compensation plan graphs


How do you simplify a complex topic—like a new incentive compensation program—so employees can understand it and take action? The key is to keep communication simple and focus on the needs of your audience.

Let's explore some best practices using three methods: written communications, face-to-face meetings and visuals. By following these approaches, you'll ensure that sales reps understand and implement the new program.

Method   Instead of this...   ...try this
Highly technical writing might help you sound like an expert, but it won't gain your audience's attention or trust. To simplify your message, we recommend writing for a 7th grade level.


  • Brief and concise
  • Plain language
  • Targeted to the audience
  • All terms and acronyms are explained
"While the NSCP officially launches on June 30, sales reps with less than one year of service will need to wait 90 days before their program eligibility begins." "As a new sales rep, you are eligible to join the New Sales Compensation Program (NSCP) beginning September 30."
Face-to-face presentations help develop personal connections with your audience and provide immediate answers to their questions.


  • Friendly voice
  • Focused on the audience
  • Unscripted, conversational style
  • Light or humorous tone
  • Non-technical language
"Over the next 5 years we anticipate that the plan will result in year-over-year revenue growth of 10%, EBITDA of $20 million, Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 65% and a cumulative payout of over $500,000 in sales commissions." "You work hard to support the success of the company, and the results show. In return, we want to reward you by offering a program that boosts your financial success."
Instead of describing a process in words, try creating an infographic that visually depicts your message.


  • Navigational cues
  • Easily scannable
  • Color used to emphasize key points
"Because loyalty is factored into your compensation payout, your earning opportunity will increase as your seniority increases: 2% after 2 years, 3% after 5 years, 5% after 10 years, and an additional .5% for every year after 10."
Click to enlarge
The benefits?
Companies that present simple compensation communication plans are likely to experience the following positive results:
  • Improved understanding
  • Stronger rate of plan adoption
  • Increased ability to connect the plan to the objectives of the company

Want to learn more about communicating sales compensation programs? Download the white paper, "Motivating your sales force through effective communication of your sales compensation program."

We can help you tackle any employee communication challenge