Should First-line Sales Managers Manage People—or the Business?

Posted by Mike Martin on Mon, Sep 23, 2013

All companies agree that first-line sales managers play a critical role. They are the sales reps’ strongest connection to the home office and set the precedent for how their team will perform.

First-line managers are responsible for both leading their team and growing sales in their geography or accounts. Companies differ, however, on which of the two responsibilities is the highest priority—and this, in turn, impacts sales compensation design.


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$5 Now or $10 Later? 10 Ways to Boost Compensation’s Impact

Posted by Justin Lane on Mon, Jul 22, 2013

Have you ever heard of hyperbolic discounting? It’s the concept that people are willing to take smaller rewards sooner, rather than larger rewards later. For example, ask yourself the question, "Would you rather have $5 today or $10 in a month?" If you are like most people, you will take the $5 now—a response that has huge implications for compensation administration.


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Three Ways to Offset the Loss Leader Maneuver for Gaming Comp Plans

Posted by Jonathan Ezer on Tue, Mar 19, 2013

Like supermarkets selling milk or eggs below cost, some salespeople try to "get customers in the door" by exploiting loss leaders. The strategy is one of the ways sales reps can game their comp plans, as discussed in my previous blog post and identified in recent interviews ZS conducted with sales compensation analysts.


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One Simple Answer to the Top Incentive Issue

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Fri, Feb 15, 2013

What are the six most common sales incentive issues faced by professionals? We’ll reveal them all in an upcoming webinar on Feb. 27.

In this post, we hit on one issue that annually nears the top of the list: the need to simplify your incentive plans. 


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The Games (Sales)People Play to Increase Commissions

Posted by Jonathan Ezer on Wed, Jan 23, 2013

We recently interviewed several sales compensation analysts across numerous industries, to gather stories of how sales reps cunningly find loopholes in their compensation plans and pull in a few extra dollars.

According to one analyst in the tech sector, when the economy is going well, sales reps sell, but when business is bad, sales reps scheme. According to the analyst, when sales are slow, sales reps spend half of their time selling and the other half gaming: analyzing incentive plans and looking for creative ways to maximize their payouts without regard to the good of their company.


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