Why Hilcorp’s $100K Bonus Could Make for an Ineffective Sales Incentive Plan

Posted by Steve Marley on Mon, Dec 21, 2015

The other week I received a lottery card as a gift. I had to scratch off two sections and, if I had any matching numbers across sections, I would win the listed price. I could win anywhere from $2 to $10,000, and if I found a 5x multiplier, the maximum prize was $50,000. Not surprisingly, I didn’t win anything.


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Why Promoting That Great Rep to Manager May Be a Mistake

Posted by Steve Marley on Thu, Oct 15, 2015

The NHL hockey season is starting and, as a native Canadian living in Chicago (a hockey hotbed and the home of the current Stanley Cup champions, respectively), I believe—as many do—that the greatest hockey player ever was Wayne Gretzky. However, as a head coach of the Arizona Coyotes, Gretzky’s record was a modest 143 wins, 161 losses and 24 ties, for a 47.3% winning percentage. And Gretzky is not alone in this respect: many superstar athletes go on to coach teams, and the results are mixed. Clearly, excelling in the performance of a chosen sport does not mean one will excel in the coaching of that same sport. Of course, some former players do make successful coaches, and some “career” coaches are not successful, so there is no set formula for success.


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What if James Harrison Was Your VP of Sales?

Posted by Steve Marley on Fri, Aug 21, 2015

I read an article recently that quoted James Harrison, an outside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, an American football team in the NFL. Linebacker is a central defensive position responsible for hitting and tackling a wide variety of the offense’s players.Harrison is well known in the league and has accrued around $150,000 in fines over the past five years for hits that were deemed late or unnecessary. Whether you think Harrison is “aggressive” or “dirty,” at his prime he was a feared defender. He is an intimidating man. 


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Three Tips to Help You Build a Sales Contest for Maximum Impact

Posted by Steve Marley on Fri, Jul 24, 2015

Mike Ahearne and Thomas Steenburgh recently published an article that described techniques to help maximize organizational sales by moving the largest group of sales people – the “Core Performers” – to higher levels of performance.


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How Compensation Conferences Can Improve Your Sales Compensation Program

Posted by Steve Marley on Tue, May 12, 2015

Late May is conference time for many sales compensation organizations and sales performance management software companies. At least six occur in a two-week period! If you are lucky, a vendor may sponsor your attendance or provide a free pass. Oftentimes, discounted registration fees are available. Even if your cost is discounted, attending a conference usually requires travel costs and the opportunity costs of time away from your daily tasks. So, what benefits will you receive by attending one (or more) of the upcoming conferences?


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