How Employee Income Incentives Promote Accountability
Employees in sales positions need great incentives! Sometimes that means money; sometimes it’s time off; sometimes it’s an award system for gaining credentials or increased learning. The key element here is to design an opportunity for your team members to have control over what they earn – reward them!
One of my clients has a salary plus bonus program for his sales team. When the employee is on-boarded, this base plus bonus is available on day one. However, when the employee reaches a certain level of income, he has the choice to stay where he is or to transition to a commission-only program, which provides an even more lucrative income. This second option is ideal for someone who wants full control of his income earnings! It’s brilliant.
Many ways exist to reward employees through income.
And I always recommend having conversations about pay and income separate from performance reviews! (Or at least designing the income section of the conversation as a separate entity.)
Money motivates and it helps people to tie value to their work. And in my experience working with sales teams, nothing is more powerful than an unlimited income potential!
Your sales professionals need to know how to make money and top producers will constantly be looking for more efficient ways to get the job done.
Give your sales team assistance…
An added tip: Help your front-line sales team to hire an administrative assistant so that more of their time can be spent in the sales process, and provide ongoing training to increase their productivity. It will make the entire process more successful and fun for everyone.
Some people just love to sell. They love the challenge of uncovering the needs of a client and creatively crafting solutions to fill those needs. And if it’s an excellent product, it’s a win-win for both the salesperson and the customer, right?
In my work as a sales recruiter, I am fascinated to find so many people (who are just like me) and have absolutely no problem being paid commission only. But here is where we lose the good candidates: When the product isn’t excellent, when the salesperson doesn’t believe in the product, and when there is a limit on how much the salesperson can make, it doesn’t last. All of those elements have to be there in order for paid commission to work.
I helped one of my clients to hire a front-line sales producer recently. In one of the final interviews the candidate said to me, “Theresa, I’d really like to take this job. But I need to make at least $60,000 this year to accept the position just to pay my bills! How can I achieve this goal and possibly make more?”
I said, “Joe, ask the Agent to show you how you can do that. There’s no limit on what you can earn if you aren’t afraid to get in there, pick up the phone, and fill up your appointment book. Figure out how you can do it, and go for it.”
Joe accepted the job. And it’s 100% on him to produce the results. The work environment has systems and processes in place to allow him to do it if he is truly committed, and we expect great results. He has a minimum quota that he must keep just to keep his job, and beyond that, it’s on him as to how much he wants to make.
Who has control of his or her income now?
It’s a partnership between employee and employer, and ultimately up to the employee to do whatever he or she can to achieve results.
Final thoughts on linking rewards to performance.
Having a sense of control and ownership in our work and knowing our performance directly impacts our rewards, monetarily and intrinsically, is a powerful way to establish a culture of accountability and excellence. However, it doesn’t work for those who enjoy passively showing up for work and punching a clock. If you’ve got “clock-punchers” whom you wish to have crank it up a notch, you might consider re-evaluating your performance measurement tools.