Could your sales force be better at finding new business -- or at profitably retaining the business you already have? Incentives that reward crucial selling tasks help salespeople make their goals by helping them prioritize their time. But, as the numbers suggest, too few companies back their words with action.

Sales task % who consider it important % with incentive for salespeople
Retaining existing customers 95% 31%
Selling to major accounts 90 28
Finding new accounts 90 30
Improving profit contribution 87 46
Reducing selling costs 54 11

Source: "Sales Force Compensation," a survey of 250 U.S. companies, 66% with sales of less than $25 million, the Dartnell Corp., Chicago, 1992.