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Dear Workforce How are Organizations Handling Compensation for Sales-Support Staff?

Organizations realize the contributions of sales support employees are critical to the success of the sales force, and are adjusting their compensation and reward strategies to reflect this.
May 19, 2002
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Related Topics: Compensation Design and Communication, Dear Workforce, Compensation
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A Dear Need to Adjust:

In today's selling environment, organizations are realizing that thecontribution of sales-support employees is critical to the overall success ofthe entire sales force. Consequently, compensation and reward strategies forthose employees are now reflecting this

The term sales support covers a wide array of roles and therefore can bemisleading. Sales support can span functions from customer service or leadgeneration, to highly trained and well-compensated implementation engineers.Enlightened companies understand that failure to execute from a supportperspective can compromise a well-developed, complex sales strategy. Thesecompanies believe that, leveraged correctly, sales support can be vital tobuilding better customer relationships, delivering value, gaining competitiveinformation, and creating additional demand.

Compensation for support employees generally includes a variable component aspart of the overall targeted earnings. The level of variable compensation, incomparison to base salary, is typically a function of the level of thecontribution to the sale and the risk undertaken. Some of the actualcompensation mechanisms include commissions for lead generation, securing salesforce appointments, and add-on sales. Other compensation schemes include bonusesfor team-based results tied to the overall success of the sales force.

In high-tech organizations, bonuses are often paid for successfulimplementation of systems or securing of engineering design wins. Implementedcorrectly, incentives for sales support employees can provide a high return fora small increase in cost of sales, and significantly serve to recognize thecontribution of important employees who often get overlooked.

The challenge with implementing these compensations programs generallycenters on determining who in the organization qualifies for incentivecompensation, as many employees contribute to sales-force success. However, thekey is to turn this challenge into a positive by strengthening career pathprograms whereby "unincented" staff can move into "incented" positions,reinforcing the importance of sales throughout the organization.

SOURCE: Holden International,Chicago, Illinois.

LEARN MORE: Traditional Pay vs. Strategic Pay

The information contained in this article is intended to provide usefulinformation on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice ora legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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