Sales Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Incentive Claim Approvals

I. Purpose

The purpose of this Sales Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Incentive Claim Approvals is to establish a clear, fair, and systematic framework for the submission, review, and approval of sales incentives. This SOP aims to eliminate confusion and inconsistency in handling incentive claims, ensuring that all sales personnel are rewarded appropriately for their contributions to the company's goals. By standardizing the incentive claim process, [Your Company Name] seeks to motivate its sales team, enhance performance, and maintain high morale by recognizing and rewarding successful sales efforts in a timely and equitable manner.

II. Scope

This Sales Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) outlines the process for incentive claim approvals within [Your Company Name]. It is designed to ensure a consistent, transparent, and efficient approach to managing and approving sales incentives across all departments. This SOP covers the criteria for incentive eligibility, the submission process for incentive claims, the review and compliance process by management. It applies to all sales personnel seeking incentive claims and the management responsible for reviewing and approving these claims. The objective is to streamline the incentive claim process, reduce discrepancies, and ensure timely recognition and reward for sales achievements.

III. Definitions

  • Incentive Claims: Requests submitted by sales team members to receive additional compensation based on their sales performance.

  • Sales Commission: A predefined percentage of the sales value earned by a sales team member.

  • Sales Incentive: A bonus or additional reward for sales team members based on specific performance metrics.

  • Commission and Incentive Plan: The document that outlines the terms and conditions for sales compensation.

  • Sales Operations Manager: The individual responsible for overseeing and managing the incentive claim approval process.

IV. Procedure

A. Submission of Incentive Claims

Sales team members must submit their incentive claims within 30 days of the end of the claim period. Claims should be submitted through the company's designated online portal or platform, ensuring consistency and easy tracking. The sales team member is responsible for ensuring the completeness and accuracy of the submission.

  1. Name of the sales team member: The claim should clearly state the name of the individual seeking the incentive.

  2. Claim period: Sales team members should specify the claim period, which can be a month, quarter, or year, as per the Commission and Incentive Plan.

  3. Sales performance metrics: Detailed metrics that align with the specific claimed incentives should be provided. For example, if the incentive is based on meeting or exceeding sales targets, the claim should include clear evidence of achieving or surpassing these targets.

  4. Supporting documentation: All relevant supporting documentation should be attached. This may include sales reports, customer contracts, invoices, or any other records necessary to validate the incentive claim.

B. Initial Review

The initial review phase serves as the first checkpoint in the incentive claim approval process and is crucial for ensuring the accuracy and completeness of submitted claims. Here is an elaboration of this step:



Claim Verification:

During the initial review, the Sales Operations Manager or their designated representative will verify the following:

Claim Accuracy:

The claim is checked for mathematical accuracy and consistency with the provided documentation.


It is ensured that all required fields in the claim are filled out accurately. Missing or incomplete information will be flagged and communicated to the sales team member for prompt correction.


The claim should be submitted within the timeline outlined in the Commission and Incentive Plan. Claims submitted after the deadline may not be considered unless there are extenuating circumstances, as defined in the plan.

Documentation Validation:

During the initial review, the Sales Operations Manager will also assess the authenticity and completeness of the submitted documentation.

Documentation Relevance:

Ensuring that all attached documents are directly related to the incentive claim. Irrelevant documents will not be considered.

Document Integrity:

Review documents for signs of tampering, alterations, or inconsistencies. Any concerns regarding document integrity will be investigated further.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance:

Confirm that all submitted documents comply with legal and regulatory requirements, including any applicable industry standards or customer agreements.

Initial Review Outcomes:


If the claim is complete, accurate, and meets the initial criteria, it will proceed to the manager's review phase.

Correction Required:

If any discrepancies or missing information are identified, the sales team member will be notified promptly to rectify these issues. The claim will be placed on hold until the necessary corrections are made.


In cases where the claim is clearly inaccurate or does not meet the requirements outlined in the Commission and Incentive Plan, the claim may be rejected at this stage, and the sales team member will be informed of the reasons for the rejection.

C. Evaluation of Performance Metrics

The Evaluation of Performance Metrics is a critical step in determining whether the sales team member has met the criteria defined in the Commission and Incentive Plan. This process involves a detailed analysis of the performance metrics provided in the claim:

  1. Metric Alignment

The Sales Operations Manager or their designated representative will evaluate whether the performance metrics align with the specific criteria outlined in the Commission and Incentive Plan. This alignment ensures that the sales team member's performance is directly tied to the incentive claimed.

  1. Metric Validation

Each performance metric will be individually validated. This involves closely examining the metrics to ascertain their authenticity and accuracy:

  • Sales Targets: If the claim is based on achieving sales targets, the actual sales figures will be compared to the targets set in the Commission and Incentive Plan. Variances will be analyzed to determine if the targets have been met or exceeded.

  • Performance Documentation: Sales reports, customer contracts, invoices, or any other relevant documents will be scrutinized to validate the performance metrics provided. This step helps confirm that the performance metrics are legitimate and can be substantiated.

  • Metric Consistency: The evaluation will also focus on the consistency of the metrics across the claim and supporting documents. Any inconsistencies or discrepancies will be addressed and resolved before proceeding.

