Thinking of revising your sales comp plans for the next fiscal year? Well, now is the time to get moving!
- More than 90% of companies make some changes to their sales comp program for the new fiscal year
- 10-12% of companies will implement major changes in their sales comp plan
These statistics are not surprising. There is a plethora of reasons why companies choose to revamp their comp plans every year-
- New sales objectives defined by the company’s goals for the upcoming year
- Redefining the customer experience
- Introduction of new sales channels and mergers or acquisitions
The list goes on.
If you are in charge of designing the sales comp plan at your organization, you are aware that the window period that employers have to implement any compensation changes is very narrow. Facilitating communication with both leaders and employees in a timely manner is nothing short of a challenge, especially with the risks involved
Waiting until the year-end to take on this mammoth task will only compound the challenge. Especially if your organization has a multitude of jobs and sales personnel. In this case, even minor changes in the sales comp program requires consultation with many stakeholders including HR reps.
Your best bet? Form an action plan now! A sales comp review or reset requires a tailored approach. Start with the basics. Creating a simple step-by-step approach will go a long way.
If you are a sales comp manager trying to figure out how to navigate this challenge, here’s a quick checklist for you-
Communicate with senior management
Any sales comp revision will need a top-down approach. The first logical step will be to secure senior management approval. Some starting points can be-
- Pointed discussions on specific elements of the project like plan design, timelines, implementation requirements among others.
- Get an insight into the management’s expectations for the sales department. What are the goals that the department needs to achieve for the next year? What should it continue/stop doing?
- Review the organization’s sales philosophy- Recruitment, onboarding, upskilling and appraisal.
When considering changes to your sales compensation plan, it's essential to recognize that sales compensation involves various moving parts. Conducting a thorough examination of the numerous factors at play will serve as the foundation for any adjustments you make to your compensation plans. To guide this process, ask yourself the following questions-
- How is the current pay program working? Conducting performance and pay analytics will aid in determining if your current comp plan aligns with your goals. You may want to consider employee surveys and focus groups for this.
Some questions that can addressed in employee surveys can be-
- What does your manager expect you to accomplish?
- How well is your work configured to accomplish these objectives?
- Does the current incentive program recognize the realities of your job, including Incentive Compensation Plans
- Is the pay program aligned and fair?
- Are your reward programs- spiffs, MBOs, bonuses- aligning with your expected goals? Do they drive the important sales outcomes?
- Do you need to redefine job duties? Review headcounts, identify jobs that have become outdated/ineffective.
- Should existing quotas be revised? Implement new ones after approval from top management.
- What is the fresh market data regarding OTE earnings? After acquiring competitive OTE earnings data, confirm new salary budgets. Ensuring compliance with labor laws in your country is also a necessary consideration.
After the sales comp changes are thoroughly discussed, assemble a task force of sales management, sales ops, product management, finance and HR to assess the feasibility of implementing said changes. If the cost analysis deems these changes too risky or too generous, reevaluate.
It is not an exaggeration to say that sales comp revision is a major challenge. A key element to comp management success is an automated system that supports the cycle of feedback and can quickly incorporate these changes. Asking yourself these questions to make sure that your solution is really automated and future-ready should be a good starting point-
- Is your solution built for integrations across CRM, ERP and HRIS?
- Is your solution capable of change?
- Is it easy for your sales leaders and reps to interact with your solution?
- Can your solution incorporate incentives like bonuses, spiffs, and MBOs?
To learn more about how Kennect’s automated sales performance management solution can help you with your new sales comp changes, book a demo with us today!