Should managed services providers (MSPs) pay sales commissions to their technical engineers? That question popped up a few times during an IT Nation panel last week in Orlando, Fla. The pros and cons go something like this: On the upside you may have tech engineers who "influence" a customer win. Perhaps you want to reward and inspire more of that behavior. On the downside if you start paying your technology engineers sales commissions you could wind up distracting the engineers away from their primary responsibilities.

The panel featured:
During the panel, a few IT Nation attendees mentioned that they reward tech engineers with gift cards and other financial perks when they influence a sale. But a few panelists cautioned attendees not to get carried away with such perks.

The reasoning: Customers often consider an MSP's tech engineers to rank among their closest advocates, perhaps even sitting on the customer side of the table while negotiating a deal with the MSP. The idea is to make sure the tech engineer is recommending the best possible customer solution -- and not recommending upsells and cross-sells simply to line his or her pocket with commissions.

Generally speaking here's the panel's core conclusion: Reward tech engineers for the behavior you desire. And that behavior should involve delighting your customers.