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The Creative Quotient Part I: Factoring Some Innovation into the Account Planning Process

Last month we witnessed a painful (but far too familiar) sight.

 

We were working with a company that prides itself on its nearly Six Sigma business processes. As we walked the halls, we saw grown men and women hunched over conference tables, surrounded by paper and the screen shot of an Excel spread sheet, filling out forms. They were suffering through their mind-numbing, semi-annual exercise of account planning. And afterwards, the plans would be filed away, forgotten and unused for at least another six months.

 

People and Politics of Sales Compensation II

While the group of folks charged with designing a sales compensation plan can put the "fun" in dysfunction, the group can also work beautifully together. After all, they share a common goal -- to create a comp plan than harnesses all that power behind the sales force, and make everyone some money.

Consider your current mix of people and the following key points when creating the sales compensation design team.

The People and Politics of Sales Compensation

The people and the politics of sales compensation is about the softer side of sales compensation – who’s behind the scenes collaborating (or not); the steps in the process; how well the process works; how people work together; commonalities between the various functions involved; and solutions for challenges.

Rapid Sales Comp

We all know time can get away from us; and sometimes the consequences are bigger than others. When it comes to designing a sales compensation plan, it helps to have months of input and design meetings. However, it can be done quickly if need be. We can abridge the process for efficiency and still retain its power.

Consider these five points when designing a sales comp plan – even if you’ve run out of time.

Strategy and Sales Comp Part II: Putting it in Action

With all the power sales compensation can wield, it pays to invest the time to
connect sales comp with the strategy of the business. Below is the second
installment of nine important factors to consider when designing a sales comp
plan that will drive more revenue. Read the first five in Strategy and Sales
Comp Part 1: Making the Connection.

4. Reduce the complexity of the sales compensation plan. Often, the more technical an
organization is – or the more engineering-oriented an organization is – the

Strategy and Sales Comp Part I: Making the Connection

Sales compensation is a major driver of behavior and performance in a sales organization, and therefore a major force behind growing revenue. It’s is one of the best tools a company has, yet too often it’s not given enough careful consideration during the design, implementation or communication phases.

Moving the Mighty Middle

Take a look at the quota results in your organization. Chances are you have a handful of reps that knock
their quotas out of the park. You probably have another handful of people that can
never seem to reach it.

 

But by and large, I bet the largest group hovers just below
quota – making 80%-99% instead.  Close,
so close, but they’re not making it.

 

While many organizations invest their effort in developing the high performers, there are huge gains to
be made by improving the performance of the mighty middle of the organization. Moving

Sales Comp ROI Best Practices

When determining the ROI you can expect from your sales compensation plan consider
several drivers around ROI, and some ways to disaggregate the important
questions.

1. Determine your strategy and the business objectives you are trying to achieve.

Understanding, for example, that you want to grow a certain product group or develop a certain
market may change the way you look at ROI. You may be willing to invest a bit
more to develop this market than you would on average or in your traditional
markets. Isolate and evaluate ROI uniquely for that market.

Sales Comp ROI Challenges

Sales compensation can motivate the sales force in the right direction and bring
revenue to the company. But it can be expensive. Sometimes, the best
justification for a big budget sales comp plan is the promise of a nice ROI.

It’s not always inevitable, though.

In our work with companies, several challenges surface again and again:

1. What return should we expect from the sales compensation investment, and how
should we look at that return? Is it a flat dollar return, or a flat dollar
amount that we pay?

Designing Sales Comp for ROI

Almost everyone involved in the sales compensation plan, at one time or another, asks
about the ROI of the plan. In order to answer that question, we have to
evaluate how the sales compensation plan is designed. Luckily, sales
compensation design follows a predictable process. We begin by defining sales
roles and clearly articulating the sales strategy, and from that foundation we
build out the components for the plan, including answers to these fundamental
questions:

  • What kind of pay are we going to deliver to a particular job to be market
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