The Carrot

What if the Problem Isn’t Sales Comp?

Posted by Mike Martin on Fri, Aug, 26, 2016


This may be blasphemous to even suggest on a blog dedicated to discussing how new sales compensation ideas and tips will help the industry optimize its field sales compensation plans, but what if the solution isn’t about sales comp at all? Recently, I had a chat with Ashish Vazirani, ZS’s high-tech industry lead, and I posed this exact question. Here’s the gist of our conversation: 

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, ZS Associates, ZS, Mike Martin, sales comp

Don't Confuse 'Simple' With 'Understood'

Posted by Chad Albrecht on Thu, Aug, 18, 2016


In multiple incentive practices surveys that we’ve conducted over the last several years, the need for simplicity in the plan design has risen to the top three issues in every study. “My salespeople don’t understand the plan” and “My compensation plan is too complex” are oft-heard refrains.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Chad Albrecht, sales comp, simplify, complexity

Car Washes and Payout Curves: Part Two

Posted by Mike Martin on Thu, Jul, 28, 2016


A few weeks ago, I wrote about an interesting car wash study conducted by Joseph Nunes and Xavier Dreze in 2004 that focused on the threshold at which companies should start paying sales reps on performance. This week, I wanted to look at another aspect of the study that gives some insight into another part of the payout curve: how much to pay as a rep nears and then passes the goal.

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Topics: customer loyalty, ZS Associates, ZS, Mike Martin, sales comp, payout curves

Are Your Inside Salespeople Exempt From the New Overtime Rule?

Posted by Brian Keating on Tue, Jul, 26, 2016


Starting Dec. 1, 2016, employees and managers earning less than $47,476 in earned total compensation will be considered non-exempt and eligible for overtime. If your inside sales group becomes non-exempt, this also impacts the incentive portion of their payouts. Here’s how the Department of Labor’s new rule could impact your sales force: 

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Inside Sales, department of labor, DOL, overtime laws, exemptions, outside sales

Car Washes and Payout Curves

Posted by Mike Martin on Wed, Jul, 06, 2016


In 2004, Joseph Nunes and Xavier Dreze conducted a study at a car wash. For two weekends, they handed out 300 loyalty cards where customers would earn a stamp on their loyalty cards each time they purchased a wash. One hundred and fifty of the cards offered a free car wash after eight paid washes. The other 150 cards offered a free car wash after receiving 10 stamps, but two washes were already stamped. Both required eight additional purchased car washes to be eligible for the free wash, but the results were strikingly different: The redemption rate for those with the option to buy eight and get one free was 19%, but the redemption rate for those with the option to buy 10 and get one free—with two washes already accounted for—was 34%.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Mike Martin, Loyalty Programs, sales rep engagement, car wash study, sales comp plan

SPM Platform Drive-Off Costs: How the Decision to Buy or Lease Impacts Total Cost of Ownership

Posted by Steven Bebout on Fri, Jul, 01, 2016


This past fall, I decided that it was time to get a new car. It sounds like an easy decision to make, but it wasn’t. The decision involved my budget, what type of vehicle I wanted, features desired, gas mileage and maintenance plans; all of these would factor into my total cost of ownership (TCO). After finding a vehicle and evaluating the trade-offs of buying versus leasing, I decided to lease my car. In my experience, this process is analogous to determining which sales performance management (SPM) platform fits your organization’s needs: Do you go in-house with an on-premises platform (buy), or do you select a software-as-a-service subscription option (lease)?

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, sales performance management, Steven Bebout, SPM, lease or buy

Discussing the Impact of the New Overtime Rules on Your Sales Bonuses

Posted by Brian Keating on Fri, May, 20, 2016

On May 18th, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that anyone earning less than $47,476 in salary is eligible for overtime, with a few exemptions. Inside sales teams are impacted and so are more than an estimated 90,000 sales managers, according to the DOL. This has implications on not only base pay but also non-discretionary bonus calculations. When someone earns overtime, the employee is eligible for an increase in base pay and a corresponding increase on bonuses/contest awards during the same period. 

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Brian Keating, department of labor, regulations, DOL, overtime laws, sales bonuses

The Maintenance Month: Why You Should Be Taking a Closer Look at Your Sales Comp Plan in May

Posted by Mike Martin on Wed, May, 11, 2016

For sales compensation managers, time can be measured by certain checkpoints: January is the time for rolling out the new sales compensation plan; For those companies looking for a new compensation system, May and June have user conferences

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, Mike Martin, sales comp, the maintenance month, May

A Winning Hand: How to Stack the Deck to Ensure a Successful SPM Implementation

Posted by Steven Bebout on Mon, May, 09, 2016

A high level of excitement tends to surface when the request for funding to automate your organization’s sales compensation process is approved. The journey that culminates in approval of a sales performance management system can take months or years to complete. Many hours are spent researching technologies, reviewing Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management, attending vendors’ user conferences, and discussing functionality with vendors’ sales reps. Although it’s fun to focus on the set of differentiating bells and whistles delivered by the solution that you selected, once the funding is secured, it’s imperative to focus on preparing for the implementation: identifying your implementation partner, completing mission-critical due diligence, constructing your internal team, and preparing for your implementation kickoff.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, implementation, sales performance management, winning hand, Steven Bebout, SPM

Rethinking Your Incentive Plan When the Rules of the Game Change

Posted by Brian Keating on Tue, May, 03, 2016

Companies in several industries are redesigning compensation plans due to regulatory intervention. Financial services firms, for example, are reacting to the April 6 U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) ruling that requires advisers working with investments that are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (think 401Ks and IRAs) to act as fiduciaries and put their customers’ best interests before their own. Even if advisers were already behaving in that manner, the ruling calls into question some of the commission-based incentive practices that are common in the industry.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, incentive plan, Brian Keating, department of labor, regulations, save your savings, government intervention

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