Are commissions the only way to motivate salespeople?
Let’s face it. Salespeople aren’t like the rest of us. You and I want a decent paycheck, of course. But we also seek much more from our work – the chance to learn, to contribute to the world, and to climb the ladder of self-actualization.
But not the folks in sales. They are — and here comes the adjective we deploy most often – coin-operated. Slip a quarter into the slot and they’ll do a little dance. When time runs out, insert another coin or they’ll stop dancing.
In the new Harvard Business Review, I’ve got a 2-page article challenging this view. It explains why commissions sometimes backfire — and introduces a few places that have eliminated commissions and seen sales rise.
You can read it here. (
Free registration required. UPDATE: Article is now free and outside the firewall.)