Has Key Account Selling in Financial Services Reached the Tipping Point When It Comes to Sales Comp?

Posted by Jason Brown on Tue, Jan 15, 2019

This blog post was originally published on ZS's financial services blog, The Exchange.

Recently, I was talking with a financial services leader about how his company’s large account sales process has evolved over the years. Among other things, his company sells investment and financial service offerings, such as U.S.-based 401(k) record-keeping, to very large companies where the buyer might be making a decision on behalf of tens of thousands of employees.


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Research Review: Using Non-Cash Incentives for Short-Term SPIFFs and Contests

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Mon, Aug 06, 2018

This blog post is the first in a three-part series analyzing important research in sales compensation.

In 2012, Michael Ahearne and Thomas Steenburgh published the results of several sales compensation research studies in the July issue of Harvard Business Review. Their article was the most comprehensive of our time, revealing research on caps, interim sales bonuses, overachievement commissions and many other plan features.


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Is Your Complex Incentives Plan Holding You Back?

Posted by Richard Smith on Mon, Jul 09, 2018

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” -Confucius

The same can be said for sales compensation. Incentive compensation plans are often far too complex. This complexity is usually the result of trying to make the plan fair or trying to please every stakeholder. In turn, this complexity makes these plans difficult to understand. Salespeople are busy. They spend most of their day visiting customers, and that’s what we want them to be doing. We also want that time with customers to be focused on the things that leadership believes will improve their performance and the company’s performance.


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How to Motivate Your Sales Force in the New Year

Posted by Steve Marley on Wed, Jan 24, 2018


As we turn the page to a new year, companies typically begin rolling out their new incentive plans. The hope is that we’ve tweaked and updated the plans to refocus efforts and reenergize our sales forces. But are our salespeople motivated? Are they excited about their work? And if not, what would make them more enthusiastic in 2018? 


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A Practical Guide to Sales Compensation After Natural Disasters

Posted by Ekaterina Mamyshev on Tue, Sep 26, 2017

Natural disaster events, such as the recent hurricanes affecting the Gulf Coast and Southeast, have a profound impact and cost on people’s lives in those regions. The recovery efforts will undoubtedly take months, if not longer, as people pick back up and begin rebuilding their lives. In many cases, natural disasters will impact jobs in both direct ways, such as tourism, and indirect ways, such as customer impact for salespeople. While it may not be top of mind in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane or other natural disaster, questions soon surface about how to treat salespeople impacted by such events.


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