IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/qmktec/v9y2011i3p211-257.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A structural model of sales-force compensation dynamics: Estimation and field implementation

Author

Listed:
  • Sanjog Misra
  • Harikesh Nair

Abstract

We present an empirical framework to analyze real-world sales-force compensation schemes. The model is flexible enough to handle quotas and bonuses, output-based commission schemes, as well as "ratcheting" of compensation based on past performance, all of which are ubiquitous in actual contracts. The model explicitly incorporates the dynamics induced by these aspects in agent behavior. We apply the model to a rich dataset that comprises the complete details of sales and compensation plans for a set of 87 sales-people for a period of 3 years at a large contact-lens manufacturer in the US. We use the model to evaluate profit- improving, theoretically-preferred changes to the extant compensation scheme. These recommendations were then implemented at the focal firm. Agent behavior and output under the new compensation plan is found to change as predicted. The new plan resulted in a 9% improvement in overall revenues, which translates to about $0.98 million incremental revenues per month, indicating the success of the field-implementation. The results bear out the face validity of dynamic agency theory for real-world compensation design. More generally, our results fit into a growing literature that illustrates that dynamic programming-based solutions, when combined with structural empirical specifications of behavior, can help significantly improve marketing decision-making, and firms' profitability.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Sanjog Misra & Harikesh Nair, 2011. "A structural model of sales-force compensation dynamics: Estimation and field implementation," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 211-257, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:qmktec:v:9:y:2011:i:3:p:211-257
    DOI: 10.1007/s11129-011-9096-1
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11129-011-9096-1
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s11129-011-9096-1?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cho, Sungjin & Rust, John, 2008. "Is econometrics useful for private policy making? A case study of replacement policy at an auto rental company," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 243-257, July.
    2. Doug J. Chung & Thomas Steenburgh & K. Sudhir, 2014. "Do Bonuses Enhance Sales Productivity? A Dynamic Structural Analysis of Bonus-Based Compensation Plans," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(2), pages 165-187, March.
    3. Paarsch, Harry J & Shearer, Bruce, 2000. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages, and Incentive Effects: Statistical Evidence from Payroll Records," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 59-92, February.
    4. Thomas Steenburgh, 2008. "Effort or timing: The effect of lump-sum bonuses," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 235-256, September.
    5. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social Preferences and the Response to Incentives: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 917-962.
    6. Paul Oyer, 1998. "Fiscal Year Ends and Nonlinear Incentive Contracts: The Effect on Business Seasonality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 149-185.
    7. Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard & Jonathan Levin, 2007. "Estimating Dynamic Models of Imperfect Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1331-1370, September.
    8. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    9. Kaplan, Robert S., 1985. "Evidence on the effect of bonus schemes on accounting procedure and accrual decisions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 109-113, April.
    10. V. Joseph Hotz & Robert A. Miller, 1993. "Conditional Choice Probabilities and the Estimation of Dynamic Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 497-529.
    11. Adam Copeland & Cyril Monnet, 2009. "The Welfare Effects of Incentive Schemes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 93-113.
    12. Christopher Ferrall & Bruce Shearer, 1999. "Incentives and Transactions Costs Within the Firm: Estimating an Agency Model Using Payroll Records," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 309-338.
    13. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Salaries and Piece Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 405-431, July.
    14. Chevalier, Judith & Ellison, Glenn, 1997. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1167-1200, December.
    15. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    16. Harikesh Nair, 2007. "Intertemporal price discrimination with forward-looking consumers: Application to the US market for console video-games," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 239-292, September.
    17. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    19. Rust, John, 1996. "Numerical dynamic programming in economics," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: H. M. Amman & D. A. Kendrick & J. Rust (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 619-729, Elsevier.
    20. Courty, Pascal & Marschke, Gerald, 1997. "Measuring Government Performance: Lessons from a Federal Job-Training Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 383-388, May.
