The cardinal rule in compensation is, "Tie your compensation to your expectations", and every company violates that rule. Including mine! Here are some additional ideas.

Are you thinking about your compensation and incentive plans for 2012?


It's that time of year. Holiday parties, hanging the mistletoe, shopping for gifts and revisiting our compensation programs are all on the calendar. Obviously I am enmeshed in the process with clients as we redesign both the compensation and the incentive programs that will do more than anything else to direct the activities of their salespeople.


There are more options now than ever. As you consider what changes you will make next year, here are some ideas to consider.


Randy Skarlupka is one of the executives at Miller Felpax.


Lessons From Randy


When developing any recognition program, consider what it is doing to stimulate new ideas and actions, not just doing more of the same. According to Randy, the willingness to make changes must begin at the top of the organization - otherwise it will be a futile effort.


Accomplishment and Appreciation need to be two sides of the same coin. Let people know you appreciate what they have accomplished. Recognition works well for salespeople but, believe it or not, some people are shy about being singled out. Everyone appreciates being appreciated.


Reward the Ancillary as well as the Essential. When a salesperson succeeds in closing a major sale, there may have been several other people who were instrumental in making it happen. Make sure they are recognized as well.


There is an Old Testament story about a king taking his army into battle. He wanted the men to travel swiftly so he had them leave behind anything other than the essentials they would need to fight. The king assigned a few men to stay behind and guard the gear. When the warriors returned from the battle, they divided the spoils and the king insisted that the ones who stayed behind receive an equal share. There is an important lesson there.


Chuck Reaves, CSP, CPAE, CSO


Chuck Reaves CSP, CPAE is the founder of Twenty-One Associates, Inc., an Atlanta-based sales training and consulting company.

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