Tektronix wanted to compensate and motivate its worldwide salesforce. The company set out to replace its regional management solutions and find a more efficient way to model its global financial sales.
Implementing IBM Incentive Compensation Management, Tektronix has centralized reporting and analysis of its incentive compensation programs.
Real-timeinsight into compensation for salespeople
Reducescentral overhead for administration
Automatedreporting delivers a valid global financial picture
Business challenge story
Tektronix designs, manufactures and sells measurement technologies to engineers and researchers, worldwide. The company compensates its global salesforce, as well as its marketing and new business teams, through a mix of salary and commission, helping to run a commercially successful enterprise and to motivate the sales teams.
While Tektronix operates a central compensation plan and structure, implementation of the scheme in each region relied on different underlying systems, two of which were no longer supported by the vendors. The Americas, Asian, Japanese and European areas ran separate solutions. Any changes to the core compensation plan needed to be replicated in all the areas, causing significant work.
Salespeople, too, felt the effects of the regional differences. For example, in Europe, sellers could view the commission calculations at the transaction level, whereas US salespeople could only see weekly reports, sent by email.
Running disparate systems made it difficult for Tektronix to understand performance of its global sales teams, the commissions paid, and how these related to the sales targets across the enterprise. With data trapped in independent systems, managers had to dig and delve to obtain accurate figures.
Peter Griffiths, Director of Worldwide Sales Operations at Tektronix, comments, “In our industry, good salespeople are hard to find, and we invest significantly in their training and development. Motivating and engaging them is very important to the success of our business.”
How could Tektronix motivate its worldwide salesforce effectively, compensate them to reflect performance, and understand the commercial results that the incentives plan delivered?
Delivering detailed insight
The company looked for a business partner that would understand its compensation management objectives, and bring both commercial and technical expertise to the table.
Tektronix engaged Spectrum Technologies, which specializes in incentive compensation management and sales performance management, to help design and implement a new, global solution. The team aimed to phase out its aging systems as rapidly as possible, and subsequently roll out the new solution to all geographies. Spectrum focused on understanding the business requirements, configuring the solution to meet those needs, and enabling global reporting, analytics and compliance to meet Tektronix’s enterprise-level objectives.
For the task, Tektronix selected IBM Incentive Compensation Management, based on its wide range of capabilities and the advantages of choosing a cloud-based solution, which would free Tektronix from the expense and complexity of deploying servers at multiple offices.
IBM Incentive Compensation Management provides the essential functionality required by Tektronix. For example, using a web browser, a salesperson can log in to a personal portal to view compensation results, while sales managers can track individual and team performance. The solution automates compensation calculations, and provides transaction-level detail, offering an easy way for administrators to correct errors while maintaining the calculation integrity of the process.
Thi Phan, IT Director at Tektronix, remarks, “The people at Spectrum Technologies were very responsive and engaging, and were part of our team with no dividing line. They are real experts in commission plans, and asked us the right questions and challenged our assumptions to gain a full understanding of our business needs.
“Spectrum committed to and achieved our very strict timeline, and did a phenomenal job. Importantly, we created a clearly defined scope and Spectrum created a project plan that enabled everyone to hit timelines and budget – with no requests for extra funding, which for these kinds of projects is a great achievement. Combined with executive-level support and sponsorship, the Tektronix, Spectrum and IBM teams really developed the relationships that helped the project to success.”
Carina Sanchez-Curiel, Technical PM at Tektronix, adds, “The Spectrum team demonstrated deep IBM Incentive Compensation Management expertise, and helped us gain the maximum benefit. For example, Spectrum took the lead on developing our test cases and helped us create a significantly better test plan, enabling a very smooth, rapid rollout.”
Achieving a global golden standard
With rollouts in India, the Americas and Europe complete, Tektronix is onboarding its remaining sales teams to IBM Incentive Compensation Management. When these users come on board, the company will have a single, central way to manage, view and administer its commission plans..
At a technical level, moving to the cloud-based IBM Incentive Compensation Management solution has helped Tektronix to eliminate the cost and complexity of managing and maintaining multiple on-premise solutions, and removed the business risk of unsupported systems. Changes to compensation plans can be implemented once, centrally, within known timeframes for the global workforce.
Regardless of location, all salespeople now enjoy the same user experience, with simple web portal access to real-time data that automatically calculates their commissions, and shows them at the transaction level how those commissions were generated. The central compensation management team no longer runs reports and emails PDFs; salespeople have full visibility of their own figures, which eliminates any need for them to keep track of their compensation manually, and helps to increase motivation.
For enterprise users, IBM Incentive Compensation Management delivers near real-time reporting, with greater visibility of payments and performance. The team can run worldwide reports based on valid data from every sales office, helping to understand how the global commissions systems are working, the commercial impact, and how the plans could be improved.
Kris Peterson, Worldwide Commissions Manager at Tektronix comments, “IBM Incentive Compensation Management is a very flexible tool. There was some natural hesitancy at first as to whether it would be as easy to use as the old system, but it’s as flexible as we need it to be.
“With projects that introduce large-scale change, typically you either hear no feedback, or you get lots of complaints. Our feedback has been almost all positive, which is a great sign. The response to our training package was good, and salespeople find the IBM Incentive Compensation Management portal easy to use.”
The former systems at Tektronix presented a significant barrier to change, such as enhancements to incentive schemes, and in a dynamic marketplace this kind of business flexibility is particularly important. Even at this early stage, IBM Incentive Compensation Management is enabling Tektronix to make quality-of-life improvements, such as adding some extra fields that help salespeople understand which payments relate to which transactions, in a way that was not possible before. Critically, IBM Incentive Compensation Management provides the data to help Tektronix to understand salespeople’s motivations, to guide the business to further commercial success.
Maneesh Gupta, Managing Partner of Spectrum Technologies, comments, “IBM Incentive Compensation Management software allowed us to build a multi-layer, data-driven engine that met very complex rules. Tektronix retained laser-sharp focus, which ensured that the project went live on schedule, within budget.”
Thi Phan says, “As a cloud service, IBM Incentive Compensation Management offers immense scalability as our need grows. Moving to IBM Incentive Compensation Management has enabled rapid, reliable reporting, releasing the team for higher quality, value-added, IT time.”
Peter Griffiths concludes, “With IBM Incentive Compensation Management, we have a single, global solution, helping us to motivate our salespeople and understand our performance. We anticipate that IBM Incentive Compensation Management will deliver great engagement with our global sales teams as Tektronix continues to grow.”
Tektronix designs and manufactures test and measurement solutions to help engineers break through the walls of complexity, and accelerate global innovation. The company’s solutions empower engineers in many technical areas, such as health, communications, mobility and space. Tektronix has a global footprint, with more than 72 years in the test and measurement industry.
Take the Next Step
To learn more about IBM Incentive Compensation Management, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/marketplace/automate-variable-based-pay-programs
Spectrum offers specialized technology and business consulting in sales performance management and incentive compensation management, as well as quota management, territory management, reporting and analytics, and related areas. To learn more about Spectrum Technologies, visit http://spectrumtek.com