Do Your Managers Understand the Sales Compensation Plan?

Posted by Mike Martin on Fri, Mar 06, 2015

At this point in the year, new sales compensation plans have been rolled out, but we are still a month or two from understanding how they are working. We do not have enough sales results yet to judge the incentive plans’ impact, so what can we do during this so-called downtime?


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It’s That Time of Year Again: NBA All-Star Weekend and President’s Club Announcements

Posted by Mike Martin on Thu, Feb 12, 2015

Valentine’s Day is this weekend.  But for sports fans, it’s also another exciting holiday: The 2015 NBA All-Star game is coming to New York City. The annual event is a chance for the league to recognize its top performers, much like president’s club sales incentive programs recognize top sales reps across industries. The similarities do not have to end there. Let’s look at some of the details of the NBA’s version of a president’s club to see if any lessons also apply to sales teams:


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Is The Elf on the Shelf an Effective Incentive Plan for Kids?

Posted by Mike Martin on Thu, Dec 18, 2014

Have you heard of Elf on the Shelf? My family has one. Becoming pretty popular, the 10-year-old tradition works like this: A family first buys an elf that will “appear” after Thanksgiving. Once named, the elf comes alive, but only at night. The elf does not move at all during the day, but as we tell our kids, he or she is always watching. At night, the elf flies back to the North Pole and reports to Santa on how the kids are behaving. The next morning, the elf returns to a new spot in the house to start the process all over again.


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What can Sales Compensation learn from the NFL fining Marshawn Lynch?

Posted by Mike Martin on Wed, Dec 03, 2014

Marshawn Lynch is a star running back for the Seattle Seahawks who was recently in the news due to getting fined $100,000 for refusing to speak to the media after some football games in November. As expected, reactions to the fine were mixed. While Marshawn and his teammates did not think it was fair, the NFL supported the fine by referencing his contractual requirement to be available to the media. 


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Would Sales leaders like MBOs more if we changed the name?

Posted by Mike Martin on Tue, Nov 18, 2014

A couple times on this ZS blog I have written about Management by Objectives (MBOs), such as how to improve them by focusing on quality over quantity and using the IMPACT framework to create more impactful objectives.  However, I still find that the name “MBO” carries a lot of baggage.


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