Incentives: Drive staff, sales

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Providers who don’t offer their employees commission-based compensation are doing it all wrong, says Wayne Slavitt, CEO of Long Beach, Calif.-based Mobül.

“If you don’t compensate them based on performance, then they’re an order taker and an order taker simply waits for things to happen,” said Slavitt, who pays his sales staff an hourly rate plus commission on every item they sell.

Eric Kline, president of HME SalesPro, agrees.

“Employees want to know that the harder they work, the smarter they work, the more money they are going to make,” he said.

One way to incentivize employees is by instituting a tiered commission plan, says Kline. 

For example, if an employee sells nine CPAP devices, they receive a set dollar amount for each CPAP sold. On the 10th sale, not only does the commission increase, it retroactively applies to all 10 CPAPs sold.

“It makes that salesperson say, ‘If I make one or two more calls, I may hit that number,’” said Kline. “And that’s what you want in a salesperson. You want them incentivized to make that extra call.”

That doesn’t just apply to sales staff, either, says Mike Sperduti, CEO of Emerge Sales, who’s a big believer in incentivizing all employees to drive sales.

“However, if we’re asking intake coordinators, drivers and nontraditional sales staff to recommend products and make cash sales, it’s in everyone’s best interest to train those people,” he said.

Sperduti recommends testing employees’ product knowledge in a classroom and practical setting, role-playing, and ultimately applying what they’ve learned in the field with someone observing them to make sure they’re doing it right.

However, commissions should never push a salesperson to use high-pressure sales tactics to sell an item they otherwise wouldn’t have sold, says Slavitt.

“Our sales staff knows that if they listen carefully, ask the right questions and provide customers with the right information, the customer will make an informed decision,” he said. “And along the way our sales person will earn a
living.” hme