The Carrot

How Much Does Money Matter to Get a Rep’s Attention for a Short-term Promotion?

Posted by Mike Martin on Tue, Jun, 23, 2015

Last week, the U.S. Treasury announced that it will be changing the face on the $10 bill to include a woman. This exciting news reminded me of some recent trivia I looked up regarding the $1,000 bill. Did you know that Grover Cleveland is on $1,000 bills and that they were pulled from circulation back in the 1960s?

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Topics: sales compensation, ZS Associates, motivation, ZS, Mike Martin, SPIFs

Two Questions You Should Be Asking Your Sales Force About Their Goals

Posted by Mike Martin on Fri, Jun, 05, 2015

As summer kicks off, I can’t help but look ahead to the early fall sales compensation plan design season. I am in no rush to get there, but thinking ahead does nicely remind us that now is the time to collect feedback from the sales force on the current incentive program and goals. Over time, I have found that getting answers to just two questions can provide a wealth of feedback into what should be refined, added or removed from the goal-setting process.

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Topics: sales compensation, sales, ZS Associates, motivation, ZS, Sales Force, incentive plan, Mike Martin, sales team, goals

Should You Pay Your Salespeople on Profit?

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Mon, May, 18, 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, consideration of moving the sales force away from revenue toward paying on profit was one of the top issues faced by more than four in 10 participants. In this post, we will help you think through whether you should consider shifting the metric in your incentive plan to pay on profit.

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

How Compensation Conferences Can Improve Your Sales Compensation Program

Posted by Steve Marley on Tue, May, 12, 2015

Late May is conference time for many sales compensation organizations and sales performance management software companies. At least six occur in a two-week period! If you are lucky, a vendor may sponsor your attendance or provide a free pass. Oftentimes, discounted registration fees are available. Even if your cost is discounted, attending a conference usually requires travel costs and the opportunity costs of time away from your daily tasks. So, what benefits will you receive by attending one (or more) of the upcoming conferences?

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Topics: sales compensation, sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Steve Marley, incentive plan, IBM, conferences, Xactly, Anaplan

Can Sales Compensation Design Benefit From Crowdsourcing?

Posted by Mike Martin on Thu, May, 07, 2015

Crowdsourcing is a technique whereby an organization publicizes a problem to the general public and solicits solution ideas, with a prize sometimes going to the best submission. Nonprofit and for-profit companies have crowdsourced for challenges such as the XPrize, which holds global challenges in categories like technology or life sciences and gives multimillion-dollar awards. Or the cultural statistics Web site FiveThirtyEight recently used crowdsourcing to solicit ideas for improving the NBA draft process.

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

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

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