Compensation is the single biggest chunk of the money that firms spend on selling. Further, how you pay influences the relevant talent pool and therefore who you hire and what you (should) measure. But compensation is ultimately a necessary yet insufficient cause of getting selling behaviors that align with a sales model. Elsewhere, I have outlined a process for developing a sales compensation plan.1 Here, I want to broaden the topic because, in a world with shorter life cycles and more information available to customers, it’s a mistake to develop a comp plan in isolation from other factors.

Sales managers now face ...

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