Sales Reward Imbalance – The Reason Why You Feel Unrewarded

Have you ever felt in your job or maybe a previous role that you weren’t rewarded appropriately for your efforts?


Maybe your commission wasn’t proportionate to the amount of sales you brought in? Maybe your sales figures weren’t reflective of what you actually brought to the business?


Well in this article I’m going to explain the psychology around this imbalance, and what we encourage you to do as prospective sales icons.


adult alone anxious black and white


So to start with, without getting too theoretical, to explain this point I want to first focus on something known as equity theory. Equity theory is a concept developed by J. Stacy Adams whom was a workplace and behavioural psychologist. It’s a theory that came to light in the 1960s and is based around the motivational drivers of an employee. It addressed the concept of an individuals’ search for an equilibrium or balance between their efforts and outcomes. So in layman’s terms if a person at work feels that their pay, commission, praise or even holiday allowance isn’t in proportion to all of the work that they put in then their equitable compensation isn’t sufficient. In such circumstance that a person feels there is an imbalance, the result will be that they change their behaviour to bring this into balance.


Equity theory might be something that applies to you in your role currently or you’ve seen with a peer. If you’ve ever had the thought process of something like “they don’t pay me enough to do that” or “why haven’t they noticed all the work I’ve put in for this” then you have been a witness to equity theory at play.


So how does this apply to you in your role? Well what we’re trying to avoid is what Adams called a negative tension state. This is where an individual feels that there is a negative imbalance so they reduce their input accordingly.


This is exactly what we don’t want to happen. My wish would be that every business out there would address their equity theory to ensure that there is never a negative imbalance for its staff. In such a utopia, staff would always be striving to achieve more to reach a state of equity equilibrium and the business would reap substantial rewards for having such a stance. In reality I can’t make this happen, I can’t control every business out there. The only thing I can do is influence you, then you’re in control of such balance.


So what we at sales icon coaching propose is counteracting any negative tension state. You need to be in control, you need to hold yourself in higher regard. If you don’t feel that you’re rewarded for everything you do then force your business to offer you the rewards you seek. Am I saying threaten your business, say you’ll leave if you don’t get X, hold them at gun point?! Of course I am not.


What I am saying is to change your ways of working to ensure that there is such a positive imbalance in your input that the business has no other choice than to reward you with that which you deserve. They simply have to reward you as you’ve become too valuable to overlook. So this begs the question, how can we do this? How do we ensure that we have a positive imbalance? How do we make sure that we’re producing more?


Well my recommendation for sales icons is to focus on high pay off activities.


I’ll be posting an article on high pay off activities later this week so look out for this.


This article is a extract from my soon to be released book Sales Icon: Selling in the Shadows. For more great insights read the book when it’s released.



Leave a Reply