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Claudia Adrianza 04.27.2021 9 min read

How to Create Sales Incentive Programs that Drive Growth

Do you treat your company’s sales compensation program as a way to save money?

Or do you want your salespeople to be well compensated, feel satisfied at work, and raring to perform great?

If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it you almost don't have to manage them. - Jack Welch, the Former Chairman & CEO at GE, retired with the payday of $417 Million

Your salespeople have a direct contribution to your company’s profits. A fair incentive plan will empower them to drive your company’s top-line growth. If they feel under-compensated for their work, your salespeople may not find enough incentive to develop your business.

This article talks about what to do to make your sales incentive plan more exciting for your sales team and profitable for your company.

Compensation vs. Incentives vs. Rewards

Compensation is the fixed salary you pay them per month.

Incentives provide extra monetary compensation - beyond the fixed salary - that varies with the monthly performance.

Rewards are an appreciation for the salesperson’s work in going above and beyond their daily responsibilities.

It is very important to be clear about the purpose of each of these and not mix these up. We will talk about the importance of these terms further in this article.

Don’t create a confusing sales incentive plan

A pure commission-based plan might bring in those sales folks who might jump ship when they find a better opportunity.

On the other end of the spectrum are complicated plans with tight control over the total amount and the cycle time of their commissions.

Simplicity builds trust. Complexity erodes it.

Use onboarding process and sales cycle time for a dynamic sales compensation plan

Many sales leaders express frustration for having to pay high commissions for minimal effort to experienced sales reps.

But if this experienced sales rep is a new hire, they need time to adjust to your company’s sales processes, protocols, and cycle times.

A smarter solution to this problem is to offer higher fixed compensation to newly hired experienced sales reps for the first quarter (or a customized period). Then adjust their fixed compensation as their commissions increase over time.

Get creative and provide non-monetary rewards

In early-stage startups, founders may think incentives and rewards are the same. Every company gives compensation and incentives.

Companies that give unique rewards for a distinguished performance can retain their sales team for longer. Researchers have proved that monetary rewards may be effective but they don’t stay effective beyond a short period. There’s also evidence that 80% of incentive program participants prefer non-cash rewards.

Choose non-monetary rewards that add meaning to the lives of your sales reps outside of work. When shopping for a corporate rewards program in the market, always plan for and ask about customizations.

Learn from new Sales recruits about how their previous employers had incentivized them

Crowdsourcing is a good way to brainstorm ideas and bring unique perspectives to the table. When you hire experienced salespeople, they have selling skills as well as a good deal of knowledge of how to manage the sales teams.

Leverage this knowledge.

Engage sales reps in decision-making that affects them. It evokes a sense of pride that few competitors can match.

Blitz is better than Excel for sales commission tracking


Using spreadsheets to calculate and track sales commissions is popular in different companies worldwide. Unfortunately, it’s also: 

  • Prone to delays and errors when handling large data. 
  • Makes you read everything (no visual organization)
  • Requires copy-paste when integrating with other tools

Blitz helps overcome these problems with the manual spreadsheet and more:

  • Let’s you calculate your own sales commissions to maintain the sales team’s momentum and your company's top-line growth.
  • Minimize data and consistency errors.
  • Blitz works with the most-used accounting tools for accurate commission management. See all our integrations.

Excited to see how it works? Book a demo or talk to our expert today.