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July 02, 2010
Energizing and Retaining Your Top Sales Performers

In a BLR webinar entitled ‘Commission Pay Plans: How to Motivate Your Sales Staff in a Roller Coaster Economy’, David Wudyka discusses special Commission Pay Plans (CPP) issues that employers cannot ignore. He states that despite the rough economy, your very best sales reps will always have plenty of opportunities to jump ship. And, they're the first workers who'll feel a ‘disconnect’ with your organization if their pay expectations aren't met. Your top-ranked sales people will be critical to your recovery through these tough times, so it's important to find ways to hold onto them:

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  • Don't feel guilty about focusing on your top sales reps. Doing so is management time well spent
  • Don't hide the truth about what's happening
  • Be honest about your organization's current condition, and give these top sales reps as much detail as you can about why you can't meet any pay demands they present
  • If you hide things, they're more likely than other sales reps to find out sooner and they'll blame you for not being upfront with them
  • Focus them on future rewards. These top sellers are more likely to respond to goal-driven bonuses (especially if they're tied into incremental sales gains or cost savings, so that they don't hurt your bottom line)

David Wudyka, SPHR, MBA, BSIE, is the founder and managing principal of Westminster Associates (, a Massachusetts-based human resource and compensation firm that specializes in pay, performance, and productivity issues. He brings more than 30 years of professional HR and compensation experience to the table for clients around the country. He speaks and writes frequently on HR and compensation issues, and he earned his master’s degree from Syracuse University.

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