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Canadian Professional Sales Association

Targets are at the core of the sales profession. More than any other role in a company, sales performance is directed by, and measured through, achieving goals and KPIs. So how can leaders ensure that they align hitting targets with receiving the correct rewards?

This is CPSA article, we’ll consider ways sales leaders can employ methods to make sure that salespeople feel appropriately rewarded and recognised for their efforts.

Understand What Motivates Your Salespeople

Motivating salespeople can be complex. Some sales professionals are enthused by cash and tangible items, while others are pushed by intrinsic incentives.

Getting it right means letting your people choose what motivates them.

Get to know the intrinsic motivation of your salespeople by encouraging autonomy and two-way dialogue.

With extrinsic motivators, correlate value with significance to get more from your people. The value of your rewards should vary depending on the significance of the goal achieved. This can range from simple percentage commission increases through to offering longer vacations.

Transparency and Communication

When planning incentives to align goals with the efforts of your salespeople, it is important that you can ensure that everyone is working toward the same goals. These can be longer (annual) or shorter (monthly) goals. The key is to be clear and demonstrate to all members of the sales team exactly what incentives they win by achieving their targets.

Once the common metrics are defined and explained, the sales leader must map out the steps their salespeople need to earn their rewards. Be clear, for example what they need to achieve each month to get them to a yearly goal. Once you have established standardized metrics and mapped out the steps needed to reach the end goals, there are lots of options that will incent and recognize.


Peer-to-peer or manager-to-employee recognition is incredibly useful when creating real excitement.

Be sure to also promote in-person recognition at sales team meetings. Grow employee engagement, by giving your employees and managers the power to recognize each other for great work that correlates with your overarching organizational values.

Healthy Competition

Often the best salespeople are naturally competitive. Take advantage of this by, for example, hosting contests that encourage individual and departmental growth. For instance, offer an award to the sales rep or sales region that most effectively follows the sales strategy developed for them.

Many companies have an employee of the month programme. Take that concept and develop a more granular salesperson of the month” programme, where a sales team member is recognized by the entire company for hitting their targets or developing new initiatives that benefit the wider sales effort. This creates a more meaningful and professionally rewarding experience for your employees.

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