“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.