The best and highest use of a sales incentive plan is to provide the motivation and focus to make your almost-there sales people “get there” and to help your best performers produce even more. It’s nearly impossible to design a plan that does this well and is also effective at weeding out the underperformers. Let the plans do what they do best and pull your solid folks along to higher levels of contribution, and use your performance management process to send a clear message to the underperformers – quickly.

Donya Rose, CSCP,  is Managing Principal of The Cygnal Group. She is a recognized expert in sales compensation plan design, regularly speaking at conferences and writing published articles. She serves clients from F500 to growth-stage businesses, and advises WorldatWork on sales compensation hot topics and best practices.