Press release

Most Comprehensive Annual Report on Pharmaceutical Incentive Compensation Publishes for the Tenth Year

Sponsored by Businesswire

Trinity Life Sciences, a leader in global life sciences solutions, is sharing findings from its latest TGaS Landscape report entitled, “Tenth Annual Incentive Compensation Landscape.” This detailed report is based on interviews of 38 biopharmaceutical incentive compensation (IC) leaders who shared their experience on IC planning including:

  • Challenges and the Future
  • Plan Mechanics
  • Goal Setting
  • Contests and SPIFFs (sales performance incentive funds)
  • President’s Club
  • Adjustments
  • IC Governance

The benefit of publishing the report every year allows its authors to reveal the incremental changes in IC design, process and management.

“Having a disciplined incentive compensation plan and process in place is key to attracting and retaining top pharmaceutical sales professionals,” said James Castello, Vice President of Field Operations & Incentive Compensation at TGaS, a division of Trinity. “Our newly published Tenth Annual Incentive Compensation Landscape helps the incentive compensation professionals understand the subtle, evolutionary changes impacting incentive compensation and create better plans to drive performance.”

Many of the findings are based on a steady state marketplace, but the impact of COVID-19 does affect IC teams and their plans.

“From implementing COVID-specific Management by Objective (MBO) plans to designing methodologies for protecting earnings for representatives, IC teams will have to continue to exercise creativity, discipline and agility in order to effectively motivate the sales force,” continued Mr. Castello.

Examples of notable findings from the report include:

  • Minimum and Maximum Earnings — Theoretical vs. Actual: In theory, 61% of responding companies anticipate paying a minimum of $0 and a maximum of over 250 percent of target. Thirty-three percent of companies actually paid $0 and maximum earnings were more evenly distributed among payout buckets. There is a disconnect between how plans are designed to pay top and bottom performers and how plans are actually paying out. It appears that companies are rewarding bottom performers more at the expense of their top performers.
  • Accounting for Off-Label Usage: Sixty-three percent of companies exclude specific physician specialties from crediting. Twenty-three percent of companies use multiple approaches to exclude data.
  • Prevalence of Sales Contests: Seventy-eight percent of companies conduct sales contests. Mid/large-tier companies tend to have five or more contests per year, while emerging companies typically have one or two.
  • Annual Award Tax Implications and Destinations: Eighty-seven percent of companies true-up their Annual Award/President’s Award for tax purposes. Seventy-eight percent of companies do not limit the annual trip to a domestic location and Hawaii is the most popular trip destinations for President’s Club/Annual Awards winners.

Media can request a copy of the report by contacting Elizabeth Marshall,

About Trinity Life Sciences

Trinity Life Sciences is a trusted strategic partner, providing evidence-based solutions for the life sciences. With over 20 years of experience, Trinity is committed to solving clients’ most challenging problems through exceptional levels of service, powerful tools, and data-driven insights. Trinity’s range of products and solutions includes industry-leading benchmarking solutions, powered by TGaS Advisors. To learn more about how Trinity is elevating life sciences and driving evidence to action, visit