Human Resources
Sales Force Effectiveness

Integrating Conflicting Compensation Programs into a Single Plan


Large multi-national distribution company


This company acquired a key competitor (similar size) to expand its market footprint both through additional geographies and customer segments. The sales culture and reward programs of the two legacy companies were completely different. One organization was strongly individual-performance oriented (high risk/reward), while the other organization was highly collegial-team oriented (win/lose together). A new CEO was named who had a very clear view as to how the organization programs should shift and be aligned.


The plan changes would provide stronger alignment between sales and the company’s strategic direction, but would be significantly different for both legacy sales group. The high/risk reward company would move from a commission based structure to a goal based structure. The legacy team oriented company would shift from a subjective group oriented bonus to a individual performance driven plan.

Aon Hewitt Solution

The consulting team worked to build an incentive design approach that achieved the CEO goals and provided the appropriate incentive given sales force control and contribution. Aon Hewitt worked with the client to identify areas of risk, create a clear communication plan and assist with program execution. In addition, the team briefed the CEO on the impact of the change and prepared him for the expected increases in turnover. This preparation resulted in identifying and protecting critical sales talent from leaving. Two years later, Aon Hewitt went back to further refine the program once the integration efforts and the business had further stabilized.


The company reached its stretch targets, adhered to the required cost structure, minimized loss sales talent and was positioned to go public this year.

Case Studies

Sales Quota Survey