Rewarding employees for every sale benefits the corporation and syncs them with your business goals.

Give Credits to the Team

Taking the credit of your sales personnel is the quickest way to frustrate them. Productive and hard-working sales representatives get motivated by recognition. So, as a leader, it is your utmost responsibility to celebrate their small to big achievements in front of the top-level executives and at meetings as well.

Focus on Results

Excellent sales personnel work better in an environment when their performance is assessed on the basis of measurable business goals. Because at the end of the day, results matter, not the effort of physical time spent on the work chair.

Thus, refrain from micromanaging your sales team as this can really put them off to perform. Set out clear expectations and keep evaluating their performance-focused on final outcomes.

Keep them Motivated

Excellent sales workforce value integrity, more than anything else. They strongly believe that professionalism, passion for work, trustworthiness, and product knowledge are what clients value most about them.

Sales representatives stay a lot motivated when they believe in their ability to match customers with a perfectly apt solution. Lying to your customers will make them lose trust in your organization. Humans, after all, run on faith and honesty.

Productive Meetings

Before you invite the sales team to a meeting, think about whether or not it’s essential for them to attend it. If it’s not, don’t let them waste their precious time when they can pitch the prospects.

The best thing that you can do is to provide the maximum information in a minimum time. So, start your meeting with an agenda and stick to it to make the meetings more productive.


Not appreciating and recognizing the efforts of your sales team could be detrimental to the corporate growth of your business. Instead of just relying on motivating the employees to deliver desired work, companies need to take a closer look at the incentive compensation plan design keeping both the reps and business goals in mind.

Creating a powerful and scalable compensation program can transform the sales department which improves business operations, too. Thus, the kind of investment that you make in your sales team is worth every strategic effort and penny that you spend.


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