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Sales Compensation

Drive Profitable Growth Through Effective Sales Compensation

Ensure that target compensation levels and incentive plan mechanics are aligned to attract, retain, and motivate great sales talent to reach your business goals

Sales Comp Design Process

Problems We See

Among the most common problems we see when evaluating sales compensation challenges...

Role Misalignment

Pay mix and payout curves not reflecting the different nature of direct sales, channel, management, and sales support roles

OTE Not Really Target

Communicated OTEs not really reflecting expected earnings

Too Many Measures

Plans with too many components decrease the focus on key outcomes and can degrade the pay-for-performance relationship 

Uncalibrated Upside

Payout curves should reflect the expected distribution of performance, which likely means different curves for different roles

Poor Quota Allocation

Territory differences not reflected in goal differnces, resulting in uneven earnings opportunity

Overly-Legal Documentation

Plan documents written to adjudicate edge scenarios, rather than focusing on helping reps maximize earnings

Tap Into Our Proven Expertise

Leverage our deep experience evaluating and designing hundreds of incentive plans to accelerate the success of your program.

Service Offerings

Conduct a rapid assessment of a single incentive plan that identifies key issues and creates a roadmap for potential program change. 

Service Approach

  1. Data Gathering (1 Week): Client to provide the following to Novo Insights via our secure client portal:
    1. A copy of the plan document and any accompanying “terms and conditions” documents applicable to the plan
    2. Any existing analysis of the plan’s outcomes (aggregate spend, by payee pay-for-performance analysis, etc.)
    3. A roster of plan participants and plan results for the prior 2 completed plan cycles (template to be provided)
    4. One-hour discussion with an internal SME about the data provided to ensure full understanding

  2. Novo Insights Assessment (2 Weeks): Novo Insights will assess the plan relative to proven incentive design practices and analyze pay-for-performance outcomes
    1. One-hour discussion with a key business stakeholder (e.g., VP of Sales) to understand how plan drives strategic outcomes
    2. Review and analysis of provided data, using Novo Insights analytical tools to identify opportunities
    3. One-hour discussion with an internal SME to review draft findings

  3. Virtual Workshop (2 Hours in Week 4): Novo Insights and key stakeholders would participate in a discussion around Novo Insights’ assessment observations. In this workshop, we would share our findings, gather feedback, and frame what improvement opportunities might look like.

  4. Written Report and Roadmap (One Week after Workshop): Novo Insights will update its assessment report based on feedback received, and will include a set of recommendations for next steps. Recommendations will not be fully detailed plan design changes; rather, they will be high-level recommendations about how to approach changes or enhancements to the program for the coming plan year.


Typical Fee

$9,000 for single plan

Optional services available (rep survey, additional interviews, etc.)


Novo Insights leads the development of new plan designs

Service Approach

Our approach and timeline are customized to each client situation, but generally includes the following work steps and phases.

Assessment: Novo Insights analyzes the current state of sales compensation, understands the key drivers of profitable growth, and identifies improvement opportunities, typically including the following steps:
  1. Data gathering and quantitative assessment
  2. Sales leadership interviews
  3. Field survey or focus groups
  4. Written report of observations and recommendations
  5. Workshop to review/refine recommendations
Design and Modeling: Novo Insights develops plan alternatives, by role, to reflect recommendations and align with defined cost/change objectives. 
  1. Iterative workshop process with key stakeholders to review/refine plan measures, mechanics, and key conditions
  2. Detailed cost modeling of plan designs, including back testing, modeling of behavior change forecasting, and sensitivity analysis
  3. Review and approval with approvers

Implementation Planning: Novo Insights creates a change management and communications plan, and partners with the Client to create key implementation artifacts including: 

  1. Walking deck of key change messaging
  2. Cascaded communications of plan changes
  3. Formal plan document(s)
  4. Plan terms and conditions document(s)
  5. Plan FAQs
  6. Plan calculator tools

Monitoring and Refinement: Novo Insights participates in the initial review of plan outcomes and governance.

Typical Fee

Starts at $35,000

Fee varies based on number of plans, cleanliness of data,  and capacity/capability of internal resources.

Typical fees for a multi-plan organization with clean data but limited internal resources can reach $80,000 and beyond. 

Novo Insights can lead or participate in your ongoing Business Review process, helping bridge the gap between internal expertise and the needs of your internal customers.

Service Approach

Among the services and roles we can play in your ongoing plan review process:

  • Create / update plan metrics and scorecards, with creation of executive summary materials for broader review
  • Review and comment on plan metrics to identify potental areas of concern
  • Participate in dispute resolutions and ongoing Plan interpretation 
  • Support ongoing forecasting of cash commission expenses based on plan design outcomes

Typical Fee

Starts at $2,500 per period

Fee varies based on number and complexity of interactions, length of contract period, and Novo Insights support role in the process.

Gather specific benchmark data from identified peer organizations to understand how your plan compares. 

Service Approach

Specific tasks and timelines can vary based on the type of benchmarking, but typically include:

Study Strategy (1-2 weeks)

  • Identify the key metrics and data views desired
  • Identify potential benchmark participants
  • Draft study brief and data collection templates (typically an online survey tool or spreadsheet-based collection template)

Participation (3-8 weeks)

  • Outreach to target participants, driven by Novo Insights but supported by Client introductions
  • Facilitation of participant data collection

Results (1-2 weeks)

  • Summarize and report on findings to Client
  • Share Participant report

Typical Fees

Starts at $15,000

Fee varies based on complexity of benchmarks, number of companies targeted to benchmarking, and level of support provided to solicit responses

Make a Bigger Impact

Contact us today to explore how we can help you accelerate profitable growth through effective sales compensation.

Contact Us

Send us a note or schedule time to explore how we can accelerate impact.