Everything Distributors Always Wanted to Know About Sales Comp (But Were Afraid to Ask) - Modern Distribution Management

Everything Distributors Always Wanted to Know About Sales Comp (But Were Afraid to Ask)

At MDM’s upcoming Sales GPS Conference in Chicago, Mike Emerson and Mike Marks of Indian River Consulting Group will teach a Masterclass on aligning sales comp as part of overall sales transformation.
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Changing a sales compensation plan is one of the most significant challenges in the sales transformation process. And companies that are either stumbling through that leg of the journey or have been hesitant to take the first step might need help navigating what could quickly become a stressful and confusing situation.

Thankfully, experienced guides await at MDM’s upcoming Sales GPS Conference, set for Nov. 1-3 in Chicago.

That’s where Mike Emerson and Mike Marks of Indian River Consulting Group will present a masterclass for distributors called “Solve Your Sales Compensation Challenges,” scheduled for the final session of the event, Wednesday, Nov. 3., from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., CST.

This masterclass, which focuses on best-practice sales compensation strategies based on more specialized roles, will show attendees how aligning comp plans to strategy is the most critical component to create more productive and profitable selling teams.

“Rarely is there a situation in sales transformation where some changes to the compensation model don’t need to occur,” Emerson says. “You can do everything else right, but if you don’t have the compensation program aligned, it’s not going to get the results that you’re looking for. It could arguably do more harm than good. People have a natural tendency to say, ‘All my problems would be fixed if I just knew how I should pay my salespeople right.’”

Emerson says he expects a packed session despite being in the final time slot of the final day. Sales comp alignment is that critical to a distributor’s operation.

It will be interactive with Emerson and Marks fielding questions from conference-goers after their presentation. They expect a lot of engagement from attendees — most of whom will be on different steps of the journey — as well as some difficult questions.

“One thing as a firm that we’ve learned is there’s always an interest, always a market, for sales compensation,” he says. “It would be very flattering, and maybe conceited, to say we’ll solve all your problems, but we can provide a framework that will help you understand the tradeoffs — because the laws of physics apply. You can’t have speed and altitude forever. We help people understand that they might have to give up.”

In terms of the tradeoffs, he added, there’s one that’s ever-present: simplicity. But what’s most important is finding the right balance between the company’s success and each salesperson’s success. Too often, he says, one will trump the other.

“When we see salespeople having a great year and making a lot of money, we want the company to also be having a great year and making a lot of money,” he says. “We want to drive that alignment.”

This year’s event, of course, will differ vastly from the 2020 Sales GPS that was held virtually. And being in person with other distributors at various stages of their sales compensation alignment should elevate the conversation for all.

“There are a lot of smart people in that room,” Emerson says. “It’s always nice to know how other people are addressing the problems because, as everybody knows, there’s no one right answer for sales compensation. Again, it’s about tradeoffs, so getting insight from a few different people — whether they’re consultants or distributors — is certainly going to be valuable.”

Sign up now for Sales GPS. The two-and-a-half-day event will help you not only solve your sales compensation challenges but guide you along a smooth sales transformation journey.

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