Sales compensation isn't all fun and games - unless it is

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The sales environment is one that's often characterized as relentless, dog-eat-dog and emotionally taxing. Despite that being the inherent nature of the sales process, it's hardly a beneficial one for employees to work in. That's why sales management often turns to performance-based incentive programs to bring some levity to the atmosphere and have team members still know they're working toward something rewarding through it all. Compensation programs also allow for businesses to get a little creative; investing in commission software to streamline compensation processes can help firms find the time to get in gear for game time. Floating bill One of the games that the Houston Chronicle recommends for boosting sales morale and performance is the floating $10 - or $5, or $20, or whatever denomination - bill. The game works like this: Management supplies the money and the first team member to sell a designated item earns possession of the money. But the next person to sell two items then gains ownership; the next to sell three gets to hold the money, and so on and so forth. Tic-tac-toe A staple of every childhood, tic-tac-toe can actually be applied in the sales initiative as a game that can boost motivation, as well as help the company refine its approach. Similar to sales bingo, the first step is drawing up a tic-tac-toe board with each space occupied by a sales menu item. When a team member makes a sale on a specific item, he or she marks that box with an "X" or "O" and upon getting a tic-tac-toe, earns a small prize and is entered into a competition to win a grand prize. Since the game is often finished easily, the more tic-tac-toes, the greater an employee's chance at winning the big one. A business can profit from this strategy by placing low-selling items, or products it wishes to push, in the center square: That way, sales members will make that item their priority in the game and work toward the company's goal.

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