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Definition

SPIF (sales performance incentive fund)

A SPIF (sales performance incentive fund) is a financial incentive that encourages a sales representative to sell a specific item or group of items. The term is often used as a synonym for the word "bonus."   

SPIFS are often used by vendors and employers to introduce new products to the market or increase sales within a specific time frame. The incentive may be a cash bonus or rebate -- or a prize, such as a vacation, car or club membership. 

The origin of the term is murky, but it is generally thought to have something to do with the slang phrase "spiffed up," which means to enhance the way something looks.  Spif is also spelled spiff or even sometimes spiv, which is (ironically) a synonym for a well-dressed con artist. 

 

Dig Deeper:

Rebates get channel makeover
Vendors often use spifs to compensate partner sales reps and technical reps for taking the time to learn about their products. 

Rebates: Love them or hate them
Vendors offer SPIF payments to resellers that sell designated products during a particular promotion period.

This was last updated in November 2010

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Do you have more information on the taxability of spiff payments to employees.
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