Donya Rose is Managing Principal of The Cygnal Group, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She has over twenty-five years of experience in leading the design and implementation of systems and processes to ensure alignment of business results with top business priorities. Prior to founding The Cygnal Group, Donya was a consultant in Towers Perrin’s Sales Effectiveness Practice. Donya’s recent larger clients for whom she has led compensation design efforts include Red Hat Software, Comcast Business Services, Elster Solutions, and Novartis. In addition, Donya regularly assists smaller companies and startups with sales compensation plan design as they launch their sales teams and move through the early stages of growing their top line. Donya’s passion is practical value-creating compensation plan design supported by thorough modeling to anticipate effects of proposed plans on individuals and the company. Because clients generally choose to stay engaged with The Cygnal Group for years, Donya has had a chance to learn which plan design elements often recommended by consultants are most likely to confuse employees and/or confound plan administrators. As a result, she focuses on simple, clear designs with direct links to strategically important business results. Donya holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Davidson College, and a Master of Science in Operations Research and Systems Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a WorldatWork Certified Sales Compensation Professional (CSCP).
Employee engagement has been proven to be highly correlated with revenue growth, innovation, talent retention and business valuation. Engaged employees are enthusiastic and involved, generating terrific ideas to further the mission of the business while they're at work, at the gym, at home, all the time. They care and they love what they do.
There's a lot of discussion of "CCOS" these days (Compensation Cost of Sales). It's a very important metric, but very difficult to compare from one company to the next, even within the same industry. Early stage companies tend to have a higher sales comp cost % revenue; higher margin businesses tend to be willing to pay more for the next sale; complex sales organizations with specialized channels tend to have a lower sales comp cost % revenue once the channels are optimized, but higher early in the deployment of the channel strategy.
Everyone who has ever received sales compensation or managed a sales force has a point of view about what type of plan works best, but few of these perspectives are based on principles; they are based on that person's in-depth experience with a few plans. Broadening your perspective and understanding what's "in the toolbox" will enable you to see possibilities for plan design that you haven't considered, pinpoint the causes of the dysfunction in your organization, and start down the path to sensible value-creating plans that motivate your sales people and make sense for your business.
You've got the basics down - right sales roles, right pay structure, right core measures and plan mechanics - but your sales team's focus still isn't quite right, and maybe the comp plans could help. Do your product divisions want a separate quota for each product line - but you know that would make the plans way too complicated? Is your CFO concerned about how many people are being paid on each sale, but you know "it takes a village" to close some of your opportunities? We'll discuss six of the trickier sales comp challenges and your options for a better approach.