There is a lot of variability in goals and practice in structuring a President’s Club award program. 30% of all sales people participating would be on the high side of what I’ve seen – 10% – 20% is more typical. But this should be guided by your intentions rather than by what everyone else is doing. For example:

  • If your plans offer limited acceleration for over-goal performance, and you include substantial training and networking in your PC event, you may want to dip deeper into the organization (even everyone at or over goal could be included) to make the award help drive goal attainment, and make sure you are providing training and development to your highest potential sales people.
  • If you recognize the top performing region every quarter with a splashy announcement, a fabulous dinner, and a cash award (~$1k grossed up each) AND you pay a handsome binary bonus when people achieve their annual goal, then you may want to make your PC more exclusive, top 10% or so only – maybe only those who hit a level of attainment above goal (e.g., 115% of goal or better).

These are just a couple of scenarios to illustrate. The idea here is that you need to design your President’s Club in the context of the whole reward system, the prominence and ability to measure true contribution of the sales people, etc. And while it’s totally appropriate to have goals about what percent of the sales force participates, it’s probably not a great idea to design the cutoff as “top xx%” – you don’t want one person to be able to win only if another loses. You want them competing with the goal, not each other.