You get the behaviors you pay for, not the ones you say you want. It is essential that your incentive compensation plan matches your marketing plan, and they must be kept synchronized during the year if your incentives are to drive the business that you want.  
 
A Post-Sale Discount is one you voluntarily offer after the customer has already agreed to buy. Before you shake your head and say “I never do that”, think for a moment and analyze the way discounts operate in your sales process. It’s a more frequent problem than you might think, and it may be a feature of the way you run your business.
 
One of the most easily identifiable risk factors facing any company is the loss of a major customer. It is one of the most alarming things that can happen in business but as with any risk factor, there are ways to minimize the risk beforehand and processes that can be implemented if it does occur. 
 
Whenever you approach somebody, whether it is to sell to them or to interest them in an idea, you never know what is going on in their life at that point. They may be in an extraordinarily busy phase where they simply aren’t interested in taking on a single new thing or something bad may just have happened to them and you need to develop antenna.
 
I have written about how you don’t get the behaviors you want just by saying you want them in the article You get what you inspect, not what you expect, and this principle also holds true for sales compensation models. The rule here is that you will get the behaviors you compensate, not the ones you say you want. So if you want to sell more of a particular item, you have to design the compensation plan so that it mirrors and rewards the sales activity that you really want.
 

Sales Opportunity Grid

For any company that has more than one product or service, the best sales opportunities often lie in cross-selling different lines to existing customers. To focus attention on this area and to identify the success the company is having cross-selling, the company should produce and update a Sales Opportunity Grid on a quarterly basis.
 

Sales Compensation

In small businesses there are as many mistakes as there are different approaches to sales compensation. Whether it is paying on revenues rather than gross margin, failing to match incentives to desired outcomes or a dozen other things, mistakes in this area can be very serious. 
 
One of the most serious mistakes that companies make is to promote people who are effective in the field and bring them in-house to become a manager.
 
I am happy to pay referral commissions to people who bring me business but I hate paying out commissions for longer than a year.  This may seem like common sense, but I was very surprised during a conversation I was having at a board meeting with ten of my clients to learn that a number of them were paying for referrals under multi-year commission agreements.
 
You say you want recurring revenues and you know that is the way to build equity in your business…yet you spend your time and energy on your product sales and somehow your service revenues don’t grow as fast as you would like.
 
A bluebird is an unexpected sale…that huge piece of business that comes in and makes your year. It is a beautiful and unexpected thing, and often has more to do with luck than with repeatable process. Unfortunately, the fact that it happens doesn't necessarily mean that you have suddenly unlocked the secrets of the sales universe.
 

Face Time Measurement   

We keep hearing how millennials like to do everything digitally and that the era of face-to-face communication is dead. When his obituary was published prematurely, Mark Twain famously said: ‘the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated’, and this may be true here too.