Sales compensation is a powerful tool with a direct impact on sales performance and sales force behaviors. But is your sales organization agile enough to rapidly adapt to changes in the compensation plan?
Economic factors, market pressures or new company objectives trigger changes in incentive compensation, but not all organizations are ready for it. The rut of the day to day sales operations often prevents companies from recognizing and addressing change management challenges.
To remain competitive, your organization needs to be nimble enough to quickly adapt incentive plans and processes. Failure to do so can result in lost revenue opportunities, misaligned behaviors, high administrative costs, unintended plan outcomes, and increased turnover in the sales force.
The good news is that you can identify challenges and apply the right strategies to leverage change in incentive compensation plans. Here are the five symptoms of change management issues to keep an eye on:
- Static incentive compensation plans and processes: you’re avoiding to make plan changes because it takes too long, it costs too much, or your existing system just can’t support it.
- Plan changes deployed late: you are able to make changes, but they only take effect well into the year.
- Incentive compensation plans lag behind strategy: in case of mergers or consolidations, you have trouble integrating new sales forces and plans with your current structure and processes.
- Frequent adjustments or exceptions: there are lots of adjustments and exceptions because plans haven’t changed in years; analysts are forced to handle the real calculations outside the system because it can’t handle them.
- Unexpected downstream effects: you make plan and process changes and roll them out properly, but they end up having unexpected effects on internal processes or, worse, driving incorrect behavior in the sales force.
Have you recognized any of the warning signs above? Here at Optymyze we identified a series of strategies that can help you get unstuck and make your sales organization more agile. I go over these tactics in detail in the webinar 6 Tips for Leveraging Change in Incentive Compensation Plans.