Sales Bonuses Are Supposed to Motivate, So Don’t Waste Them on Easy Targets

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Fri, Sep 29, 2017

Most companies pay salespeople a combination of a salary, a commission, and a bonus for hitting a quota, putting a portion of their pay at risk. The belief is that at-risk pay motivates salespeople to work hard and direct effort towards sales activities that encourage achievement of sales goals.


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Are Sales Incentives Becoming Obsolete?

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Mon, Aug 07, 2017

To motivate, manage and reward B-to-B salespeople, many companies use sales incentive plans that link large commissions or bonuses to individual results metrics, such as territory quota achievement. As digital channels continue to reduce and redefine salespeople’s role in customer buying, these traditional sales incentive plans are becoming less effective at driving sales outcomes.


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Ineffective Sales Leaders Can Cause Lasting Damage

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Mon, Jan 30, 2017


Success in a sales force requires having strong talent up and down the organization. A weak salesperson will weaken a sales territory, a bad sales manager will damage their team and dampen results in their region, and a poor sales leader will eventually ruin the entire sales force. For even the most seasoned among us, it can be difficult to recognize the signs of a poor sales leader and the possible damage the person can do—especially when they appear to do some good early on.


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Driving Sales Success This Quarter, This Year, And Beyond

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Mon, Dec 05, 2016


Most sales forces focus a good deal of their attention on the short term—on bringing in today’s sales or making this quarter’s numbers. It’s understandable: The sales team wants to be successful. Quarterly goal attainment is a visible measure of success, and often a determinant of incentive pay. Analysts and investors track company performance against quarterly goals, so company executives push the sales team to deliver on the company’s promise to the investment community. Sales leaders divide the national sales goal among sales managers, who allocate their portion of the goal to their salespeople.


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Wells Fargo and the Slippery Slope of Sales Incentives

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Fri, Sep 23, 2016


In early September, Wells Fargo agreed to pay a $185 million fine and return $5 million in fees wrongly charged to customers. The settlement stems from the bank’s employees allegedly opening more than two million bank and credit card accounts without customers’ permission. The CEO of Wells Fargo, John Stumpf, apologized in front of a congressional panel Tuesday, saying in a statement, “I accept full responsibility for all unethical sales practices.”


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