Seven signs your sales comp plans could be doing more for your business
1. Do your sales people appear to be “coasting”?
Are they too comfortable with a level of performance that’s not acceptable to the business?
2. Are your sales people acting like teenagers?
Are they unpredictable independent operators more focused on their own self-interest than what’s good for customers and the business?
3. Are your sales people selling – but not the right stuff?
Are they pricing too low, or selling the old offerings they’re comfortable with and ignoring important new company offerings?
4. Are your sales people confused about their sales comp plans?
Do they have trouble understanding how their payouts relate to their results? Are there too many questions or disputes about the sales commission payout each pay cycle?
5. Are your “keepers” leaving?
Are they citing comp as one of the main reasons?
6. Are you having trouble hiring top talent?
Do the people you want to hire express concerns about their ability to earn what they know they could earn elsewhere?
7. Are your sales comp costs going up?
And are they going up faster than your profits? Is there concern over the cost of comp as it relates to value created?
We can help
The Cygnal Group consultants have excellent project management and client management skills. They are professional and task oriented but with a great sense of perspective and the ability to quickly make realistic assessments of client issues. They are very effective communicators, and great listeners.
– Gary Lawrence, Director of Sales Operations, Waste Management
“The Cygnal Group consultants are among the best Compensation professionals I have ever worked with. They loves their work and always have the client’s best interest at heart. SALES COMP is their thing and they know it inside-out.”
— David Moff, SPHR, CEO of The HR Group
“Thanks to the analysis and best practice recommendations of The Cygnal Group, we got agreement from all three divisions to make the changes needed to really improve the motivational value of our plans. I can’t thank the Cygnal Group consultants enough for all of their help. They worked really well, together with our internal team, and did some pretty magical things.”
— VP Human Resources, major telecommunications provider
Spend 10 minutes with a Cygnal Group consultant, and you will see that they are outstanding compensation specialists. I am glad to recommend them without hesitation. They have been on retainer for almost two years (so far) and during this time, they have provided timely support when needed, and helped us through two major incentive compensation changes. They are professional, nice people, fun and experts in their field.
– Gayle Kirkeby, VP Sales, Prometric
“We couldn’t have gotten our new plans together for the merged sales organization without The Cygnal Group’s support. The HR leadership team didn’t believe me when I told them the Cygnal Group could make this happen . . . they’re believers now.”
— Kyle Matthews, VP Human Resources, FMC Agricultural Solutions
Everyone on the Design Team said we had hit a home run. They could not have been more impressed, nor could the project have been more successful. In fact, the team wants me to talk with you about spending a day with our CEO and President once we have our thinking a little further along. I cannot thank you enough for your work on our behalf. It’s clear how much you love what you do!
– John Gwynn, Director, Human Resources, Viewpointe Archive Services
“Compensation plans are all about driving behavior and The Cygnal Group understood our business thoroughly in order to drive maximum value from our plans. I would never use anyone else for compensation design.”
— Brenda Hodge, Vice President, Sales Operations, Allscripts
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Plan communication matters in sales comp. Get maximum value from your plans by communicating clearly and positively with your sales people, both at the start of your plan year and as the year progresses. We offer best practice guidance, along with helpful templates to get you started.read more
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Over the years we have interviewed hundreds of senior business leaders about their need for better sales compensation plans, and 100% of them have listed plan simplicity as a key characteristic of a better plan. If it’s a top priority for everyone, why is it so elusive?read more
(33:53) View this presentation for some great ideas about how to use visual analytics to gain real insight in what’s working and what’s not working in your plans. In a blast from the past, this recording of a presentation from a 2009 Synygy conference surfaced recently, and it’s as relevant today as it was then.read more
(17:44) In putting together a sales pay structure, first establish the right total cash compensation for the role. Following this, the pay mix (fixed:variable ratio) and leverage (upside intentions) complete the pay structure. The considerations are…read more
It’s usually important to have the sales executive measured similarly to their sales team. So if the sales team’s primary measure is Revenue, then the sales executive should also have significant variable pay based on Revenue. But it’s also reasonable to hold the sales executive accountable for measures directly influenced by…read more