Ashish VaziraniPrincipal,ZS Associates
John DeSarboPrincipal,ZS Associates
Bhargav ManthaManager,ZS Associates
Kyle HellerManager,ZS Associates
“I think we’re paying too many people on each sale. We paid 24 people on XYZ sale alone. How do we know how many people we should really be paying?” —CFO, technology company
Companies looking to improve sales performance and profitability evaluate their compensation plans each year in a process as predictable as the annual salmon run—salmon return to their native riverbeds and swim upstream en masse, where bears, eagles and others await their payouts. But while an effective incentive plan is critical, using only incentives can be inefficient and, worse, ineffective. Figuring out who the CFO should be paying can’t start at the comp plan. It requires a healthy swim upstream to understand what is actually happening, and why.
In August, I watched with awe the perfect orchestration of 79 interdependent events that together slowed the 2,000-pound Curiosity rover from 13,200 mph to 1.5 mph and placed it carefully onto the surface of Mars. The supersonic parachute deployed, the rocket separated, jets fired and Curiosity was gently lowered onto Mars. Amazing.
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