Compensating Heterogeneous Salesforces: Some Explicit Solutions
AbstractThis paper considers the question of how a sales manager should design the optimal compensation scheme for his salesforce when it consists of salespersons of varying selling skills, i.e., when the salesforce is heterogeneous. The manager's problem is to reward the salespersons based on observable, uncertain sales achieved by the salespersons. Under the assumption that both the manager and the salespersons are risk neutral, the optimal compensation scheme is derived. It consists of the manager offering a menu of plans, consisting of a quota, a payment for meeting quota, and a constant commission rate for sales above or below quota. Such schemes using constant commission rates are also called menus of linear plans. Salespersons choose the quota which best suits them, achieve sales, and are then rewarded based on their actual performance. This scheme, variants of which are often observed in practice, is shown to be optimal for sales environments characterized by commonly encountered sales response functions, and a large class of frequency distributions of selling skills in the salesforce. The problem is solved using the methods of principal-agent models. The key differences in managing homogeneous and heterogeneous salesforces are highlighted. Finally, the paper discusses the issues involved in practically implementing the optimal compensation scheme.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by INFORMS in its journal Marketing Science.
Volume (Year): 9 (1990)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
salesforce compensation; selling skill; heterogeneous salespersons; menu of linear plans; principal-agent models;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Sanjog Misra & Anne Coughlan & Chakravarthi Narasimhan, 2005. "Salesforce Compensation: An Analytical and Empirical Examination of the Agency Theoretic Approach," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 5-39, January.
- Pushkar Murthy & Murali Mantrala, 2005. "Allocating a Promotion Budget between Advertising and Sales Contest Prizes: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 19-35, January.
- Murali Mantrala & Sönke Albers & Fabio Caldieraro & Ove Jensen & Kissan Joseph & Manfred Krafft & Chakravarthi Narasimhan & Srinath Gopalakrishna & Andris Zoltners & Rajiv Lal & Leonard Lodish, 2010. "Sales force modeling: State of the field and research agenda," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 255-272, September.
- Marty Stuebs & Li Sun, 2010. "Business Reputation and Labor Efficiency, Productivity, and Cost," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 96(2), pages 265-283, October.
- Banker, Rajiv D. & Lee, Seok-Young & Potter, Gordon, 1996. "A field study of the impact of a performance-based incentive plan," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 195-226, April.
- Banker, Rajiv D. & Lee, S.-Y.Seok-Young & Potter, Gordon & Srinivasan, Dhinu, 2000. "An empirical analysis of continuing improvements following the implementation of a performance-based compensation plan," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 315-350, December.
- Lee, Dong Hwan, 1998. "The Moderating Effect of Salesperson Reward Orientation on the Relative Effectiveness of Alternative Compensation Plans," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 65-77, October.
- Yang, Jian & Qi, Xiangtong, 2009. "On the design of coordinating contracts," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 581-594, December.
- Lee, Chung-Yee & Yang, Ruina, 2013. "Compensation plan for competing salespersons under asymmetric information," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 227(3), pages 570-580.
- Albers, Sonke, 1996. "Optimization models for salesforce compensation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 1-17, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.