Incentive compensation plans are designed to drive sales and improve employee performance. However, when an incentive and sales compensation management program is one dimensional or lacks variety, even star salespeople may find themselves going through the motions and engaging in the frustrating act of procrastination. To keep sales steady and to prevent uneven performances all year round, executives can implement an ICM plan that encourages consistency and productivity. Keep reading to find out how to control business practices with the right ICM program. Varied measurement periods Quarterly sales competitions are a great way to drive employees toward bringing in higher revenues, but repeatedly using lengthy time periods for sales evaluations can lead to unexpected consequences like obtrusive spikes in sales. When salespeople know their quarterly goal is months away, many give in to the temptation to put off work for the first several weeks or even months, then have to work overtime toward the end of the quarter to hit their sales targets. While the most important goal – hitting a sales quota – is usually achieved, these practices put unnecessary strain on a workforce and managers alike. An easy way to correct this behavior is to intersperse different incentives throughout a long-term quarterly goal. In order to promote even sales numbers, a manager or executive can dole out modest rewards such as gift cards or small bonuses at the end of each month to encourage high performance on a regular basis. Reward early sales Another way to begin a quarter with strong numbers is to reward those who make sales at the beginning of the month or quarter. A VP of sales can set up a program in which, for example, the first five team members to sell 10 units of a product will be rewarded with extra compensation or a perk such as extra flexibility and the ability to work from home a few days. Beginning the month with a short burst of competition will kick start sales so employees start a new sales period on the right foot. Developing a balanced ICM plan can be challenging – many VPs of sales and executives now turn to incentive compensation software to help make important decisions.