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Preparing Sales Leaders for Three Common Year End Challenges

Preparing Sales Leaders for Three Common Year End Challenges

As 2015 rapidly draws to a close, we thought our readers would benefit from advice on three common challenges that sales leader ask us to address. We also want to share with you information on three new compensation books you may find valuable.

1. Securing Top Management Approval on a New Compensation Plans

Our article for WorldatWork (WaW), “Engaging C-Suite Executives in the Approval of a Sales Compensation Plan”, provides 5 tried-and-true techniques for selling a new or revised plan to top management. Considered by some as a classic guide to gaining plan approval, if you have not as yet secured approval of 2016 plans, you may find this article useful: (http://www.worldatwork.org/adimComment?id=66648)

2. Helping Newly Promoted Sales Managers Succeed

At or near year end, many companies make decisions about the promotion of sales reps to other positions. A common practice is to promote successful sales reps to first level sales manager jobs. Such a promotion brings a new set of challenges for the incumbent. Janet Spirer provides useful advice on seven best practices for making the transition from sales rep to sales manager a little bit easier (http://salestrainingconnection.com/2015/12/02/bridging-the-abyss-transitioning-from-sales-rep-to-sales-manager/).

3. Getting Off to a Fast Sales Start in the New Year

We are often asked “what incentive techniques contribute to fast start sales performance in the new year?” The two most common design techniques associated with fast start sales incentives are: 1) a defined bonus for early achievement of a specified performance result; and, 2) accelerated/multiplicative incentive rate for achievement of fast start performance. If this is a challenge that your Chief Sales Officer asks you to address, we believe you will find another of our WaW articles a useful reference (http://www.worldatwork.org/adimComment?id=49117).

New Compensation Books Worth Your Attention

Before signing off for the year, we invite your attention to three new books on Compensation, as follows:

  • The Compensation Handbook, Sixth Edition, by Lance A. Berger and Dorothy R. Berger , is an excellent reference guide to all things compensation! CF’s Chapter 17, “Aligning Sales Compensation Plan Design with Talent Retention Strategy”, provides advice about how to use sales compensation as a retention tool.
  • Sal DiFonzo, a former colleague and currently Managing Director, FMI Corporation has written Designing Effective Incentive Compensation Plans: Create a Plan that Drives Strategy, Engages Employees and Achieves Success.   This book was written to assist construction contractors on how to convert from entirely discretionary to structured incentive plans and how to improve their plans. We believe that this book, rich with examples and survey data, provides clear instruction for how to transition from discretionary to structured, performance based compensation plans.  Regardless of industry, this is a must read guide for any company that seeks to improve its ROI on compensation, particularly incentive plans that are not contributing to desired business performance. Due for publication in January, write directly to Sal about how to purchase it (sdifonzo@fminet.com).
  • Federico Lopez Saavedra, Managing Partner, Thomas More Management Consulting (thomasmoremc.com) has written a new book on Sales Compensation. We have read a pre-publication draft of this book. It is rich with example of sales incentive compensation practices in Latin America. Contact Federico directly if your scope of responsibility includes sales compensation practices in Latin American countries and you would like to purchase his book.

 Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!