Sales Compensation Case Study

Industry: Food and Beverage



The client, with a 120-year rich history as a market leader in the food and beverage industry, hit an apparent growth ceiling. After multiple failed attempts by the client team to fix the issue, the company looked to Empirical to first identify the true issue, and then develop a solution to modify the sales team’s compensation structure to drive results.


Empirical was tasked to develop a pay-for-performance plan that would motivate an experienced sales team and turn around the business and deliver top-line growth. It was important for the client to not only retain existing accounts, but also introduce new products into emerging markets.


The Empirical team:

  • Evaluated the original current commission structure, and identified gaps and “quick wins”
  • Worked with the executive team to align sales goals with short and long-term strategic vision, and focused on account expansion and entry into new markets
  • Developed targets and compensation plans benchmarked against high-performing organizations
  • Rolled out and communicated a new incentive plan to salespeople via coaching and training
  • Provided tools for planning, measurement, and reporting of performance and results


The sales team delivered results. In the first year of implementation, the client enjoyed an increase in gross profit of 10% while delivering a $500K reduction in plan costs. Importantly, pay was better aligned with business priorities, and top sales talent from the company was retained.

“Empirical quickly and accurately assessed our sales compensation package. They identified the issues we faced, and then developed a new plan that took into account our strategic vision. The result was a decrease in overall cost and an increase in team productivity.”