How to implement a new sales incentive plan

Vendors often change strategies to maximize revenue and streamline basic processes. Some practices can be modified without any headaches, but others can cause massive upheavals for a business. For instance, when new software is debuted before the bugs have been ironed out, employees are likely to become disgruntled while their productivity is hamstrung. The most important part of implementing new projects is excellent communication between executives and staff, especially when it comes to incentive compensation management (ICM).

Supervisors have to create fair plans that are designed to optimize productivity and motivate new sales. New project implementation doesn’t have to be difficult – managers just have to be careful to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes while making the transition as seamless as possible.

Say change is coming
Agents rely on their sales incentives for much of their income. Many representatives pride themselves on earning generous commissions and bonuses for closing large deals and landing major clients. It’s shocking and disheartening when staffers aren’t given any notice about changes to their pay structure, so managers have to give advance notice.

It’s not necessary to include your representatives in the discussion if you aren’t committed to an alteration. That said, once you start to firm up your plans and there is no alternative besides using new incentives, you should tell your agents. Hold a departmental meeting, explain that ICM will be different moving forward and give your employees ample opportunities to ask questions.

Work the bugs out
Many companies are turning to ICM software to track sales and calculate payments. While applications are designed with the best of intentions and are meant to improve productivity, there will always be glitches the first time employees boot up the programs. It’s not possible to iron out every little wrinkle, but the major process should run without significant issues.

Development and consulting firms can offer assistance in implementing new compensation programs. Managers should seek services from these businesses to avoid major complications and angering employees. After the software is up and running, an internal team can be put in charge of regular maintenance.

Hold seminars
Many digital compensation solutions have interactive features so that representatives can track their sales while management calculates rewards. Supervisors and technicians should hold training courses similar to sales on-boarding so that representatives know how to properly use the new programs and can avoid any frustration during the project implementation.