Sales Operations must remain alert to keep up with the constant changes that businesses are experiencing in 2020. With the impact of COVID-19, many companies are having to make operational changes across their organizations often including sales operations and sales.
Making adjustments to sales and sales ops processes can be a daunting task for any organization, and commissions changes can be particularly rough waters to navigate with so much uncertainty. It’s important to do what is best for your sales reps and other employees, while also making changes that will benefit the company as a whole. Having multiple priorities can make changes in commissions structure even more difficult for organizations across a variety of industries. Here is a list of 5 ways companies can use their existing commission’s solutions to help them navigate difficult operational times.
Modify quotas to account for the change in sales opportunities
Modifying quotas to reflect what is happening in your market is an essential task for sales operations employees. The quotas outlined initially at the beginning of 2020 are likely no longer realistic for your business and may be demotivating. Modifying quotas is a crucial process that can be made much easier and smoother with a sales performance management (SPM) solution. However, it may be difficult to adjust quotas given the uncertainty around the business environment for the rest of the year - if you find it challenging to accurately make target adjustments, focus on the other suggestions until things become more clear.
Create and implement a SPIF on revenue or certain activities
A SPIF or Sales Performance Incentive Fund is another short term change or addition that can be made to compensation programs that will encourage particular behaviors that will drive revenue. This addition can be especially helpful to make sales personnel whole for companies that have had to halt the production or sales of certain products.
Implement a guarantee or draw
Given the current pandemic, companies might be struggling to find a way to pay their employees when sales cycles are slowed or halted altogether. Utilizing guarantees or draws is a way to quickly adjust with the times without having to completely restructure your current system. A draw or guarantee can help a company retain their best reps by allowing their reps to borrow against future commissions. This also helps create a lower impact on your sales teams' compensation during times when selling is harder often while bigger changes to compensation plans or quotas are considered.
Reduce or remove thresholds in plan measures
Another feature that can be implemented easily with a commissions solution is removing or suspending thresholds or gates for the short-term. Similar to quotas, thresholds were likely determined before COVID-19 created changes in the market. It's vital to keep reps motivated and therefore have commissions to work toward, but if the thresholds are too high, then reps won't continue putting the effort in to try and reach them.
Implement new reports (like ranking reports) to encourage visibility
Ranking reports and other reporting features within a commissions system is a great way to increase transparency among reps and continue encouraging friendly competition between reps. Motivation is everything right now. For reps, seeing where they are vs their goals can help motivate them, and gamification can be a form of virtual connection to their co-workers, even when they aren’t able to be on the same floor.
We know that 2020 has been difficult for sales teams, and making changes to commission programs is an added stress. We hope that you found one or more of these suggestions helpful for your operations as you work to optimize and continue to motivate your sales team during COVID-19. If you currently have a commissions solution, many of these options can be implemented quite easily. If you do not have a solution able to make these changes, this may be the push you needed to implement a system fit for your company's needs!
Canidium is a commissions industry leader and wants to help you find the best answer to your commission’s questions. If you are wondering about commissions solutions and some of the features they provide, such as territory and quota management, SPIF’s, draws and guarantees, reports, or others, contact our team to speak with an expert.