Your salesperson gets to the door and no one is home. Or, worse, someone is, and that aggrieved homeowner explains that she told the canvasser she wasn't interested.

Lead quality among canvassers can vary greatly, which is why some companies go beyond bonusing for productivity and actually kick in extra when the lead becomes a signed contract.

“We incentivize them to get quantity and quality,” says Randy Shepherd, co-owner of Renewal by Andersen of Colorado. The company pays $50 for every appointment that becomes a demo. Since selling is the point of the process, Renewal by Andersen of Colorado also rewards canvassers for leads that become sales, paying on a sliding scale, up to a maximum of $100 depending on job size.

Up the Ante Prince William Home Improvement, in Woodbridge, Va., really ups the ante, paying canvassers half of 1% up to $10,000 on leads that become sales and 1% for sales of more than that, according to president Scott Holtzhauer. Canvassers who have been with the company for six months get an additional ¼ %.

Energy Swing Windows in Murrysville, Pa., places a big premium on lead quality. Canvassers only get a bonus only for sales, not for appointments. “They might get junky appointments,” explains president Don Darragh. But the bonus for sales is good: 3%.

Verifiable John Aurgemma, president of Rhode Island Home Improvement, in Warwick, R.I., speaks for many when he points out that leads generated by canvassers in the field “may not be worth the paper they're written on.” Therefore, he argues, it's important to verify leads, and “it's imperative that canvassers get paid bonuses on sales.”

Canvassers working for Rhode Island Home Improvement get $10 per demonstration, and $25 for leads that become a sale. To boost productivity, Rhode Island Home Improvement also rewards canvassers based on the number of verified leads written per hour or per week: They receive an additional $1 per hour for their 32-hour week if they write up one verified lead per hour.