Service Staff "Gain and Pain"

Service Staff "Gain and Pain"


When your producers sell a new piece of business, do you get the impression that the service staff isn’t as excited as the producers? It can seem natural since they didn’t bring in the new business, but they’re probably thinking “Great, more money for you and more work for me…”

Service staff compensation starts with the realization that their primary role is retention, and that they are driven by base salary, but are motivated by incentives. With that as a starting point, the service staff should have a plan that allows them to participate in the “gain and pain” of the agency’s success, their team’s success, and their personal achievements.

We suggest aligning and rewarding compensation to a combination of the following:

  • Company Goals: growth goals, new business production goals, retention goals
  • Team Goals: growth by department, new business by department, retention by department
  • Individual Goals: growth of book of business handled, individual new business production, retention of their book of business, customer service results, service timeline and stewardship reporting commitments honored
  • Discretionary Goals: subjective based on exceptional performance

An Account Executive (AE) that manages a $1 Million book of business might have a target annual compensation amount of $125,000. That target can be made up of a base salary of $75,000 plus an incentive portion equal to 5% of monthly commissions. This AE would not only see the gain if new business goes into their book, but they would also feel the pain if they lose any business.

In this “gain and pain” culture, agencies can also provide commission income to service staff for selling new services and products (typically at a rate of about half that of a producer).

High performing agencies create a sales culture of accountability and reward by providing incentive compensation to all sales and service employees.