Sales Management:
Flexible Enterprise Sales Compensation Management


A client had a complex sales model for its thousands of products which was comprised of a mix of channel distributors, resellers, and a growing direct and telesales business. The various sales pipelines were supported by a sales force of over 3,500 servicing markets from governments and Fortune 500 to the everyday consumer. To motivate a sales force to drive billions of revenue through such a varied system, dozens of different sales compensation plans with hundreds of metrics came into play. In a competitive market, keeping a sales team motivated and in-line with management's goals was critical to the company's success. Yet, effectively managing the sales team's compensation was also key. After exhaustive research no existing software package met the client's needs.


The client required a sales compensation system to support planning, goal and attainment management, draw and payment calculation, and on-going communication to the client's sales force. The client engaged a compensation consulting firm to lay out multiple options for compensating each type of sales representative. The system would have to support not only the current compensation model but also all of the other possible options presented by the compensation consultants. In a highly competitive and rapidly changing market place, it would also have to handle constant change as management needed to rapidly adapt to new competition or to support new product offerings. Given the size of the client's operation, the volume of data to be processed, and the number of compensation options, scalability and flexibility were the most important criteria.


ADC consultants worked with the client's compensation team to create a detailed list of requirements and design criteria. We also worked with the client's IT organization to map availability and timing of needed data for external systems and to provide feedback to the compensation team as to what sales compensation plans were supportable with current data, and what new information would be necessary to support future compensation plans. The system was constructed and delivered on budget and on schedule to meet the client's needs for the next fiscal cycle. The result was a flexible, robust system which was capable of supporting multiple sales models, and hundreds of compensation plans.


The amount of time, effort, and resources needed to compensate the client's sales force was dramatically reduced. On several occasions the application was evaluated against packages available in the marketplace. Each time the results were the same. No commercially available product was able to match its capability to adapt, scale and support a large sales force with minimal support staff. As the client's business grew and several other companies were acquired, the limits of the system's flexibility and scalability were tested but never exceeded. The processing of the vast amounts of amounts of data needed to support the ongoing compensation process was always done in an accurate and timely manner. The system proved to be simple to administer, as well as inexpensive to support; requiring only a staff of four to serve the needs of a sales force approaching 5,000.