6 Essentials to Have a Sales Comp Plan That Drives Behavior


The compensation plan is the most powerful tool that an organization can deliver to the sales team to establish alignment on sales and business priorities. It is the key driver of behavior, and if not considered in the broader context of the role and the sales strategy it will fail.

All too often organizations treat plan design as a financial exercise—reviewing results of the previous plan and making tweaks and adjustments to the plan mechanics or including a few “motivational drivers” like accelerators or spiffs with the hope of driving desired performance. When the expected results are not delivered, the plan designers often blame a complacent sales organization, while the frontline sales team complains that the plan is unfair.

Join us on a journey to explore six essential elements required for an effective sales compensation plan.

These six essentials make up the foundation for a sales comp plan that drives desired behavior among the sales team:

  1. Align – The plan must be aligned with the sales strategy and job roles.
  2. Differentiate – Using the “Reverse Robin Hood Principle,” make sure to reward excellence while not overpaying low performers.
  3. Simplify – Reduce complexity in the plan measures and mechanics.
  4. Motivate – Connect pay with performance, ensuring that the plan measures are aligned with the expected results.
  5. Connect – Avoid disconnects by making sure that other sales performance management elements — such as territories and quotas — are aligned with the sales comp plan strategy.
  6. Automate – Future proof the plan by having technology that is dynamic and flexible enough to not only support the plan needs, but also to handle changing strategic priorities.

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Robert Blohm

Senior Vice President of Sales & Alliances | OpenSymmetry

Robert is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Alliances at OpenSymmetry (OS). He is responsible for driving sales revenue globally for OS. With over 15 years of experience in sales effectiveness, performance management, and technology fields, Robert has managed consulting projects for Fortune 100 companies across a variety of industries. As a sales leader, he has experience with high-growth and emerging businesses with a record of achieving business and sales goals. His charter at OS is to develop and nurture a world-class team of sales executives, managers, and individual contributors that are positive, highly-motivated, and exceed goals while achieving the highest level of customer satisfaction.

Mark Donnolo

Managing Partner | SalesGlobe

Mark is a founder and Managing Partner of SalesGlobe, a sales effectiveness consulting firm that works with major sales organizations on sales strategies to grow revenue. SalesGlobe focuses on helping companies grow profitably by developing and implementing strategies that improve the effectiveness of sales, marketing, and service organizations. Areas of focus include sales strategy, customer segmentation, channel strategy, sales organization design and deployment, performance management, and incentive compensation.

Mark is a regular conference speaker on sales compensation and is the author of numerous books and articles in publications. His recent books on sales effectiveness and reward include: Essential Account Planning: Five keys for helping your sales team drive revenue (ATD 2017); What Your CEO Needs to Know About Sales Compensation: Connecting the corner office to the front line (AMACOM 2013); The Innovative Sale: Unleash your creativity for better customer solutions and extraordinary results (AMACOM 2014).

Michelle Seger

Global Sales Strategy and Change Management Leader | SalesGlobe

Michelle is the Global Sales Strategy and Change Management Leader for SalesGlobe. She is known for her unconventional thinking style, ability to identify with her clients and successfully navigate an organization through change. Michelle consults, designs, and implements solutions across a range of industries including technology, manufacturing, financial services, telecom, hospitality, retail, and consumer products. As a previous business owner of an international retail franchise, she understands the challenges business leaders face in a complex global business model. Michelle is a keynote and conference speaker and is frequently quoted in the national business and trade media on current and changing business trends that impact people, shape behaviors and drive performance and culture.

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