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Updating or changing incentive programs can be effective in raising productivity and motivation, Forbes reported. The most common commission programs were developed in the 1950s, and many companies are giving the standard formula a makeover. Flipping the equation The standard pay system for sales-based jobs typically abide by a 60/40 rule, in which 60 percent of compensation is base pay, while 40 percent is in commission. Some companies are looking to flip the equation, offering a larger base pay and smaller commission rate. While this may seem counterintuitive to motivating sales teams, this method creates loyalty between employees and employers, and provides sought-after financial stability among salespeople that is not entirely dependent upon the market. This also allows for flexibility and understanding among employers who recognize that some clients are better than others. Some clients are fickle or make decisions slowly, affecting sales numbers in the short run. When short-term sales goals are missed and employees are not rewarded with large commissions, this may say to staff members that employers do not recognize that the clients some workers have been given are more difficult than others. According to Forbes, experienced entrepreneurs will learn to understand that some clients are simply bad leads, and that team members should not be punished for having been given these clients. Customize plans There are approximately 9 million Americans working in sales today, and each of them is different. Some may work well under high commission rates, while others will benefit from more stable pay. Some companies put sales professionals on different plans depending upon how long they have been with the company. For example, new staff may be given higher commission rates, then graduate to more stable base pay after a certain amount of time, or vice versa. Each company is as different as their employees, an an individualized incentive program for each company is what is most needed in the modern work environment.

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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.