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July 02, 2010
Having an Open Dialogue With Your Sales Force

In a BLR webinar entitled ‘Commission Pay Plans: How to Motivate Your Sales Staff in a Roller Coaster Economy’, David Wudyka discusses the need for an employer to have open dialogue with the organization’s sales force. Organizations need to be able to manage a dialogue with their sales force. The important part of this goal of transparency is that there is a significant challenge in managing a sales force. This includes managing people who are not in the workplace. People can feel disconnect and contact needs to maintained. Hence, the following are important points about open dialogue with the sales force:

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  • Communicate, communicate, and communicate again (a) the basics of your Commission Pay Plan (CPP) and (b) any changes you're making in the near future
  • Listen actively and not defensively, when your sales reps question planned CPP changes
  • Respond in a very timely manner to their questions and concerns, even if the answer is ‘No’
  • Make sure your reps understand that they bear mutual responsibility with you for making the CPP work for everyone. If they can't follow your CPP rules, it's time for them to move on

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 speaks and writes frequently on HR and compensation issues, and he earned his master’s degree from Syracuse University.

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