    21. Pradeep Bhardwaj, 2001. "Delegating Pricing Decisions," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(2), pages 143-169, September.
    22. Li, Tong & Vuong, Quang, 1998. "Nonparametric Estimation of the Measurement Error Model Using Multiple Indicators," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 139-165, May.
    23. Thomas N. Hubbard, 2003. "Information, Decisions, and Productivity: On-Board Computers and Capacity Utilization in Trucking," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1328-1353, September.
    24. David Godes, 2003. "In the Eye of the Beholder: An Analysis of the Relative Value of a Top Sales Rep Across Firms and Products," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(2), pages 161-187, May.
    25. Todd R. Zenger & Sergio G. Lazzarini, 2004. "Compensating for innovation: Do small firms offer high-powered incentives that lure talent and motivate effort?," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(6-7), pages 329-345.
    26. Healy, Paul M., 1985. "The effect of bonus schemes on accounting decisions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 85-107, April.
    27. Oyer, Paul, 2000. "A Theory of Sales Quotas with Limited Liability and Rent Sharing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 405-426, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Doug J. Chung & Thomas Steenburgh & K. Sudhir, 2014. "Do Bonuses Enhance Sales Productivity? A Dynamic Structural Analysis of Bonus-Based Compensation Plans," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(2), pages 165-187, March.
    2. Tat Y. Chan & Jia Li & Lamar Pierce, 2014. "Compensation and Peer Effects in Competing Sales Teams," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(8), pages 1965-1984, August.
    3. Bloom, Nicholas & Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Human Resource Management and Productivity," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 19, pages 1697-1767, Elsevier.
    4. Pierre-André Chiappori & Bernard Salanié, 2002. "Testing Contract Theory : A Survey of Some Recent Work," Working Papers 2002-11, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    5. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Personnel Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121883, December.
    6. Adam Copeland & Cyril Monnet, 2009. "The Welfare Effects of Incentive Schemes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 93-113.
    7. Paarsch, Harry J. & Shearer, Bruce S., 2009. "The response to incentives and contractual efficiency: Evidence from a field experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 481-494, July.
    8. Ian Larkin, 2014. "The Cost of High-Powered Incentives: Employee Gaming in Enterprise Software Sales," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 199-227.
    9. Edward P. Lazear & Paul Oyer, 2012. "Personnel Economics," Introductory Chapters, in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.),The Handbook of Organizational Economics, Princeton University Press.
    10. Tsuru, Tsuyoshi, 2008. "Transforming Incentives : Analysis of Personnel and Employee Output Data in a Large Japanese Auto Sales Firm," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 49(2), pages 109-132, December.
    11. Gerald Marschke & Pascal Courty, 2000. "An Empirical Investigation of Gaming Responses to Performance Incentives," Discussion Papers 00-12, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    12. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2007. "Playing For Keeps: Pay And Performance In The Nba," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(1), pages 145-161, January.
    13. Robert Gibbons, 2005. "Incentives Between Firms (and Within)," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(1), pages 2-17, January.
    14. Sebastian Galiani & Juan Pantano, 2021. "Structural Models: Inception and Frontier," NBER Working Papers 28698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Tinglong Dai & Kinshuk Jerath, 2013. "Salesforce Compensation with Inventory Considerations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(11), pages 2490-2501, November.
    16. Tsuru, Tsuyoshi, 2008. "Incentives, Gaming, and the Nonlinear Pay Scheme: Evidence from Personnel Data in a Large Japanese Auto Sales Firm," Discussion Paper Series a510_v2, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    17. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & Marisa Ratto & Emma Tominey, 2017. "Incentives in the Public Sector: Evidence from a Government Agency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(605), pages 117-141, October.
    18. Omar Al‐Ubaydli & Steffen Andersen & Uri Gneezy & John A. List, 2015. "Carrots That Look Like Sticks: Toward an Understanding of Multitasking Incentive Schemes," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 81(3), pages 538-561, January.
    19. Amoroso, S., 2013. "Heterogeneity of innovative, collaborative, and productive firm-level processes," Other publications TiSEM f5784a49-7053-401d-855d-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    20. Fuhai Hong & Tanjim Hossain & John A. List & Migiwa Tanaka, 2018. "Testing The Theory Of Multitasking: Evidence From A Natural Field Experiment In Chinese Factories," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(2), pages 511-536, May.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:qmktec:v:9:y:2011:i:3:p:211-257. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.