Human Resources
Sales Force Effectiveness

Designing a Sales Incentive Plan for Business Developers


Multi-national defense/aerospace contractor


This company sought to implement an incentive plan for business developers (and supporting roles) to drive profitable growth. Rewarding individual performance, an increased line-of-sight and driving profitable growth were of utmost importance to the company. Business developers were previously eligible for a management incentive plan that rewarded profitability only at the company level and offered little incentive to drive growth.


Diverse business units within the company meant that the successful harmonization of the plan would be key to success. Introducing a plan that rewarded individual performance was also a significant cultural change.

Aon Hewitt Solution

Aon Hewitt worked with the client to develop a plan that would motivate profitable growth. The consulting team collected data on pay levels and performance for identified business segments. The team then conducted benchmarking from comparable companies to determine if pay levels and practices were in line with marketplace. In addition, Aon Hewitt lead a benchmarking roundtable with similar business to gain more insight into market practices. More than 40 existing roles were segmented into six major plan designs to create a simple framework that reinforced personal accountability for results. Measures were introduced that would reward individual performance and contributions to the broader business objectives and strategy, such as growth and profitability. Given the degree of change, the consulting team was hands on in the implementation of the new plans. Support was provided in the cost modeling, goal setting, plan calculators, communication materials, policy documents and socialization of the plan across multiple levels of the organization.


The new business development incentive plan created a stronger line-of-sight to business results, focusing incumbents’ attention on profit and growth. The incentive plan was also dynamic enough to be used across distinct business segments while maintaining consistency. This saved costs during the roll out and enabled more accurate tracking of results by the administration team.

Case Studies

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