Sales Compensation: Where Does Incentive Travel Fit In?

May 15, 2017 Kevin V Edmunds


In early May, employee-search firm Peak Sales Recruiting released a compensation study it conducted among more than 600 leading sales reps in different industries. From the study’s findings, the overarching conclusion was that for a sales compensation plan to be effective in retaining “A-level” talent, it must be considered by reps to be above market average, as well as easy to understand and timely.

In the area of monetary compensation, respondents were asked how they prefer their compensation split. Fully 68 percent of salespeople are more satisfied when the majority of earnings come from a base salary; the split that generates the highest satisfaction is 60 percent base and 40 percent commission. In fact, the majority of respondents who meet or exceed quota currently have a 60 percent base and 40 percent commission split.

Frighteningly, only 6 percent of salespeople feel “extremely satisfied” with their compensation plan and 33 percent of top performers (those who achieved 100% or more of their quota the previous year) felt their compensation was below industry average.

What is one element that can help boost these figures? Incentive travel awards. Over the years, the many studies conducted by the Incentive Federation and the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence have shown that sales reps’ perceived value of incentive travel is much higher than the actual cash value of the trip. What’s more, the bonding and great memories from a trip—especially when a significant other or the entire family gets to share the experience—deliver additional benefits that a cash bonus simply cannot provide.

However, the key to making an incentive travel award drive sales across an entire staff of reps is promoting it regularly through fun and impactful ways. Therefore, the properties within our All-Inclusive Collection—which handle hundreds of incentive travel programs each year—coordinate with planners right from the beginning of their fiscal period to develop and deliver exciting, inspiring messages about an award trip. We’ll customize our materials for each company and stagger the communications to go out at certain times to maximize reps’ interest. This extra effort from the properties within the All-Inclusive Collection helps our clients get the most value and return from their incentive travel programs—and retain their top sales reps.



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