Trick or Treat? Are Your Sales Comp Plans Working?


It’s that time of year again, we think about it all year long. It all leads up to the never ending question “What to wear?” Something frightening? Perhaps a pop culture reference? Or maybe something attractive? Possibly a funny one? The name of the game is the best Halloween costume. What you wear says a lot about you and can make or break your ghoulish Hallow’s eve.

Much like a Halloween costume, a company’s sales compensation plan can make sales rep feel like a company is playing “Trick or Treat” as well. Developing an effective sales comp plan depends entirely on clear communication, proper motivation, and incentives that drive results for the company and the rep. Here are some solid sales compensation business tactics for a proficient and satisfying treat when creating or analyzing your sales comp plan.

Halloween can go either way, is your costume the talk of the party or an unknown, unidentified guest. The ideal costume answers the question “what are you dressed up as” with just one look. The best sales comp plan effectively communicates goals and incentives for reps. Reps need to understand products and services they have to highlight and see a clear connection to their potential earning potential. The worst costume constantly begs the same question all night because no one knows by just looking at it. If the goals aren’t clear enough, reps will be lost in confusion wondering what trick rewards their treat.

Trick: Make goals and incentives attainable with clear communication.

Treat: Sales Reps can see path to success and reward.

The best costume encourages a buzz of pictures, candy, conversation, and awards. The right sales comp plan also creates motivation for its reps by instilling optimism and determination. Sales plan caps and crazy quotas can discourage reps as much as a bad costume can dishearten even the most excited Halloween lover.  Nothing discourages a rep faster than a convoluted plan.

Trick: Make realistic, achievable and incentives.

Treat: Reps are motivated by rewards that they feel they can control and achieve.

When creating your perfect Halloween costume make sure to invest enough time and materials to avoid a mismatched, hodgepodge, incomplete costume catastrophe. The best costume is so well made and well liked, you’ll want to use it every year. With sales comp plans, you will also need to invest time to develop a concrete, cohesive plan for you business model for years to come that is good for the business and the reps.  That is why we have partnered with firms such as Compensation Master who can help prepare a compensation stress test to evaluate and weigh both the rep and company’s best interest for a small fee.

CSO Insights, an independent third-party research firm found in 2013, “only 13% of organizations found their sales compensation plans consistently drove the kind of behavior they want.“ Not rewarding the right behavior is a trick many businesses can ill afford.

Trick: Make sure your incentives for your reps are in line with your overall business strategy. Short term/ long term. Not losing too much money to reps while creating a sustainable business model.

Treat:  Harmonizes the business when the reps and business strategy work as one.

Trick or Treat! This Halloween go out dressed in your best costume and make sure your sales comp plan rewards the behavior necessary for the perfect All Hallow’s Eve.

Heather Peterson
Latest posts by Heather Peterson (see all)

1 thought on “Trick or Treat? Are Your Sales Comp Plans Working?

  1. Pingback: Trick or Treat? Are Your Sales Comp Plans Worki...

Comments are closed.