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The 3-Part Playbook to Becoming a More Strategic Incentive Compensation Leader

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If you’re struggling with clunky, error-prone, and inefficient ICM (incentive compensation management) processes, you’re not alone.

Many of today’s compensation professionals spend countless hours trying to conquer the manual task list that comes with working in spreadsheets and legacy tools, leaving them little time to focus on more strategic – and impactful – initiatives.

Thankfully, implementing a more innovative ICM solution can help compensation admins shift ICM from tactical to strategic. We recently chatted with Tatiana Silverman, VP of Compensation & HRIS at Nolan Transportation Group (NTG), about the 3-part playbook for upleveling your incentive compensation program.

Part 1: Automate Manual Processes

Traditionally, managing incentive compensation programs has been full of manual, time-consuming, and error-prone processes. It takes a significant amount of time to cull through data and run calculations in Excel, and self-sufficiently managing plans is often challenging in legacy ICM solutions. Reliance on spreadsheets and outdated tools can also lead to data quality issues, which often impacts the accuracy of employee paychecks, and thereby GTM (Go-to-Market) org morale. 

Tatiana and her team were feeling the pain of manual workflows, including pulling data from a variety of different sources and systems and running calculations in Excel workbooks. With so much time spent in spreadsheets, Tatiana wasn't able to focus on more critical business initiatives that could help move the revenue-driving needle.

Streamline Workflows With Automation

To break free from manual processes, it’s critical to automate workflows wherever possible. To accomplish this, Tatiana started exploring ICM solutions, looking for a tool that would enable her team to control their compensation plans without relying on external teams, and provide a great experience to payees with more clarity and transparency into payouts.

After implementing CaptivateIQ, Tatiana and her team were able to automate compensation calculations and save 2-3 hours per day. Now the NTG compensation team has more faith in the data, and Tatiana has more time for reporting, cross-functional collaboration, and compensation plan design.

CaptivateIQ helps you transform from a sales comp admin to more of an analytical role. – Tatiana Silverman, Director of Compensation & HRIS at Nolan Transportation Group

Part 2: Motivate Sellers With Transparency 

The next piece in the compensation management puzzle is upgrading the payee experience.

“The main purpose of an incentive plan is to motivate reps,” shares Sheila Ludard, Principal Customer Success Manager at CaptivateIQ. Payees want more transparency into key compensation drivers, but often don't have visibility into pay calculations. 

According to our State of Sales Compensation survey, 82% of sales reps agree that having visibility into potential earnings on new deals would significantly improve motivation, and yet only 28% of reps today have visibility into potential earnings on new deals.

Before CaptivateIQ, Tatiana and her team weren't able to provide employees with payout statements, so brokers would have to wait until they received their paychecks for compensation details. This understandably caused frustration and created a lack of trust between the teams.

You don’t want ICM systems to be black boxes. You need to be able to understand the data that goes in and out, and be able to explain to payees how you got from point A to point B. – Raghuveer Krishnamurthy, GTM Strategic Finance at CaptivateIQ

Use Technology To Boost Visibility  

Using technology, you can build a more transparent compensation management program, create a better payee experience, and foster collaborative cross-functional relationships. 

With CaptivateIQ, Tatiana and the compensation team increased pay visibility and improved trust with their brokers. Payees can now see in-depth pay details and easily ask follow-up questions. Statements explain how brokers are measured against performance goals, as well as how that correlates to their pay, so they can get clear visibility into compensation calculations.

“Incentive compensation information often gets buried in contract documents and can be hard to understand, so having the metric and payout in a single statement makes it much easier for reps to understand,” shares Raghuveer. Raghuveer also suggests offering “what-if” calculators to payees so they can better understand which levers lead to the highest payout.

A more transparent system also helped Tatiana and her team strengthen their relationship with brokers.

The relationship with brokers is better and they have better trust in us as a comp department. We’ve been able to build a great relationship with our payees. – Tatiana Silverman, Director of Compensation & HRIS at Nolan Transportation Group

Part 3: Captivate With Insights 

Automating data workflows and increasing transparency enables you to align more closely with business goals, making you a valued partner to your organization. However, disparate and incomplete data can make it challenging to make well-informed strategic decisions.

Before CaptivateIQ, the finance team at NTG controlled plan performance and evaluation, so the commissions team had little visibility into how their work was contributing to the business.

Increase Cross-Functional Collaboration 

With the right technology in place, you can access all your commissions-related data in one place and more easily build reports to show the impact of compensation plans. 

Using CaptivateIQ, Tatiana and her team centralized their data, allowing them to do more than just commission calculations. They created robust reports and dashboards to evaluate metrics including performance by team and cost of sales comp, and can now provide more strategic insights to the broader organization. With more accessible data, the NTG compensation team was also able to build better cross-functional relationships.

Reporting helped us build better relationships with the sales and ops teams. – Tatiana Silverman, Director of Compensation & HRIS at Nolan Transportation Group

With increased visibility, you can expand the scope of your role and help your team hit their targets more efficiently.

Say Goodbye to a Disjointed Data Management Process

The traditional incentive compensation management process may have been manual and tedious, but modern tech has created an opportunity for change. By implementing an innovative ICM solution, you can automate processes, increase pay transparency, and more strategically align with business goals.

Take a deep dive into the CaptivateIQ product to learn how our innovative solution can help uplevel your role and turn ICM into a strategic lever for your organization.

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