Sales force motivation and reward in a digital economy - KPMG Australia
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Motivating and rewarding your sales force in a digital economy

Sales force motivation and reward in a digital economy

The rising of the digital economy is having a dramatic impact on the world of work with traditional operating and service delivery models being disrupted by rapid technological change and agile segment players. This is driving increased expectations of customers for more tailored experiences, and is challenging the way sales and service organisations are managing their workforces.


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KPMG’s 2016 survey of more than 400 CEOs confirmed the impact that the digital economy is having on the way organisations are developing, changing and repositioning for growth.

  • 66 percent of CEOs believe that the next 3 years will be more critical for their industry
  • 41 percent of CEOs anticipate that their company will be significantly transformed over the next 3 years
  • 88 percent of CEOs are concerned about the loyalty of their customers
  • over 50 percent of CEOs report a skills gap in key business functions.

Impacts for sales organisations

How will this impact the future of work for sales organisations?

With rich customer data and insights guiding smarter segmentation of clients, more efficient selling processes and effective utilisation of the sales force, they are well equipped to analyse customer needs and respond to ongoing change. As markets become disrupted, sourcing and the way we leverage customer insights is increasingly becoming the source of strategic advantage and survival for sales organisations in the market.

As a result, the combination of integrated customer relationship management (CRM) systems, mobility devices, crowdsourcing and social media, and the Internet of Things are dramatically challenging the way modern sales force operate and the way they are managed. To achieve this, some fundamental questions will need to be readdressed:

  • How will work be designed and performed?
  • What capabilities will be critical?
  • How will performance be managed?
  • How will people be motivated and rewarded?

Evaluating sales incentives in digital environments

Three questions for you to consider when evaluating the use of sales incentives in digital environments:

  • Where should I be using sales incentives?
  • What mix of programs is right?
  • How much should be invested in salary versus sales incentives?

Key takeaways for sales organisations

The design of a well-aligned sales force reward strategy needs to reflect the changing nature and value of sales force work, which is increasingly being influenced by digital enablement, highly informed customers demanding tailored solutions, and Omnichannel management practices.

Incentive plans need to be anchored around the areas where the sales force has the greatest potential to create value – which is no longer just a matter of pipeline management and revenue generation.

Taking time to review the ongoing efficiency and effectiveness of your incentive plans can be a source for improving sales force engagement, performance and enhancing the customer experience.

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