Companies adopt compensation plans to better align the incentives of employees with those of the owners. Commissions have traditionally been used in many sales jobs to encourage employees to sell as much as they can. But that can lead the sales team to push product to every potential customer, regardless of whether the customer can use the product or not.
Bloomberg reports that GlaxoSmithKline is considering changes in its Patients First pay plan for sales employees. The plan, launched in 2011, shifted the emphasis away from sales and toward "scientific knowledge, selling competency, customer evaluations, and overall performance of the representative's business unit." The general idea is to reward the competencies that are believed to lead to strong customer relationships, as opposed to rewarding short-term, hardball sales tactics. GSK is looking at making some adjustments to Patients First, including testing sales reps for product knowledge. Looks like remembering those organic chemistry formulas has a payoff after all!
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