Is managing exceptions to incentive plans and localized disputes stressful?
"Hey Mike, this is Ashley, the RM in the Southeast. Hate to bother you, but I’ve received a few calls and emails this month from my reps down here complaining to me about their IC payouts being off, some claiming by a large margin. I know y’all are doing your best, but this is unacceptable. I need my team spending their time talking to their customers, not trying to deal with errors in their pay. It has started impacting rep morale and overall engagement. We just barely hit our quota as a team last quarter, and I’m really worried we won’t get there this quarter if this continues."
If you’re a Sales Operations leader in the pharmaceutical industry trying to manage the monthly or quarterly Incentive Compensation calculation process for your sales force with nothing more than a homegrown spreadsheet-driven solution, this scene is probably all too familiar to you. Pharma incentive plans are not always the most straightforward, and these days every geographical market is different, creating the need for exceptions to almost every plan. Implementing these complicated plans using Excel is no easy task and really extends your team to their breaking point each year when new plans are designed and need to be implemented.
On top of that, once you and your team have implemented the plan in your homegrown system, how confident are you that you’ve gotten it completely right and won’t process incorrect payouts that will have to be recalculated, putting more stress on your already overworked team? This means you’re constantly on pins and needles waiting for the other shoe to drop, and so is your team. This doesn’t bode well for team morale, and probably leads to turnover on your team, further decreasing your ability to calculate IC payouts in an accurate and timely manner.
Then of course you have that one region that might only make up 25% of the sales force by headcount, but takes up 70% or more of your team’s time and effort due to their myriad of exceptions and special cases. Do you spend your time up front attempting to build a process flexible enough to handle all of their quirks, or do you handle the exceptions manually after running the full process each month? Either way, you’re putting additional stress on you and your team with no guarantee that you won’t get something wrong and have to do even more work to deal with the fallout. This is not to mention the impact to the bottom line from potential overpayments made due to calculation errors.
So what can you do?
There’s always the option to outsource the IC process to a vendor and take it completely out of your hands, but that’s expensive, and also strips you and your team of one of their primary responsibilities. What if there was an Incentive Compensation management solution that was relatively inexpensive and designed to replace the homegrown spreadsheet-based system that you and your team have been struggling to update and maintain? What if this solution was also designed specifically to calculate incentives for pharmaceutical sales teams, and was intuitive and easy to use?
Well, I have good news for you. There is a solution out there right now that fits all of those criteria. It’s called Aurochs, and it’s here to make frustrating homegrown IC management processes a thing of the past. Here’s a great infographic that goes into more detail on the many advantages Aurochs has over an Excel-based solution: Here
If you’re ready to say goodbye to the stress and frustration of your current solution, we can be reached at our coordinates below.