Sales Incentives: Motivate Your Core Performers to Become Star Performers
Sales Incentives: By Thomas Steenburgh and Michael Ahearne | August 3, 2012
No sales force consists entirely of stars; sales staffs are usually made up mainly of solid performers, with smaller groups of laggards and rainmakers. Though most compensation plans approach these three groups as if they were the same, research shows that each is motivated by something different.
As the largest cadre, core performers typically represent the greatest opportunity, but they’re often ignored by incentive plans. At the same time, they’re the group most likely to move the needle — if they’re given the proper incentives.
Why does this valuable group tend to be off the radar screen? One reason is that sales managers don’t identify with them. At many companies the managers are former rainmakers, so they pay the current rainmakers an undue amount of attention. As a consequence, core performers are often passed over for promotion and neglected at annual sales meetings. But this is not in the best interest of the company. Core performers usually represent the largest part of the sales force, and companies cannot make their numbers if they’re not in the game. Here are some proven strategies for keeping them there.
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