  1. Non-Performance Metrics

Sometimes, the Commission and Incentive Plan may specify non-performance metrics for certain incentives. These may include metrics related to customer satisfaction, market share, or other qualitative factors. The Sales Operations Manager will ensure that these non-performance metrics are assessed according to the plan's criteria.

  1. Metric Validity and Accuracy:

The validity and accuracy of the metrics are paramount. Any concerns regarding the metrics' validity, such as disputes over data sources or measurement methods, will be addressed and resolved with the relevant departments.

  1. Performance Metrics Outcomes

After a comprehensive evaluation of the performance metrics, one of the following outcomes will be determined:

  • Approval: If the performance metrics are validated, consistent with the Commission and Incentive Plan, and meet the defined criteria, the claim will proceed to the manager's review.

  • Correction Required: If any discrepancies, inaccuracies, or missing information are identified during the performance metrics evaluation, the sales team member will be informed, and the claim will be placed on hold until the necessary corrections are made.

  • Rejection: If the performance metrics are found to be invalid, inconsistent, or in conflict with the Commission and Incentive Plan, the claim may be rejected at this stage, and the sales team member will be provided with a detailed explanation for the rejection.

D. Approval Process



Manager's Review

In cases where the incentive claim is within the approval limits defined in the Commission and Incentive Plan, the sales team member's immediate manager will be responsible for reviewing and approving the claim. The immediate manager should evaluate the claim within [30] days after the initial review.

Higher-Level Review

In situations where the incentive claim exceeds the approval limits of the immediate manager, it will be escalated to the next management level. The higher-level manager will review the claim and either approve or deny it. This review must also occur within 30 days to maintain efficiency in the process.

Final Approval

Once the claim has been reviewed and approved at the managerial levels, it will be presented to the Sales Operations Manager for a final review. The Sales Operations Manager is empowered to approve or deny claims that have been escalated to this level. This step ensures consistency and adherence to company policies.

E. Notification

Upon approval, the sales team member will receive a formal notification of the approval of their incentive claim. This notification will include:

  • The approved incentive amount.

  • The date on which the approved incentive amount will be included in the sales team member's compensation.

  • If the incentive claim is denied at any level, the sales team member will receive a written explanation for the denial, including specific reasons for the decision.

F. Documentation and Record Keeping

All incentive claims, approval decisions, and supporting documentation will be meticulously maintained and securely stored for a minimum of [30] days. These records are vital for auditing, compliance, and legal purposes. It is the responsibility of the Sales Operations Department to ensure the proper storage and organization of these records.

G. Appeals Process

The Appeals Process allows sales team members to contest decisions made in the incentive claim approval process. This section provides an in-depth explanation of the steps involved in the appeals process:



Initiation of an Appeal

A sales team member who disagrees with the decision regarding their incentive claim must formally initiate the appeals process within 30 days, as outlined in the Commission and Incentive Plan.

Appeal Committee

An impartial appeal committee will be formed, composed of senior management or other relevant experts who were not involved in the initial claim approval process. The members of this committee will be chosen based on their expertise and impartiality.

Appeal Review

The appeal committee will conduct a thorough review of the appeal, examining the following aspects:

  • The grounds for the appeal and any supporting evidence provided.

  • The original claim, including all documentation and approval decisions.

  • Compliance with the Commission and Incentive Plan.

  • Any legal or regulatory considerations.

  • The appeal committee may request additional information or clarification from the sales team member or other relevant parties if necessary.

Appeal Decision

The appeal committee will decide within [30] days of receiving the appeal. The decision will be based on carefully examining all the information and evidence available.

Notification of Appeal Decision

The sales team member will be promptly informed of the appeal committee's decision in writing. The communication will include a detailed explanation of the decision and its rationale. If the appeal is successful, the appropriate corrective actions will be taken to ensure that the incentive is processed and paid per the decision.

The appeals process is designed to maintain transparency and fairness in the incentive claim approval process. It allows for a thorough reevaluation of decisions, offering a mechanism for dispute resolution while ensuring that an impartial body makes final determinations. This process safeguards the rights of sales team members and upholds the integrity of the incentive program.

V. Compliance

It is absolutely compulsory for all members of the sales operations staff, as well as the members of the sales team, to strictly abide by this Standard Operating Procedure. In case an individual fails to conform to this particular procedure, they may face disciplinary action based on the severity of the violation. The disciplinary measures may even extend to the extent of forfeiting one's right to claim any incentives or commissions that they would otherwise be entitled to receive in the normal course of their sales operations.

VI. Review and Revision

This Standard Operating Procedure is set to undergo a routine review on an annual basis or even more frequently as circumstances may demand. This review is central in keeping the procedure both up-to-date and effective. In a bid to ensure seamless adoption and compliance, any modifications, updates, or revisions made to the operating guidelines will be promptly and adequately communicated to all relevant stakeholders. By implementing this, [Your Company Name] can provide assurance that every individual associated with these procedures is aware of and adheres to the most recent and accurate protocols involved.

Should you have any questions or need more information regarding this Standard Operating Procedure, you may send an email at [Your Company Email] or give us a call at [Your Company Number].

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