We have identified the characteristics of the best salespeople, how important it is to keep them trained and motivated, and how to set challenging targets.

Banks also need to reward salespeople wisely and fairly for their performance, aligned to the overall strategy and culture the bank is trying to build. The bank needs to be aware that monetary rewards may influence a particular type of sales behaviour. Remember, actions that are rewarded monetarily or otherwise will be encouraged.

Reward isn’t only about Money

Often, when discussing rewards, money comes to mind. But reward is not about money only, it is about recognition, taking on increased responsibilities, about being listened to and acknowledged, and being given emotional and material recognition.


Recognition should be done systematically, so that employees know they that they are always being evaluated and that this has consequences. Using quarterly meetings, as mentioned previously, is a very good venue for recognising well-performing employees.

Recognition doesn’t always mean them receiving a promotion. Frequent recognition of the best performing individuals and teams is important at the sales unit level and by the bank’s leadership.

It is about communicating to the whole organisation, and re-assuring the individual that the leadership see and value what they are doing.

The recognition can be a certificate, a medal, a trophy, or a gift. But it is the celebration, the way you recognise teams and individuals that acts as a very important motivational tool.

It is important to link future promotions and salary rises to consistently above-average performance and this reinforces the effect of such periodical recognition ceremonies. Anyone who wants a promotion (including a better salary) will know that a prerequisite of this achievement is to be on the top performance list. They will know that  as results are refreshed every quarter and that every time a ‘winner’ is promoted, it creates a very healthy motivational environment.

This is different from  quarterly meetings being used negatively to expose non-performing individuals and sales teams.

The quarterly meeting, when done positively to celebrate success becomes a powerful tool to promote outstanding performance. When the bank has a team of Eagles, they will do more to achieve more and Swallows will follow the recipe and stimulus to become Eagles. Turkeys will always blame something or someone else for not being a top performer.

Monetary Commission

Some banks see monetary commission as a reward and recognition: it is not, it is part of the pay scheme. If properly set, it is an important component to drive performance, but it is not a reward, nor a basis to select the best sales professionals. A bank can have a group of high commission sales professionals, but among them we are always going to have better performers, in terms of the goals set by the company, regarding mix of target customers, and products or services sold.

A high commission payment can sometimes result from a one-off sale in a sales professional’s portfolio that they’ve built or received from an inherited portfolio.

Product and service sales performance, customer satisfaction indices, and portfolio growth are the goals that should be rewarded and recognised, and should be the basis for future promotions – and not high commissions.

Alternative reward structures

Some banks that are well established and have a high market share may decide not to pay commission, as at that level it is not interested necessary in more sales, but to keep its position, increasing value share. The focus will be on better product delivery, up-selling and providing an impeccable customer experience.

Such banks normally pay a higher fixed salary that incorporates the average pay of competitors’ commission, plus the fixed salary, to make the full salary. However, the performance bar in such banks is very high, affecting career plans and the frequency of promotions.

Such companies also use the above reward campaigns to keep their sales teams motivated. Ongoing consistent performance by salespeople should be the basis for future promotions and salary raises.