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Eliciting the best performances out of employees in a competitive workforce is the hope of every business owner, CFO and supervisor. Using a commission plan can be the most effective way to achieve this result by keeping employees motivated and invested in the company’s success. Many companies now turn to commission software, which can make finding a delicate balance in an employee payment program much easier. Below are three things to consider when developing a compensation program. Consider commission When considering commission plans, it is important to remember that good employees are hard to come by. As business owner Jay Goltz writes for The New York Times, compensation programs based entirely off commission might attract some risk-taking go-getters, but it might also drive away effective salespeople who are looking for stable work. Commission is about motivation, not working out of fear. A more reasonable plan includes base pay plus commission, which attracts effective candidates who will still strive to meet their goals to bring in lucrative commissions. Communicate with employees In a sales-driven environment based on commission or bonuses, communication is key. Communicating how much money a sales rep will earn by closing on an account is important to implementing an effective compensation plan. Emedia Vitals explains that clear communication and hard dollar amounts serve as an instant motivator to keep going with difficult accounts. When an employee feels ready to give up on an account out of frustration, the clear promise of a commission will help them keep going. Making it SPIFFy Sales Promotion Incentive Funds (SPIFF) are a great way to motive employees to do their best work. SPIFFs are limited-time offers for employees to reap extra benefits. An example of this would be rewarding an employee $500 for being the first to sign a client to buy a new product. Budgeting extra money for these types of incentive programs can help pull an office out of a sales slump and keep employees on their toes.

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Ballast Point Ventures

Ballast Point Ventures is a later-stage venture capital fund established to provide expansion capital for rapidly growing, privately owned companies in diverse industries, with a particular emphasis on companies located in Florida, the Southeast, and Texas. The BPV partners have more than 70 years of combined experience investing in and building high-growth companies in a number of industries, including healthcare, business services, communications, technology, financial services, and consumer goods. BPV has $200 million under management and seeks to make equity investments ranging from $3 million to $10 million.

Harbert Management Corporation

Harbert Management Corporation seeks to generate superior returns for their investors by identifying and investing in the most promising early growth stage companies in the Southeastern U.S. HMC seeks to capitalize on what it believes are compelling regional dynamics, such as a strong and fast-growing economy, significant research and development activities, and an established entrepreneurial community. The HMC team combines substantial investment, advisory, and operating experience with capital and networking contacts to support great entrepreneurial teams in successfully executing their growth plans. With offices in Birmingham, Alabama; Richmond, Virginia; and Gainesville, Florida, it’s well positioned to partner with entrepreneurs throughout the Southeast.

KBH Ventures

KBH Ventures was an early investor in Iconixx Software. KBH's investment philosophy plays a significant role in the firm's successful track record. KBH believes in running businesses to be cashflow positive and profitable every month. Startups and companies in a startup mode, such as one that has been purchased in distress, are expected to generate revenue within the first six months and reach profitability within the first 12 to 18 months. KBH also only invests in or acquires companies that are in the startup phase or have less than $20 million in revenues. KBH targets technology companies that offer business-to-business services.

S3 Ventures

S3 Ventures is an early expansion and growth stage venture firm with $200 million under management. It’s focused on information technology solutions that solve large business problems. S3 also invests in medical devices that improve the human condition. S3 invests in category-defining opportunities. It partners with the team and help focus methodically on what it takes to build a successful company. S3 today helps talented entrepreneurs take their technology and market knowledge and form valuable businesses in a repeatable fashion. Investment sizes start at several million or more for Series A, B, and C financing.