Millennial Sales Compensation - 15 Common Mistakes to Avoid in a Sales Compensation Plan

Author: Danita Bye, Sales Growth Specialists
Posted: March 20th, 2020

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Sales compensation programs typically come in regular, plus, and premium grades. And that begs the question every manager and business owner asks while standing at the sales expense pump: which compensation “grade” is going to fuel the best price/performance ratio in my sales engine? Will a premium grade Compensation Plan guarantee a sales staff that can and will execute my sales strategies?

Since Millennials now make up a significant and growing percentage of the workforce, (yes, Millennials are projected to make up half of the workforce by 2020) you also want to pay special attention to their aspirations. And it differs vastly from the career goals, hopes and dreams of your more senior Baby Boomers. Unlike Baby Boomers, who would often stay at a job for years, two-thirds of Millennials, in a recent survey, say they are likely to switch jobs by 2020.

As a salesperson, then a VP of sales, then sitting on boards of directors, my thoughts have been largely focused on one question: what’s going
to drive sales success? Plus, now we’re also asking: how do we attract and retain Millennials?

Millennials rarely switch jobs without a pay increase. The importance of compensation has grown, with nearly 80% of Millennials reporting a
salary bump when they most recently switched jobs. Of those who switched jobs, 25% are seeing their salaries increase by up to 30%.

What are some of the considerations? Hiring right; coaching better; paying competitive salesperson compensation packages….

Yes, all of the above! But, after years of wandering in and out of sales organizations, I have learned that determining which compensation
grade and approach to use depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Company objectives and plans
  • Product development cycles
  • Business cycles
  • Target markets
  • Talent management cycle (experience, performance)
  • Organizational values and culture

Is your compensation plan clearly aligned with your organizational objectives?
This eBook will help you find the compensation “grade” that will fuel your sales engine. By applying our compensation principles, we will
identify areas in which your sales program lacks the premium grade fuel it needs to achieve your core strategic objectives.

Why read this eBook?

  • You understand the importance of a balanced, performance-optimized compensation plan, but don’t know quite how to put one into practice;
  • You realize that endlessly fiddling with base salaries and commission percentages just isn’t going to cut it, especially when you’re designing
    a compensation plan for Millennials, but you don’t have a firm grasp on the alternatives;
  • You acknowledge that your sales staff isn’t happy, owners aren’t happy, and budgets are stretched while results are falling behind;
  • You know you’ve got a compensation problem on your hands, and you also know it’s only going to get worse, in the form of a weak sales culture, high sales costs, horrendous bottom line performance and even losing some of your most promising Millennials.

The Millennial Sales Compensation Book helps you to address these challenges so that you can design a sales compensation program that strikes the perfect balance between performance and economy. To accomplish this, your compensation plan must use premium grade fuel to drive your company’s strategic goals.


This content has been provided by Danita Bye, Sales Growth Specialist as a complimentary resource for the Inside/Digital Sales Community in this difficult time. If you have a resource to share with the community, please reach out to!


Leadership, Coaching, Motivation


Millennial, Coaching, Compensation, Hiring


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