Sales incentive

The conception of a sales force system

In production, the Times and Methods service is responsible for the good execution of the work. But similar problems must also be addressed for the sales force.

Not to mention that in few companies the most appropriate type of seller is defined, also on the types of customers and communication/contact strategies. If the reduction in the number of sellers and the number of hierarchical salespeople can be observed in many companies, nevertheless this phenomenon is often accompanied by the setting up of specialized structures: the reduction in the number of sellers and local directors is partly compensated by the creation of services:internal sales, training, sales development, etc. It is up to the sales force manager to propose such a method himself as the production engineer does in factories

The industrial reality shows that in over 80% of cases, the low performance and ineffectiveness of salespeople are attributable to the system, compared with 15-20% due to the individual, i.e. to his behaviour, personal abilities, awareness of the results to be obtained. Some studies, carried out on some sales teams, show that inherited factors, intelligence, education, environment, but also ambition, will and tastes contribute to creating differences between sellers

Usually the sales force of a company is made up of 10-15% of ambitious, self-motivated, performing “champions”; 10-15% of “mediocre” people, without great ambitions and without great results, are satisfied with little and consider themselves “just passing through” in the sale or in the company in question; a 70-80% of “average”, averagely gifted, averagely ambitious, averagely performing: average in everything.

Given that the mediums represent the vast majority, it is on these in the first place that it is necessary to act with appropriate motivational and incentive levers. Other studies conducted in the United States show that there is no “predestination to sell” and that everything depends on elements that can be influenced by company policies. Therefore, a company that wants to obtain high productivity from its salespeople will have to direct the work of the sales force in a strategic marketing, commercial and managerial key: good soldiers cannot compensate for the absence of strategies. In fact, objectives must be assigned to each hierarchical level, in quantitative terms (shares, turnover, etc.) and in qualitative terms (commercial behaviour, sales styles, etc.)