Case Study: Sales Incentive Schemes

Introduction of Case Study: Sales Incentive Schemes:

One of our clients, a leading multinational company in the healthcare sector, approached B EYE with the request to bring various process improvements in their workflow for Sales Incentive Schemes, including setting sales targets and calculating sales bonuses.

As their organization had already expanded substantially, using Excel could not meet their needs. Therefore, they were looking for a new single system that could offer them automation of their incentive calculations, allowing them to easily override and apply adjustments. As a consequence of their ununified sales hierarchy, setting sales targets was very time consuming and ineffective. Optimizing this process was also one of the key indicators of project success.

Other issues they were facing was that due to the complexity of the current Sales Incentive Schemes process, the payment of sales bonuses was often delayed. They wanted to increase transparency across the organizational levels and departments. At the same time, our client wanted to be able to control the access rights, depending on the process needs of each party. They wanted the new system to be able to quickly provide them with manual exports, automation of reporting, and method for data validation.

Use Case:
  • Company with a global presence
  • Ununified and multi-level sales hierarchy
  • Delays in setting sales targets and calculating sales incentives
  • Need for more transparency across the organization
The Challenges:
  • Unified data and many different Excel templates
  • Complex sales hierarchy with many exceptions per country
  • Different types of sales incentives that need to be calculated
  • Need for long communication regarding the sales bonuses
Solution:
  • Setting a smaller project to clean and unify the data
  • Building a sales incentives model in Anaplan
  • Providing multi-level access to the interested parties
  • Introducing real-time sales performance reports

The Challenges Before Us

One of the biggest challenges we were facing was that our client had ununified and complex sales hierarchy with many sales levels, which differed per country. In some cases, specific levels were unique only for a particular country, while in others, some of the levels were skipped. This resulted in many exceptions per country and made the whole process of setting the targets and calculating the bonuses extremely time-consuming.

Furthermore, each country calculated the bonuses in differently structured files that they sent to the headquarters afterward. They were using many offline Excel templates that varied from country to country in order to accommodate the specific needs of each country. This resulted not only in delays for the whole process but also caused many issues in other supporting systems that needed the data to operate.

Furthermore, the different financial teams in the countries were responsible for calculating the bonuses while the higher levels set the sales targets in the headquarters. Consequently, there was a prolonged back and forth communication regarding the validation and calculation of the bonuses between the financial teams and the headquarters. Besides, they had several kinds of bonuses that they needed to calculate, some of which were unique only for certain sales levels, which made the process even more time-consuming. The impairment of gathering and assessing the required information resulted in delays in setting the sales targets for the year. Instead of setting them at the beginning of the year, they had to place them in Q2. As a result, the sales department was forced to operate without sales targets for several months.

The Solution

At the beginning of the project, we initiated lengthy, detailed discussions with our client regarding what goals they wanted to achieve and the specific needs we had to meet. We talked with the headquarters as well as with the country/region representatives and started a long process of collecting all needed requirements to reflect the different needs of the regions. By collecting the requirements in thorough detail, we could bring some improvements to the whole sales process by identifying stages that were inefficient and outdated and eliminating or optimizing them.

However, we had to start a separate project to clean and structure their data before we could continue with the main initiative. In the end, we managed to unify their sales assignments structure, optimize the templates that they used and reduce their number. The completed project yielded positive results and increased efficiency for all the systems that were using the data.

To help them solve their issues with setting sales targets and calculating and paying sales bonuses on time, we built a sales incentive model in Anaplan. We implemented various complex functions in the model to ensure that the compensation plans are standardized across all regions and geographies. As a result, all the territorial adjustments that took days before, now are entirely automated and take only seconds. Additionally, we included the different types of incentives in the model, and as a result, our client can easily export them, make reports of the rankings of the various sales representatives, and make managerial decisions regarding their bonuses.

The sales incentives model that we built has level access that allows the users to see only the information relevant to their function. As both the financial teams and the headquarters can access the data in real-time, there is no need for prolonged communication between them. Thus, the delays in setting the sales targets and paying the bonuses were eliminated. Moreover, due to the high level of efficiency in the model, our clients can set their sales targets at the beginning of the year and not wait until Q2. This opens resources that were previously occupied with calculating the bonuses. For instance, their employees can take other meaningful tasks and bring further profitability to the whole business. Besides, our team also set up an application, where the different sales representatives can receive real-time information regarding their performance and what bonuses they can expect.

Conclusion

Although the project was challenging – it started with one scope and expanded continuously in terms of complexity and additional requirements that needed to be met – we managed to optimize our client’s entire quota and incentives process.

Incentive compensation plans are a crucial piece in every sales strategy. If structured and executed right, they can boost the performance of the whole sales department significantly and increase the market share of the company. We, at B EYE, approach every project with great care, considering the specific needs of our clients. Therefore, if you want to reach the full potential of your sales incentive plan, we can be your trustful partner.