In preparation for CompCloud 2017, we featured guest blog posts from experts in the field of compensation, sales performance, and finance. This post is brought to you by PROS, which was a sponsor of CompCloud 2017. What’s the best way to get something to move in the direction you want it to go? A carrot or stick? This delves into the deeper, more complex question of the appropriate way of motivating a person or team towards a common goal. Are the motivation tactics rooted in fear, or grounded in love and appreciation? Many companies struggle with ways to consistently motivate employees, and failure to do so misaligns employee behavior with your desired outcomes. In the book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Dr. Stephen Covey states that the difference between, “poorly motivated and highly motivated employees is about 500%.” Think about that…500%! Fortunately, there are other books and articles written about ways to engage and motivate employees. Employing tactics like fostering a positive employee culture, opening avenues for communication and honesty, and providing clear career growth opportunities are merely some examples. Another key way to motivate employees is by providing recognition and rewards for performance. This means taking the time to clearly outline what success looks like, and what the incentives and rewards are for achieving success so employees see the benefits of their efforts. With these incentives and rewards in place, you now put your employees in the driver’s seat of achieving success. Similarly, it’s just as important that employers provide access to employee incentive plans, so they have a constant gauge of how they are performing. There is no organization that impacts the top line revenue of a company more than sales. So, it makes sense to provide sales teams with smart incentives that motivate reps to sell more, and to sell fast. Empowering them with tools that can accelerate the sales cycle to deliver the right products, at the right price is a first step - and PROS Smart CPQ™ is the tool that delivers! A recent study for Insidesales.com shows that 50% of buyers choose the vendor that responds first. Smart CPQ accelerates the sales cycle by delivering insights derived from analytics and machine learning algorithms to enable sales reps to find the right products for that customer. Using dynamic pricing science, sales reps can get prescriptive insights of the willingness to pay for that customer, for that product, at that time, and provide a winning price for that opportunity. Delivering sales incentives during the quoting process takes you leaps and bounds further. It extends modern commerce to your sales team by providing them with visibility into the real-time financial impact of pricing decisions for every quote. With Smart CPQ and Xactly solutions, you can provide transparency which further drives sales performance, and aligns sales rep behavior to organizational goals. Motivate your sales reps with Smart CPQ and Xactly -- and deliver sales automation and profits through personalized selling.