| HBS Case Collection
(Revised from original 1990 version)
Mary Kay Cosmetics: Sales Force Incentives (A)
Describes the incentive system by which Mary Kay Cosmetics motivates the sales force of 200,000 independent agents who comprise the firm's only distribution channel. Illustrates the powerful effect on sales-force behavior that results when creative types of employee recognition are combined with financial incentives. Focuses on the challenges that managers face when they try to reduce program costs by modifying the VIP automobile program that awards the use of pink Cadillacs and other cars to successful sales agents. A detailed description of the parameters and formulas that drive the recognition and reward programs is provided.