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July 02, 2010
Making Your Organization’s Commission Pay Plan ‘Transparent’

David Wudyka discusses transparent Commission Pay Plans (CPPs) in a BLR webinar entitled ‘Commission Pay Plans: How to Motivate Your Sales Staff in a Roller Coaster Economy’. He states that organizations should strive to make their CPPs as transparent as possible. When you're planning any changes at all in your CPP:

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  • Start small. Make incremental changes. Don't wipe the slate clean and start from scratch, unless you have no other choice
  • Keep your eye on the stress levels of the sales force. No matter how well you communicate any CPP changes, you'll always have sales representatives who will magnify their impact beyond reason
  • You will need to be able to gauge the overall morale of the sales force. The changes that are being made may be great in the management suite but these changes also have to be acceptable within the sales force as well. The changes or goals need to be reasonable to achieve
  • You can rely on two factors to make your CPP as transparent as possible: (a) open dialogue with your sales force and (b) the best possible sales managers you can find!

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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