Incentive Compensation Design for a Technology Company


A Fortune 500 information technology company wanted to transform its sales and services organization. With multiple incentive plans and tens of thousands of sales and services personnel, the client wanted to create a global incentive compensation strategy that was aligned with the company’s strategic objectives while eliminating current administrative and communication complexities.

Our Approach

ZS used a series of management interviews to identify key pain points in the current incentives framework and their impact on business performance. Next, we conducted extensive qualitative and quantitative analysis of historical seller financials to understand pay for performance relationships in existing plan designs. With this background information, we designed several alternative global incentive frameworks; each one was reviewed in detail with key stakeholders and tested for alignment with the guiding principles established by senior management.

ZS worked closely with the client’s senior management team throughout the design process and during the finalization of plan recommendations. We also supported the executive review process to ensure concurrence and enthusiasm for the proposed new incentive compensation strategy.


ZS created a standardized global incentive design framework to address the unique requirements of the multi-product / multi-market business units, and consolidate common elements to facilitate centralized cost-effective administration. Consistent with senior leadership’s desire to pay for performance, newly designed plans shifted incentive investment from poor performers to over-achievers and high value-add resources.