Navigation Links
Quota-Based Compensation Plans Outpace Ranking Plans

ZS Associates study shows quota-based plans most popular among makers of

pharmaceuticals/biotech, medical device and technology products

EVANSTON, Ill., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The third annual Incentive Practices Research (IPR) study, conducted by global sales and marketing consulting firm ZS Associates (, finds that an increasing number of companies - in pharmaceutical/biotech, medical products and high technology industries - are favoring quota-based compensation plans over ranking plans.

Ranking plans pay sales representatives and managers based on how they performed compared to their peers. These plans thrived during the late 1990s, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, as a way of managing compensation costs, but have steadily declined in popularity. ZS Associates' research has found that(1):

-- 73 percent of pharmaceutical/biotech companies surveyed use quota-based plans, while 20 percent use ranking plans

-- 85 percent of medical device companies surveyed use quota-based plans, while 21 percent use ranking plans

-- 89 percent of high tech companies surveyed use quota-based plans, while 26 percent use ranking plans

Stephen Redden, principal and leader of the Incentive Compensation Practice at ZS Associates, advises executives to deploy ranking plans cautiously, as they can promote unproductive competition between salespeople. "Knowing your sales compensation cost with certainty is an important objective, but using ranking plans to achieve this objective is not recommended," says Redden. "There are ways to structure quota-based plans - and model the costs - that can provide accurate compensation cost estimates without increasing the internal competition in the field."

Quota Fairness a Top Concern

The survey also indicates that quota-setting fairness is one of the most pressing concerns and cuts across all industries.

Chad Albrecht, an associate principal at ZS and the lead on the IPR survey, says incentive management teams must first identify the most appropriate metrics and use those measures to set quotas that account for the different earning opportunities that occur across varied territories.

"In our experience, we have found that very few companies take the time to determine the true market potential for their products. They also infrequently research and purchase the data on the many variables that can affect sales," says Albrecht. "As our study shows, quota-based plans are gaining in usage. As sales leaders implement them, they should remember that, while measuring disparities between territories when setting quotas is often a daunting process, it is well worth the effort. You want to motivate, and one of the most critical requirements for motivation is a belief that salespeople are being treated fairly with the quota they have been given."

Long-Term Incentives May be on the Rise

After several years as a popular retention tool, long-term incentives, notably stock options, have declined to 36 percent among reporting medical products companies as a result of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) requirement that options be expensed. At the same time, a majority of high tech companies (63 percent) still use options-based long-term incentives. Yet, companies in both industries cited it as one of the most effective reward tools.

This suggests that long-term incentives could be poised to make a comeback. "Long-term incentives keep your top salespeople motivated and provide an added incentive for them to stay with you," Albrecht said. "Limited stock options notwithstanding, companies would do well to use tools like long-term cash incentives to retain their reps and keep the reps' clients with the company."

Please contact ZS Associates for more information or for details about participating in the 2009 survey.

About ZS Associates

ZS Associates is a global management consulting firm specializing in sales and marketing consulting, capability building, and outsourcing. The firm today has more than 1,000 professionals in 17 offices around the world. It has assisted more than 700 clients in 70 countries. ZS consultants combine deep expertise in sales and marketing with rigorous, fact-based analysis to help business leaders develop and implement effective sales and marketing strategies.

As the largest global consulting firm focused on sales and marketing, ZS Associates has experience across a broad range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical products and services, high-tech, telecommunications, transportation, consumer products and financial services.

For more information on ZS Associates, call +1 847.492.3602 or visit

(1) Some statistics add up to greater than 100% due either to multiple responses from the same company and/or business unit, or hybrid plans where people force rank based on quota attainment.
Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link. Chad Albrecht Stephen Redden

SOURCE ZS Associates
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. China Biologic Products Establishes Governance and Nominating Committee and Compensation Committee
2. DolmatConnell & Partners 2008 Studies of CEO and CFO Compensation in the 100 Largest High Technology and Life Science Companies Show Dramatically Improving Link Between Pay and Performance
3. Coherent Announces Restatement Related to Stock-Based Compensation
4. Biodel to Amend June 30, 2007 10-Q to Correct Non-Cash Share-Based Compensation Expense
5. Reed Group Ltd. Announces Enterprise License for New Zealands Accident Compensation Corporation
6. Nucletron Announces Market Release of First Commercially Available Software to Review and Share Dicom-Based Treatment Plans for Radiotherapy
7. Medivation to Host Conference Call at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time Tomorrow to Discuss Partnering Plans for Dimebon
8. Fulcrum BioEnergy Announces Plans to Build One of the First Commercial-Scale Ethanol Plants Using Municipal Solid Waste as Feedstock
9. Favrille Announces Resolution of Debt Obligations and Plans for Maximizing Assets
10. Rosetta Genomics Announces Plans to Recruit a New Chief Financial Officer
11. NexGen Biofuels Ltd. Announces Plans to Replace its CFO With Local CFO
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... device company specializing in imaging technologies, announced today that it ... as part of the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme ... a large-scale clinical trial in breast cancer. , ... , --> --> The ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Studies reveal the ... plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment for ...     --> --> ... health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood about ... studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of ... team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the ... (CRO) market. The trend of outsourcing to low-cost ... but higher volume share for the region in ... however, margins in the CRO industry will improve. ... ( ), finds that the market ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/2/2015)... , Nov. 2, 2015  SRI International has been ... provide preclinical development services to the National Cancer Institute ... will provide scientific expertise, modern testing and support facilities, ... preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies to evaluate potential cancer ... The PREVENT Cancer Drug Development Program is an ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , MD, describes ... wellness, and the business opportunities that arise from it ... Healthy Things . Long before health and wellness ... vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was creating a ... the hospital or doctor,s office into the day-to-day lives ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), the leader ... adopted the Synaptics ® ClearPad ® Series ... newest flagship smartphones, the Nexus 5X by LG and ... --> --> Synaptics works closely with ... in the joint development of next generation technologies. Together, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):