The Coaching Effect Blog

Research Focus: Compensation, Recognition & Rewards

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

November 3, 2009

Each month, the EcSELL Institute Research & Publications Team focuses on one of the 6 Pillars of Sales Managment. You'll see a concentrated effort to bring our sales management professionals resources and information related to each of them. This time around, we're focusing on Sales Compensation, Recognition & Rewards.

At EcSELL Institute, we believe sales compensation is one of the drivers of sales productivity. Many research studies have demonstrated the impact that a well-designed compensation and rewards program can have on the productivity of workers, including sales professionals.

Thinking about designing a compensation program reminds me of Kimberly Rath's, President of TalentPlus, presentation at the EcSELL Institute Sales Management Summit at San Francisco, California. Kimberly challenged the sales managers to think about the elements of reward/compensation that "satisfy" sales reps, or "motivate" sales reps. 

She drew an important distinction between these two characterisics. That which "satisfies" a sales rep will get them through your doors, get them to work, and do just the basics needed to do the job.That which "motivates" a sales rep is what will strengthen their resolve to achive, do more. Motivating factors are what keep us engaged, make us want to work harder, longer, and more often. 

Here are the satisfying and motivating factors our sales managers came up with at the Summit.



Satisfying Factors

You probably have already observed that money and benefits are percieved as "baseline" compensation. In other words, workers EXPECT benefits, they EXPECT money for work. This is why they are basic job interview questions.

Notice that money fits right in the middle of what motivates and satisfies. Why? According to Kimberly's insights, base salaries are an expectation, so this money is seen by workers as a satisfying factor. As you well know, money can also be extremely motivating. The opportunity to earn "extra" monetary compensation is a basic motivating factor for most sales reps, and sales compensation plans. 

Motivating Factors

Management plays a key role in motivating sales people. Sales managers at the Summit came up with a list that included "Time, Relationships, Freedom, and Access to Resources" among others.  The common thread seems to be in the relationship between the leader and the sales rep. 

Please share your thoughts on how relationships impact sales!

Click here to download information about all EcSEL Institute Pillars. 

Topics: compensation recognition rewards, Engagement, Leadership & Management, EcSELL Institute, Pillars, Sales Management, sales management skills, collaboration, Wisdom, sales leadership conference, Sales mgt summit

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