The Carrot

Three Ways to Ensure Reps Understand Their Sales Compensation Plan

Posted by Mike Martin on Tue, Apr, 21, 2015

Over time, I have run into a few litmus tests that companies use to gauge the simplicity of their sales compensation plan communications:

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Sales Force, incentive plan, Mike Martin, sales team, communication plan

The Benefits of Centralizing Sales Compensation Administration

Posted by Steve Marley on Thu, Apr, 09, 2015

My colleague Chad Albrecht mentioned in a previous sales compensation blog post the great deal of interest in the topic of globalization we observed during our recent webinar. Chad’s post touched on the globalization of the plan design function; in this article, I’d like to discuss why companies are choosing to globalize the administration and operations of sales compensation. I prefer, however, to refer to this as “centralization” rather than “globalization” to avoid confusion.

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Topics: sales compensation, sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Steve Marley, incentive plan, globalization, centralization, administration

How Might Big Data Affect Sales Compensation?

Posted by Mike Martin on Mon, Apr, 06, 2015

At a sales compensation workshop I attended last week, the speaker was sharing some of the latest trends in big data. This is a very exciting topic and one that is making a lot of headway with new methods for predictive modeling and improving our understanding of customers. Most of the excitement around big data is in areas such as research and marketing, but I wonder if it will begin to make its way into sales compensation. I think so, because as marketers become more exposed to big data concepts, they will inevitably pressure sales to include it in the compensation plan as well. Below are some steps you can take now to be prepared for that request when it does come.

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Topics: big data, sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Sales Force, incentive plan, Mike Martin, Analytics, sales team

Should You Globalize Sales Compensation?

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Thu, Apr, 02, 2015

In a recent webinar on sales compensation, we polled the audience, asking about the biggest issues facing sales compensation professionals today. Out of several hundred responses, globalizing sales compensation was one of the top issues faced by more than 50% of participants. In this post, we will help you think through whether you should globalize your sales compensation plan designs. In a subsequent post, we will examine whether you should globalize the administration (calculation and reporting) of your sales incentive plan.

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Topics: sales compensation, sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Sales Force, incentive plan, Chad Albrecht, sales team, globalization

Three Reasons You’re Still Designing 2015 Plans, and How to Fix Them

Posted by Steve Marley on Fri, Mar, 20, 2015

You may have read the title of this blog and thought, “I’m not designing my 2015 plans. We wrapped that up by the end of December 2014!”

If that’s the case, congratulations!

I may be guilty of a base rate fallacy (or selection bias), because the companies that approach me need help with sales compensation, but in my experience, a significant number do not roll out or communicate their compensation plans by January 1 (when that’s the start of the new plan period).

So, why do so many companies fail to deliver their plans to the sales force on time? Here are three reasons why plans are late, and what you can do to prevent the delay.

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Topics: sales compensation, sales, ZS Associates, Incentive compensation, ZS, Steve Marley, incentive plan, compensation

Is Dollar-One Commission Plan Limiting Sales Growth?

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Wed, Mar, 11, 2015

Companies that have “grown up” on highly leveraged commission plans are running into a dilemma–they can change the plan and risk alienating some of their highest-grossing salespeople, or do nothing and risk lower overall sales growth. The situation is more common than some realize, and demands solutions that can balance sales growth with retaining salespeople.

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, tech sales & marketing trends, quotas, ZS, Sales Force, incentive plan, sales team, dollar-one commission

Do Your Managers Understand the Sales Compensation Plan?

Posted by Mike Martin on Fri, Mar, 06, 2015

At this point in the year, new sales compensation plans have been rolled out, but we are still a month or two from understanding how they are working. We do not have enough sales results yet to judge the incentive plans’ impact, so what can we do during this so-called downtime?

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, Sales Managers, ZS, Sales Force, incentive plan, Mike Martin, sales team, Managers

How ‘Balanced’ is Your Sales Incentive Plan?

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Mon, Feb, 16, 2015

Many companies have inserted “balanced selling” mechanisms into their sales incentive plans to encourage their sales forces to sell multiple products—and penalize them if they don’t. Yet these same companies often scrap the balanced selling incentive because it doesn’t work, is overly complicated or, in some cases, actually reduces sales.

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Sales Force, incentive plan, Chad Albrecht, sales team, balanced selling incentives

It’s That Time of Year Again: NBA All-Star Weekend and President’s Club Announcements

Posted by Mike Martin on Thu, Feb, 12, 2015

Valentine’s Day is this weekend.  But for sports fans, it’s also another exciting holiday: The 2015 NBA All-Star game is coming to New York City. The annual event is a chance for the league to recognize its top performers, much like president’s club sales incentive programs recognize top sales reps across industries. The similarities do not have to end there. Let’s look at some of the details of the NBA’s version of a president’s club to see if any lessons also apply to sales teams:

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Sales Force, incentive plan, Mike Martin, president's club, sales team, basket ball

One Company’s Unique Response When Salespeople Miss Their Sales Goals

Posted by Steve Marley on Thu, Feb, 05, 2015

The other week, I was doing some online reading and came across an interesting article.

I wasn’t 100% certain whether these “sales execs” were the equivalent of sales leaders, managers or reps (but the comment about “failing to meet their targets” leads me to believe it was the latter).

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Steve Marley, incentive plan, sales target, sales force motivation, Sales Goals

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