Can always a motivation scheme resolve sales issues?

Often, sales operations face challenges and problems. Such problems may come from different scenarios that lead to sales.  Sometimes, salespeople don’t perform well; could it be because the motivation scheme isn’t doing the magic? Another problem could be an unrewarding campaign promotion. This is to name a few of the issues that regularly occur.

When these issues arise, the sales department mostly sees the motivation scheme as the source. The reason isn’t farfetched; it is easy to point to the scheme as the source because salespeople bring the largest share of sales to the company and if they are not performing well, it’s because they are not motivated enough. So, the first step at getting back high sales is to give them more money through the incentive plan.

Is this sequence the right one? Should be incentive scheme be the first plan to be scrutinized when there is an existing problem to solve?

Is motivation scheme the problem?

It is a known fact that most sales operation primarily sees motivation scheme as the primary source of underperformance, but is it so? Come, let’s have a look. 

Trying to find the cause of the problem for a newly launched product by looking at the motivation scheme is a common practice. How motivated are the salespeople to sell the product? Are they well incentivized? If there isn’t a special clause in the scheme, could it be the cause of low sales?

Is it necessary to consider other options instead of just focusing on the motivation scheme? Are the salespeople trained to pitch prospects on the new product? Is their marketing skills sharp enough to compel buyers to patronize an untested product in the space? Perhaps the product isn’t even competitive in the market. Think more; explore more causes. 

It is safe to say that the main problem is lack of knowledge and skills to sell. Companies waste resources to promote hoping to drive sales behaviors and eliminate the problem. Not knowing the problem doesn’t lie with the salespeople, they choose to pay them more hoping for a right turn around. They are wrong!

What can be the real problems?

We have established the fact that the source of the problem should not necessarily be the motivation scheme, so what are the real issues. Let’s have a brief look at some here!

Lack of education in selling a product has is a significant problem in sales behavior. If the needed sales skills and orientation are absent, a problem arises. Also, the dissatisfaction of a person towards a role could cause issues. Non-clarity of sales roles where they don’t have specific instructions and targets poses a significant threat to sales behaviors. The commercial approach of the product, lack of support, low funding; are some other problems that can cause low sales. You see now; it is not all about the motivational scheme. 

It is now evident that one must look beyond the motivation scheme to resolve the issue because the cause might be something entirely different from the terms and conditions of the scheme.

Motivation scheme as part of the overall sales strategy

An incentive scheme supports the sales strategy to boosts sales. It is the basis for a business strategy that is carefully put together to form a successful sales team. It is not just a part of the plan; it is the basis of the procedure and builds its primary support. 

The priority of the company should be to improve the incentive program and at the same time, ensure that salespeople are appropriately educated on; the best sales methodologies, appropriate promotion techniques, industry know-how, career steps policy, its product offering and pre-sales support and finally the marketing and sales collateral.

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