Sales Incentives: When Was the Last Time You Updated Your Sales Incentive Plan?

Sales Incentives

There’s no doubting that we live in a brave new digital world where technology has taken over practically every part of our lives. Of course, this has had a significant impact on how we sell products and services, as well as how we compensate and reward our salespeople. In today’s virtual world, the conventional sales incentives formulas aren’t going to cut it. If you’re still on an out-of-date plan, it’s time to upgrade. But where should we begin?

Sales calls are no longer as effective as they once were. For starters, because to the availability of digital and in-person platforms, salespeople are interacting with clients who are armed with a mountain of past knowledge. Today’s salespeople are now dealing with larger groups of people at customer organisations to influence, as well as being asked to market new types of complex, digital items. As a result, the average purchase cycle is longer, making it more difficult to predict client demand and develop targets based on it.

Many firms have made significant changes to accomplish growth in this changing and demanding selling environment, such as the establishment of new digital channels, the addition of specialised positions, and the adoption of team-based selling. However, there is another critical transition that is sometimes missed. To fully address today’s difficulties, new, smart incentive models must be developed that provide clear motivation for how a salesforce may continue to sell effectively.

Sales Incentive Models for Today

McKinsey & Company has published an article on the topic of outmoded sales incentive structures. In the online and digital environment, salesmen face an extraordinary array of new obstacles, according to the report. According to McKinsey, businesses should create new, smart sales incentives structures that give obvious motivation for salespeople to continue to sell effectively in the digital age.

To address today’s most pressing concerns, McKinsey offers the following basic blocks:

  1. Role-Specific Incentives

Companies will want professional sellers who can assist with difficult sales, as well as solution architects who can give technical understanding for digital products. Customer-care professionals and advisory salesmen are other professions to consider, as they can advise customers on what types of solutions to buy before they buy.

The organisation should next determine the intended goals and behaviours for each function, and use various compensation schemes to incentivize people. A salary plus a bonus plan based on overall team performance and/or feedback from frontline sales on how helpful someone has been in the sales process could be an example of such pay. brave new digital world

  1. Split incentives

When there are multiple salesmen involved in a negotiation, it’s vital that everyone collaborates in the most effective and conflict-free way possible. This begins with sales managers establishing explicit rules of engagement that specify which roles will collaborate on which deals, how teaming will be coordinated, and how each employee will be acknowledged for their contributions. There should also be a governance structure in place for evaluating team members’ contributions and resolving possible credit disputes.

  1. Pre-Sales Incentives

Companies can reward interim progress on long deals by enabling reps to collect commissions before the sale closes, which can help salespeople stay motivated over protracted sales cycles. Simultaneously, by proposing a disproportionately big compensation upon the deal’s final closing, continuing effort might be rewarded.

  1. Omni Channel Incentives

One strategy is to reward sales people or channel partners for their participation in online sales and credit them for doing what digital technologies can’t: being consultative and persuasive in the early stages of the buying process.

  1. Advanced analytics-based target setting

One strategy is to reward sales people or channel partners for their participation in online sales and credit them for doing what digital technologies can’t: being consultative and persuasive in the early stages of the buying process.


Sales incentive plans have been used to motivate and reward sales teams’ good performance since the dawn of time. Successful strategies respond to a salesperson’s individual strengths and weaknesses, encourage sales team collaboration, and compliment the unique characteristics of a deal.

Modern sales processes are more complex than they’ve ever been, and sales incentive systems must evolve to keep up. Above all, motivating your sales force entails making them feel valued and adequately compensated. This also aids in the retention of employees.

However, your sales incentives program will need to be ultra-flexible and adaptable now more than ever. You’ll need a technological platform that can adapt to your ever-changing requirements and growth needs as sales compensation models get more complicated.

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