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May 08, 2010
Importance of Transparency When Reorganizing Sales Compensation Plans

In a BLR webinar entitled "Sales Compensation Strategies: How to Motivate and Re-Energize Your Sales Staff in a Challenging Economy," Dan Kleinman, principal of Dan Kleinman Consulting, a compensation and human resource consulting firm, described the importance of transparency when developing or adapting sales compensation programs.

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Transparency reinforces trust and understanding. When making changes:

  • Start small.
  • Watch the pressure gauge.

Two key factors in successful transparency are:

  1. Dialogue
  2. The sales manager

Dialogue means:

  • Active listening
  • Ensuring the message got through
  • Constructive confrontation
  • Building a relationship
  • Timely responses
  • Mutual responsibility

Sales managers are the bologna in the sandwich. They:

  • Hire, coach, foster team ethic and share processes
  • Translate plans into action
  • Forecast sales productivity and assess outcomes
  • Should be equipped with information and tools
  • Should be a manger, not a super salesperson
  • Make sure the staff knows how to win:
    • Quotas
    • Territories
    • Account assignment shifts
    • The model

It's important to align staff and management in a single, focused purpose.

Dan Kleinman is the principal of Dan Kleinman Consulting, a California-based compensation and human resource consulting firm. For the past 18 years, he has served as an independent consultant for a broad spectrum of regional, national, and international companies, providing compensation, performance, organizational planning, and reward-system design services. He may be reached at

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