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Solution Training for a Winning Incentive Compensation Team

What's the Problem with Incentive Compensation Management Training Today?

Incentive Compensation Management software training today is often approached from a product-centric focus that teaches users the out of the box features of the system, at either the beginning or end of a project, and all users tend to receive the same type of training. Approaching training like this often means over-training team members on features they will never use, while others are left under trained on crucial processes they need to be able to manage. Product-centric training also does not focus on the unique-to-your-solution features your team will be required to know. As a result, your administrators may struggle with system management or require constant engagement from the implementation team to troubleshoot simple issues.

When considering training for your Incentive Compensation Management solution we recommend focusing on three things: The type of users of the system, the optimal time to train each of the users, and how the training will accommodate the unique and specific business processes your organization requires. Let’s discuss the first two.

Who Are the Types of Users Involved In Your Solution, and When Should They Be Trained?

At Intangent we group ICM users into four main categories: Decision Makers, Sales Operations, Model Builders and End Users.

Decision Makers are the individuals who own the purchasing decisions – they’re the ones involved in greenlighting your incentive compensation management project. Decision Makers require training only in the sense that they need to understand the system in order to make a decision, so they would be involved during the Planning phase of an implementation. Typically, they look to demos and sales materials to get a high level understanding of key tool functionalities in order to make their decision and initiate the next phase of a sales performance management implementation.

Sales Operations are often your administrative users, they are the individuals responsible for the tool once it goes live and would require specific solution training for your unique model so they will understand how to make changes within it. They should be given some initial training between the Planning and Discovery Phase, so they understand the terminology of the software, the key features and limitations, and can adequately prepare for the discovery meetings that will happen next. Later on, during the testing phase of implementation, your Sales Operations individuals should receive some solution-specific training to understand how to perform the specific tasks as they were developed. They’ll also need to understand the solution administration component, and troubleshooting information. This training can be provided through model walkthroughs, documentation and even in-classroom training if required.

Model Builders are responsible for building your ICM model – these can be in-house or third party consultants that you hire, and will usually also include your IT department, or anyone involved in troubleshooting and technical support. These individuals require full product training typically from the vendor itself. For your in-house teams this training should be scheduled during the design phase of your implementation so they have the most amount of time to learn these advanced concepts.

Lastly, we have the End Users, which would often be your sales team, and after Decision Makers they require the least technical training. It’s best to engage this team during Launch, so their new skills won’t sit idle. Their training needs to include information on accessing reports and web forms, some tips & tricks for the system, and how to submit inquiries.

Breaking up your training into specific groups at specific times minimizes the knowledge gaps that form when generic training is provided to everyone equally at the same time. It keeps each type of user engaged because they aren’t learning things they will never use, and it ensures that the resources being spent on training give you the maximum return on investment.

What Do You Need To Know?

Ultimately, you should consider the following before beginning any incentive compensation management training:

  • Training should be people centric, not product centric
  • More training is not always the answer
  • Identify your different roles and ensure you’re providing role-specific training
  • Timing is important

Our key takeaway for ICM training to maximize effectiveness is that it must be customized to the people, the team and the goals it is intended for. We cover this topic in more detail our Webinar, which is available for you to watch here. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re getting the most out of your solution training, or have questions about the types of users within your system, reach out to Intangent today.

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