Unless you've had your head in the sand, you surely noted Sunday's Super Bowl. Early on it looked like it was going to be a one-sided affair; but after a bit of inspiration from Beyonce, Destiny's Child and a power outage, the San Francisco 49ers made a game of it and nearly snatched victory. But in the end Baltimore claimed the spoils.

Football and Helmet on Field with Goal Post under Spotlights

Football and Helmet on Field with Goal Post under Spotlights

Every player and coach for both teams was unquestionably motivated. The passion was evident on every face. In 2012 each player had a $172,000 win bonus from the NFL. Throw in other endorsements such as Eli Manning's MVP Corvette, and there's a big pot of cash to aim for. But do win bonuses make a championship-winning difference? Any player or coach will tell you that if you aren't up for the championship game, you shouldn't be out there.

I would suggest the season-long coaching sessions, detailed film sessions and the in-helmet communication on the field had a greater influence. Take all that away from one team but double or even triple their win bonus. Still think they're going to win?

Apply that to sales – bigger comp plans don't guarantee the right results. What will? A performance plan tailored to each individual on your sales team, that focuses on improving their weaknesses.

Comcast, the communications, information and entertainment company, joined us on our recent webinar to talk about how and why they are coaching 1,800 sales professionals in their "Business Class" division - a division that boasts 30% growth and accounts for $2 billion of revenue. Without looking at the performance in a consistent way and taking into account activities AND skills, it's impossible to tailor development plans to individuals that focus on the unique requirements of that team member.

If you missed the webcast, grab the replay here. The Comcast story is one very good example of a business looking to build on incentives and commissions routines to drive better performance.

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