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October 9, 2009

HR Fact Friday: Employers Explore Changes to Sales Incentive Plans

Many large employers are planning to make changes to their sales incentive plans during the upcoming fiscal year, such as changing performance measures (60%), changing performance measure weightings (50%), changing incentive formulae or mechanics (49%), and changing their pay mix (20%), according to a survey by Watson Wyatt, a consulting firm.

Conducted among 129 large employers, the survey found that 60% of respondents said sales force productivity and efficiency remains a significant concern. 48% of employers said sales force quota and goal setting is a concern. Just 47% of respondents said they are satisfied or very satisfied with their goal-setting processes.

The survey also found that fewer employers are planning more sales force layoffs as the economy shows signs of improvement. 16% of respondents said they plan to increase sales staffing levels in upcoming fiscal year. By contrast, 12% said they anticipate decreasing their sales staffing levels, down from 53% who said the same in February. Meanwhile, voluntary turnover has declined, with 81% of respondents reporting less than 10% voluntary turnover, down from 51% who said the same in February.

For help reviewing your current incentive compensation plan or to develop a complete incentive plan program from the ground up, contact HRN. Also, ask us about Incentive Pro, a new online incentive planning and administration system from HRN. To schedule an Incentive Pro webinar demonstration call us at 800-940-7522 or email HRN at