Consider your current sales culture and the following points when evaluating and designing a compensation plan.
1. Understand the factors that define culture in your organization. What are the assumptions that surround decision making? Are these flexible or hard-lined? Identify the sacred cows in your organization, and gauge whether they are healthy or not. If your sacred cows are unhealthy, what are the gradual steps that can be taken to remove the sacristy and shift toward beneficial cultural elements?
2. Acknowledge how well your organization adapts to change. Whether change is a welcome part of your business or is avoided at all costs, few organizations can survive without some degree of evolution. Understanding your organization’s tolerance for change will suggest ways to manage necessary changes in compensation that may affect the entire business.
3. Align the goals of the sales compensation plan with the goals of finance. When properly aligned, both sales and finance are happy, even within a dysfunctional culture.
4. Healthy cultures enjoy transparency. Crystal-clear financial objectives help to create simple compensation mechanics that motivate the salespeople in the right direction. Visibility across the many functions that are involved in sales compensation limits the confusion that can muddy the waters.
5. Make your culture a competitive advantage. What does your ideal culture look like? Add procedures and processes where chaos rules and release the grip of authority where decisions can be made lower down the ladder.
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