The Complete Guide to Sales Force Incentive Compensation

Andris A. Zoltners, Prabhakant Sinha and Sally Lorimer



How to Design and Implement Plans That Work

The third book in the sales force series from ZS Associates shows organizations how to motivate their sales force, drive results and increase their bottom line. A well-designed and implemented incentive program is a powerful tool for building a motivated, highly effective sales force that delivers outstanding results. Yet incentive programs are notoriously complicated instruments: often too stingy to motivate, too quick to reward mediocre results, too complicated to understand, or too difficult to implement.

The Complete Guide to Sales Force Incentive Compensation: How to Design and Implement Plans That Work by Andris A. Zoltners, Prabhakant Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer (AMACOM Books, August 2006) is a practical, accessible, detailed road map for building a compensation system that gets it right.

Featuring eye-opening, real-world examples, detailed case studies and scorecards, as well as valuable insight on how readers can assess their current plan and evaluate and compare proposed alternatives, the book provides step-by-step methods to help readers design, implement, and administer a more effective new plan encompassing pay level, salary-incentive mix, performance measures, and the performance-payout relationship.

Help for Sales and Human Resources Professionals
This invaluable book helps sales and human resources professionals:

  • Design a compensation plan that attracts and retains successful salespeople.
  • Avoid the common trap of overusing incentives to solve too many sales management problems.
  • Set territory-level goals that are fair and realistic — and avoid overpaying the sales force because goals are too easy, or demoralizing salespeople because goals are too difficult or not fairly assigned.
  • Build an incentive plan that is aligned with the company’s goals and culture.
  • Manage a successful transition to a new compensation plan and build effective administration systems to support the plan.

Packed with ready-to-use formulas and a wealth of insights from frontline sales managers and executives, the book is a hands-on, easy-to-read "playbook" for making crucially important decisions.

About the Authors
The authors are authorities on sales force management, bringing a depth of experience, theory, insight and detail to the issue. Zoltners and Sinha began their collaboration 30 years ago as academic researchers. Their work found successful application in business and in 1983 they founded ZS Associates, now a global firm specializing in sales and marketing strategy, operations and execution.

Through their work at ZS, Zoltners, Sinha and Lorimer have worked with hundreds of sales organizations throughout the world. Zoltners is also a Professor of Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and Zoltners and Sinha teach executive education seminars in sales force management and compensation at Kellogg, the London Business School, the Indian School of Business, and for corporate sales leadership teams.

The Sales Force Series
The first book in the series, The Complete Guide to Accelerating Sales Force Performance (AMACOM Books, 2001), covered a broad range of sales force management issues, setting the stage for a series of specifically focused books.

Sales Force Design for Strategic Advantage (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) is a sourcebook for strategic sales force planning and management, helping sales executives and managers successfully create, expand, downsize, merge or restructure a sales organization for maximum impact.

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How to Order

The Complete Guide to Sales Force Incentive Compensation (AMACOM Books, 2006) is now available through online booksellers:

Bulk purchases can be arranged through the AMACOM Special Sales division. ( )

What Reviewers Are Saying

What leading business and academic professionals are saying about The Complete Guide to Sales Force Incentive Compensation

"Rich with real examples and analysis, this is the best book I have seen on sales force compensation.” – Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

"The 3-Cs framework in this excellent book takes a strategic approach to compensation that is practical and really motivates for the right results.” – Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling

"This book does a wonderful job of highlighting how sales force incentives fit within the overall context of the sales effectiveness system.” – Jeff Foland, Vice President of Sales, United Airlines

"This brilliantly architected book is not just a ‘must read,’ it is a ‘must act upon’ if you want to improve your bottom line.” – Kash Rangan, Malcolm McNair Professor of Marketing, Harvard Business School

"The authors use examples of the real-world challenges of scores of companies to create a roadmap to effective sales force compensation.” – John T. Early, Vice President-Sales and Marketing, Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Inc.

"Tapping into a wealth of academic and workplace experience, this guide answers all the compensation questions your organization is asking—or should be asking.” – Mark A. Bate, President, MasterBrand Cabinets Inc. / HomeCrest Cabinetry

"A comprehensive guide to effective compensation programs for all environments, whether the sales force is large or small or the products are complex or simple.” – Stephen Grimaldi, Vice President-Compensation & Benefits, GE Consumer Finance-Americas

"This book expertly balances qualitative and quantitative considerations for developing and implementing sales force incentive programs.” – Bill Kotcher, Market Manager, UGI/AmeriGas Propane

"This book provides clear instruction for the important problems of how to set goals, how to measure performance, and how to effectively manage change.” – Peggy Forssell, Director, Sales Operations, Summit, NJ