Are your sales truly motivated by their compensation?

Jean Lorillon

The operations team is often responsible for the end to end processes associated with the sales compensation program, including the plan design process, system implementation and administration.

When building or updating a sales compensation plan, one of the main challenges is to gather constructive feedback from a wide cross section of sales leaders, sales operations, finance and HR.

But what about the sales force itself? There's a very simple question to ask sales representatives: Does your sales compensation program motivate you to achieve the company's objectives?

Taking the pulse of the sales pit has a lot of advantages:

  • First, feedback is always there, so you might as well listen :) If you ask someone in the sales organization when feedback about the sales compensation occurs, they'll typically mention the coffee machine and chit-chat during breaks.
  • Letting the sales team know that their feedback is valued and welcomed is a great signal sent to the team. It's never a bad idea to tie bonds between sales operations and sales executives.
  • It allows continuous learning, since it's much easier to go and talk with sales reps rather than planning a meeting with finance, HR or exec leaders, who probably have other priorities at the time you are asking.
  • It can help diffuse conflicts before they happen. Once the review of the compensation plan is finished and you're ready to communicate the new plan to the sales team (see our previous post), you'll feel much more comfortable if you know that some of the potential issues have already been dealt with.
  • It empowers the sales team to be in the driver’s seat and feel they can impact the company's long term strategy.
  • Last, and this shouldn't be underestimated, the feedback is likely to give you clues about potential causes of sales employees turnover. There's one top closer out there you might keep away from being  "open to a new job"...

Gathering field feedback

Time for a quick survey :)

We’ve listed a few questions one could send directly to sales contributors, for example one or two months before you start the update or revamping of the sales compensation plan. You can use popular survey tools like SurveyMonkey, Typeform of Google Form to send the survey and collect answers.

  1. Do you think your Total Target Compensation is competitive? (scale 1 to 5)
  2. Does your incentives (variable) motivate you to over achieve your targets?  (scale 1 to 5)
  3. How challenging or achievable are your quotas? (scale 1 to 5)
  4. Was the sales compensation plan clearly communicated? (scale 1 to 5)
  5. How easy it is to track and understand the commissions earned per month (quarter/year)? (scale 1 to 5)
  6. Overall, how would you rate your current sales compensation plan? (We recommend a scale of 1 to 10, to eventually calculate a NPS on sales compensation)
  7. Is there any feedback you'd like to share with us?

What do you think of this survey? Would it help you gather constructive feedback from the sales team?  We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to ping us at

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