Managing Commissions to Boost Sales Productivity

Managing Commissions to Boost Sales Productivity

By Chris Bucholtz

Jun 5, 2017 1:04 PM PT


Ask salespeople and they’ll tell you: They don’t have enough time in the day to sell. That’s not because the laws of physics cause salespeople to move through time faster than the rest of us — it’s because salespeople are pulled in many directions over the course of a day, and every one of those activities cuts into their selling time.

Actual selling takes up just 36 percent of the average salesperson’s time, a recent Salesforce
study indicated.

Another recent
study was slightly less encouraging — only about one-third of the average salesperson’s time was spent with customers, and 40 percent of that time was occupied by lower-tier customers, Bain & Co. found.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that other two-thirds of a salesperson’s time is wasted, though. Other activities that are important to the sales organization — admin, service tasks, internal meetings, data management, and so forth — are a necessary part of the salesperson’s job. While they may elicit grumbling, those things do have an indirect impact on the salesperson’s commission checks.

There are things that eat into a salesperson’s limited time that are far less productive, however. A great example of this is evident in commissions management, an often-overlooked discipline that can have dramatic ripple effects on sales productivity.

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