Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ask the Expert - Biggest Challenges in Sales Compensation

Here is the second installment in David Cichelli's "Ask the Expert" series on this blog. The first post and David's background information are here.

Question: What are in your opinion the biggest challenges in sales compensation. Is there a key to success?

Answer: Well, I could write a book on this subject. Sales compensation is a very noisy device. It is hard to establish, keep current and administer effectively. We find that sales compensation programs tend to fail due to:

1) Obsolescence. Sales compensation plans must be continually updated to help maintain strategic alignment with the company's goals. Most sales compensation specialists consider an unchanging sales compensation plan as a failure of sales management.

2) Complexity. The sales compensation plans are an easy “mark” when sales management is looking to get the attention of the sales force. However, too many measures—more than 3—doom a sales compensation program as it becomes overly complex.

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Julien Dionne is a well-rounded consultant with global business management experience and outstanding technical, business and leadership skills. He earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Software Engineering from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and he is a member of the Canadian Professional Sales Association. The views posted within this blog do not reflect the views of Julien’s current or previous employers and clients. Julien can be reached at