MARKETING & SELLING: Spur for the Front Lines


San Francisco's venerable Levi Strauss & Co. (Levi pants) has long held out against sales contests, gimmicks and giveaways, convinced that the only way to boost sales is to get the salesman to work harder. Last week Strauss & Co. broke tradition and decided to give its salesmen one big reason to work harder: a sales-incentive program for its staff that pays them a cash bonus for new accounts or sales over quotas. In so doing, it joined the growing number of U.S. firms that are putting new stress on sales-incentive programs to combat the recession.

To most U.S....

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