Do spiffs work anymore?

Mark Winters
Are you getting the most out of spiffing in order to motivate your people to action? If you didn't spiff, would you see the same results? Has spiffing lost it's appeal? Do you find you have to "spiff" in order to get people to go the extra mile? Have we conditioned our dealerships to perform only when a spiff is offered? I wonder if this method of compensation is old hat and should be replaces. What would you replace it with?
Jillian Marchewka
Honestly, in my opinion if you have to spiff your people in order to motivate them, then I think you have people who hate what they are doing, don't have proper training, or proper management is severely lacking. If as management you properly train employees so that they are confident in their skills, set expectations, and create a positive company culture, then you shouldn't have to spiff your employees! I am sure that Megan Barto could definitely shed some light on this.
Keith Wilkerson
I believe that the occasional, targeted spiff is still effective. I think there is a fine between spiffing too much and spiffing too infrequently. Too much, and you lose the effect of the perceived opportunity. Too little, and you're perceived as too tight with the purse strings and uncaring about keeping quality salespeople. Good employees like the occasional reward, and good salespeople work pay plans to an advantage. In trying to move certain models/vehicles, spiffs are an excellent way to re-focus your sale force on merchandise that needs to move. The one thing to remember is that not all salespeople are motivated by money, and a good manager will know that little things like an extra P.T.O. day or a bought lunch to say, "Thank you, I appreciate what you do," sometimes does the trick.
Mark Winters
A fine line indeed. It seems that if you through out a spiff to move specific units and it works. Than it is easy to get in a habit of doing that. Like the "end of month" spiff. Salespeople sandbag at the end of the month to get the extra dough. I think it's an all or nothing proposition, you either spiff as part of a pay plan, or you establish a great pay plan and use training and other non denominational rewards to move the needle.
Keith Wilkerson
We lean on the side of "Fast Start" spiffs rather than "Fast Finish" spiffs.
Megan Barto
Thanks, Jillian! Ryan Leslie actually presented on this topic this Spring at a conference (PM me & I'll share the Slideshare with you) - we specifically focused on NOT spiffing employees with regards to on-line reviews (ie, we'll pay you $10 for each positive review you get a customer to write <---- BAAADD) But this all goes back to company culture - which I'm presenting about during the 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit (Shameless self-promotion Monday - 3:25 PM). After it's over - I'll write a blog about it ;)

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