The Carrot

Show Them It’s Worth It: How to Measure Sales Compensation ROI

Posted by Jason Huhn on Fri, Jul 28, 2017

With companies spending up to 10% of their revenue or more on sales compensation, CEOs are bound to ask their sales compensation leaders to demonstrate a sufficient return on investment, and when it happens to you, you better have an answer. A boost in sales revenue compared to the dollars spent is the most common measurement of sales comp ROI, but should that be the only one?  

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Topics: sales, motivation, sales force effectiveness, Incentive compensation, sales comp, sales force motivation, measure success, revenue growth, Measurement, sales comp plan, sales comp administration, measure ROI

Is Sales Compensation All About Showing Them the Money?

Posted by Marlon Tang on Wed, Jul 26, 2017

"Show me the money!” Many are familiar with that memorable line from the movie Jerry Maguire. But really, how effective is “showing them the money” with respect to sales comp design? Do large bonuses, commissions and monetary rewards make as much of an impact on behavior as we believe they do?  

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Topics: sales effectiveness, motivation, Incentive plan design, Incentive compensation, Sales Bonus, sales comp, fairness, sales comp plan

Incenting Inside Sales

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Thu, Jul 13, 2017

In decades past, a salesperson was a salesperson. The role was responsible for finding prospects, turning them into customers and selling on an ongoing basis as they manage accounts. But that model is on the decline as companies find it ineffective for large accounts and too expensive for small accounts.

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Topics: incentives, sales, strategic account management, MBO, sales pay mix, Inside Sales, incentive plan, sales comp, sales commission, The Carrot, sales comp plan, pay level, quota bonus

Do Optimal Sales Compensation Plans Differ By Generation?

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Tue, Jun 13, 2017

Much has been said about generational differences, and the starkest contrasts have been drawn between baby boomers and millennials, who represent the two ends of the workforce age spectrum. But how can we know whether these differences are true differences that will carry into the future, or whether they’re simply due to their age? After all, baby boomers—now stereotyped as individualistic and work-centric—were once known as the “hippie” generation that traveled en masse to Woodstock to commune with hundreds of thousands of like-minded people.

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, sales incentive plan, sales incentives, ZS, Chad Albrecht, sales comp, millennials, generations, baby boomers, multigenerational sales force

Quotas and Territories: Don’t Tackle Incentives Without Them

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Tue, May 23, 2017

This article was originally published in World at Work’s Sales Force Focus e-newsletter.

The sales comp plan did it.

In the world where sales targets are missed, the sales comp plan is one of the usual suspects—or the assumed culprit.

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Topics: incentives, sales, ZS Associates, Incentive compensation, quotas, ZS, Chad Albrecht, sales comp, sales comp plan, Sales Force Focus, territories, World at Work

Sales Comp Checklist? Check.

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Wed, Apr 19, 2017


Atul Gawande is a famous surgeon, but he isn’t famous for his medical prowess. Rather, he’s famous for fundamentally changing how surgery is done: with a checklist.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Chad Albrecht, sales comp, sales comp administration, checklists, Atul Gawande

Will Uber Influence How You Design Incentive Plans?

Posted by Steve Marley on Wed, Apr 05, 2017


Uber has had a rough time in the news recently—and much of it is for good reason, apparently. The New York Times published an article on Sunday, April 2, that focused on how Uber was trying to motivate its drivers to work longer hours, during peak times or in areas where demand was exceeding supply. The ways in which Uber is trying to accomplish these goals are based, in many ways, on the principles of behavioral economics. ZS has done a lot of work in this space, and we’ve written about the ways that behavioral economics can be used to shape, influence and understand the actions of the sales force.

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Topics: ZS Associates, behavioral economics, ZS, Steve Marley, Uber, incentive plans, New York Times

Are Your Payouts Differentiated Enough?

Posted by Mike Martin on Wed, Mar 29, 2017


As you know, in sales compensation, performance drives bonus payout. It sounds simple, but there can be occasional challenges and disconnects that can hurt talent retention and sales force motivation. For example, it could be that, because of forecast uncertainty, the whole sales force wins or loses, reducing individual bonus differentiation. Maybe you have team selling situations that complicate how to differentiate bonus payouts from one team member to another, or your MBO ratings have little differentiation, which leads to little payout differentiation. Or perhaps your managers are all paid the same.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Mike Martin, Differentiation, payouts, WorldatWork

A Generational Look at Sales Compensation

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Mon, Mar 13, 2017


We hear (or observe) generational stereotypes all of the time: Baby boomers work nonstop, or even live to work. Millennials, on the other end of the working-age spectrum, are labeled as entitled and work to live.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Chad Albrecht, sales comp, millennials, generation X, baby boomers, multigenerational sales force

Adidas Is Giving Away an Island. Should You?

Posted by Mike Martin on Tue, Mar 07, 2017


Last week, Adidas announced that it will give away an island to any NFL prospect who can set a new record for the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine—as long as the contestant is wearing a specific type of Adidas shoe when he does it.

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Topics: ZS Associates, sales contests, rewards, ZS, Mike Martin, sales comp, giveaways, NFL, Adidas

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