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To more easily retain top-performing agents, the compensation plans independent sales organization create for their agents should "walk the careful balance between immediate gratification versus long-term growth and incentive," contends Dane A. James, executive vice president of corporate sales at Cynergy Data LLC, a New York-based processor and ISO. Cynergy Data uses a multiyear residual program that "allows the salesperson to see a growing compensation" in addition to a salary, James says. Ongoing monetary incentives can "keep agents interested in the long term," says Curt Waite, sales manager at Equity Commerce LP, a Hagerstown, Md.-based processor and ISO. Salespeople are "self-motivated. They want a link between their behavior and their pocketbook," says Mike Leatherman, senior vice president of business development at First National Merchant Solutions, an Omaha, Neb.-based processor. Fairly compensating sales reps helps service providers by creating motivated sellers, says Leatherman. A fair compensation package gives agents incentive to "continue to hunt" for business opportunities, he adds.

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