The Carrot

Is Your Sales Force Engaged?

Posted by Mike Martin on Thu, Feb, 02, 2017

For a sales rep, engagement
is a summation of many different things. Oftentimes in sales compensation, we try to look at engagement through the lens of payout levels, but as I look more into what motivates sales repsand people in generalone common theme is that engagement requires more than money. It also requires a sense of purpose and belonging.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Sales Force, Mike Martin, engagement

The Top Five New Year’s Resolutions Translated for Sales Compensation Professionals

Posted by Mike Martin on Mon, Jan, 09, 2017

According to NBC News, the five most popular New Year’s resolutions in 2017 are:

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Mike Martin, sales comp, new year's resolutions

When Designing Non-Sales Objectives, Think About the Middle

Posted by Mike Martin on Mon, Dec, 05, 2016

For many companies, 2017 sales compensation planning is almost complete, and the focus is now shifting to setting quotas and defining non-sales objectives. Deciding on non-sales objectives can be hard when everyone has a different opinion on what should be expected of the sales force. One view that I often hear is: “Why should we put that objective in the sales compensation plan? The salespeople should already be doing that as part of their jobs.”

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Mike Martin, sales comp, average, middle, non-sales objectives

From Housework to Sales Comp: Four Tips for Making Operational Improvements

Posted by Steve Marley on Thu, Nov, 03, 2016

Over the years, I’ve helped a number of companies successfully improve their sales compensation operations. I don’t know whether that type of work has spilled into my personal life or if I’m successful in this work because of my natural thought processes. Whichever came first, I now consider many things in everyday life in operational terms.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Steve Marley, sales comp, Sales operations, operations, sales comp administration

Can Incentive Programs Find Inspiration in Sports Contracts?

Posted by Steve Marley on Mon, Oct, 24, 2016


October is great month to be a sports fan in America: Hockey and basketball seasons are starting, baseball playoffs are in full swing and the football season—both professional and college—is well under way. Although it’s more common before the season starts, this is also a time when we hear a lot about player contracts. Contracts in professional sports are typically negotiated on three main components: the length of the contract, the guaranteed portion of the contract, and the incentives that allow the athlete to earn more money. Contracting decisions are made with two pieces of information: historical performance data and expectations of future performance.

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Topics: incentives, sales compensation, ZS Associates, ZS, Steve Marley

When Bad Incentives Happen to Good People

Posted by Jason Huhn on Fri, Oct, 14, 2016

Many of us have heard about Wells Fargo’s phony account scandal by now in which the bank reportedly fired about 5,300 employees in its retail banking division over the past few years for creating more than two million fake accounts. These unauthorized ghost accounts were designed to inflate sales credit for Wells Fargo employees, helping them exceed quotas and earn more incentive dollars. It’s estimated that the fraudulent accounts generated about $2.6 million in fees at the expense of the bank’s customers, which the bank has agreed to repay.  

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, incentive plan, sales comp, ethics, Wells Fargo, Jason Huhn, compliancy

Rewards to Remember

Posted by Mike Martin on Wed, Oct, 12, 2016

Have you ever won a free trip, free concert tickets or free admission somewhere special? If so, I bet that you remember quite a bit about the experience. My mom and uncle still reminisce about their free childhood trips to Kennywood, a little amusement park outside of Pittsburgh, that my grandfather won in a work contest.

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Topics: incentives, ZS Associates, rewards, ZS, Mike Martin, sales comp, contests, ROI, cash

Four Tips for Measuring the Impact of Your Sales Contests

Posted by Mayank Gupta on Wed, Sep, 28, 2016

Many companies use contests to drive sales during lean periods, promote a product during competitor launches or expand their customer base. Investments in these contests range widely across companies and across industries. However, when it comes to measuring the impact of the contest on the business, not many companies have a structured approach. Most companies limit themselves to conducting a financial ROI analysis, rather than looking into other metrics that could suggest a positive impact even though the measured ROI may be negative. In the absence of such structured measurement data, the design of future contests would not be well-informed, leading to sub-optimal outcomes.

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Topics: ZS Associates, sales metrics, sales contests, ZS, SPIFF, Mayank Gupta

Four Steps to Consider if Your Sales Team Needs to be Paid Overtime

Posted by Brian Keating on Thu, Sep, 22, 2016

In a previous post, we reviewed the Department of Labor's new overtime rule and how it could affect inside sales teams. Yesterday, a bill was introduced in Congress (H.R. 6094) to require a delay of the effective date by six months, pushing it to June 1st, 2017. This will give organizations more time to adjust to the new rule, or for Congress to propose new changes to the rule. If your team may be affected and considered non-exempt, here are four considerations as you evaluate how to keep overtime costs down: 

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Topics: sales compensation, ZS Associates, ZS, Brian Keating, department of labor, overtime, overtime rule

How an Olympic Pool Demonstrates the Importance of Fairness

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Wed, Sep, 07, 2016

The Olympics are the pinnacle of sport. Stories of hard work, sacrifice, striving and achievement captivate us all.

Fairness is another key theme in sports, of course, and this year’s Russian doping story highlights the importance of fairness at the Olympics: Officials do their best to test everything and ensure that nobody has an unfair advantage due to illegal substances or other means. An individual’s effort and abilities should be the only elements that impact the final outcome.

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Topics: ZS Associates, fairness in sales compensation, ZS, Chad Albrecht, Olympics, fairness, swimming

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