The Coaching Effect Blog

Aligning Sales Incentive Programs with Objectives and Team Structure

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

August 11, 2010

Aligning Sales Incentive Programs with Objectives and Team Structure

This guest article is written by EcSELL Institute Pillar Partner  Awards Network.

Increases Sales Results with Team Sales Incentive Programs

“Although individual performance measures work best for some organizations,” Sheila McCarthy and Shalin Sharma recommend in an article featured on, “others can benefit from team-based plans.” The article titled, “Are Team-Based Incentive Measures Right for Your Sales Organization?” is a great reference for organizations with sales incentive programs. If you have the time, the full article is a great reference for companies deciding if their sales incentive program should include individual goals, team goals or a mixture of both.

Support a more collaborative environment

Often in sales organizations, a sale or order is the direct result of many different people working together to attract new business, sell a product or service and then retain customers or clients. The selling process is dependent on the efforts many people and

by rewarding these team efforts as part of a sales incentive program, an organization can foster a collaborative environment that is more conducive to teamwork.

Develop goals that are aligned with business objectives

Sales incentive programs often include goals that include cross-selling, customer service and revenue-based metrics.

Depending on the nature of your company and its objectives and values, the goals of the sales incentive program shou

ld be devised to motivate team members to achieve these exact objectives and abide by these values. As the sales organization reaches its goals, the sales incentive program metrics should also evolve.

Select the right mix of individual and team sales rewards

McCarthy and Sharma advocate using no more than 30% of the total sales incentive program be targeted towards team-based measures for companies introducing team-bpercent resized 600ased incentives for the first time. By starting off with 70% of sales incentives targeted towards individuals, top performing sales people are still being recognized and rewarded consistently while the company subtly starts fostering a teamwork environment. “As the organization becomes more comfortable with team-based measures,” McCarthy and Sharma suggest, “up to 50% [of program goals should be] based on team results…” By selecting the right mix of individual and team-based sales incentives, top performers can still receive much deserved recognition while the company rewards the value other team members bring to the selling process.

By integrating team-based sales incentives, sales organizations can effectively increase sales as all of the contributors of the selling process are recognized and rewarded. Targeting individual and team-based metrics engages your workforce to reach goals so your company can achieve bottom line results.

Sales incentive programs demand personal accountability by everyone on the team.  Download a complimentary copy of the research document "Creating A Sales Culture of Personal Accountablity" from EcSELL Institute's Resource Library.

We will be drilling into the subject of Accountability Coaching during our fall Sales Leadership and Coaching Strategies Summit on October 14-15 in Memphis, TN.  Summit AGENDA

Accountability Coaching is the act of empowering sales people to perform to their potential, demonstrate initiative, and act responsibly. It results in cross-functional teams that are aligned, communicating effectively, and constantly improving.  At the Summit your will learn:

- The techniques for successfully integrating your goals and expectations into the fabric of your sales culture.

- Discover how to recognize and reward success and coach for improvement.

- Develop methodologies for holding you and your team accountable for skill development and processes that lead to increased sales team performance

- Understand that accountability is not synonymous with effectiveness, yet emotionally intelligent coaches find success being "effectively accountable".

Come to the Summit to grow your skills and knowledge in this critical area of sales management.

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