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Compensation management is a foundation component of driving sales for many companies. Your organization's bottom line depends on the motivation of your sales teams, meaning the success of your compensation administration is vital to your company as a whole. 

By not fully utilizing your incentive compensation management (ICM) solution's capabilities, admins prevent themselves from streamlining workflows, delivering timely and accurate compensation data, and maximizing the software's financial returns. 

At Canidium, we design, configure, implement, and offer ongoing support to clients as they transition to ICM systems. We help comp admins strategically improve performance and streamline workflows with specially configured incentive management solutions.

This guide, drawing on our team's in-depth expertise, explains how comp admins can strategically improve their performance by better leveraging the tools at their fingertips. 


How Comp Admins Underutilize Software

As a comp admin, your potential is directly tied to how effectively you utilize your ICM software. Almost one-third (29%) of software spending is underutilized. This figure means that one-third of the potential efficiency gains, workload reductions, and financial returns existing solutions offer will be wasted. 

For comp admins, incentive compensation management solutions have become foundational. How smoothly you can operate your ICM directly impacts your company's sales performance. However, as with any new software tool, fully utilizing the system takes some upfront work. 

Underutilizing your ICM solution limits your potential in several critical ways. By not taking full advantage of the software's capabilities, you miss out on efficiency gains that could streamline your workflow. This inefficiency increases your workload and hampers your ability to deliver timely and accurate compensation data to your sales team. Financial returns on the software investment are also diminished, as you are not leveraging all the features designed to maximize performance and revenue.

Achieving self-sufficiency in managing your ICM solution is vital to unlocking its full potential. Self-sufficient comp admins can navigate the system confidently, troubleshoot issues independently, and make informed decisions that optimize the use of the software. This proficiency level ensures that you fully utilize the ICM solution, thereby maximizing the return on investment and enhancing overall sales performance.


How Comp Admins Can Become Self-Sufficient

The more in tune you are with your incentive compensation tools, the better your performance will be. You can make a notable difference in how effective your compensation management processes are at your company by fully mastering your ICM solution. However, you will need to leverage the right training resources to fully maximize your potential. Understanding when generalized training is appropriate and when to reach out to your managed service provider is vital. 

The bottom line is that improving your performance as a compensation administrator through training on your ICM solution is crucial for achieving self-sufficiency. When you invest time in training, you develop the skills to manage the system independently, respond to user needs effectively, and optimize using the ICM solution. This increased capability enhances your efficiency and boosts the overall adoption and satisfaction of the system among end users.

Bearing this in mind, here is how to leverage available training resources to optimize your compensation management workflows:


Generalized Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) Training

Your software vendor will typically provide generalized training to help users get familiar with their tool's standard features and functionalities. For instance, Xactly ICM has a community page to help users collaborate, strategize, and troubleshoot issues. At the same time, Xactly University offers self-paced courses, live webinars, and certifications to help you master the platform. 

The courses available through Xactly University are an excellent foundation, providing you with the basic knowledge and skills needed to operate the ICM system effectively. This foundational training is crucial for understanding the overall functionality and potential of the system. For instance, you can better understand critical functions, such as the impact of modifying rate tables. This knowledge will allow you to confidently make changes without disrupting other system components.

Your software vendor's training is a good starting point. However, while generalized training offers a solid grounding, it might not address the specific nuances and custom configurations of your organization's ICM solution. This is where more specialized support becomes invaluable.


Customized Learning Sessions With Your Managed Services Provider

For more tailored learning experiences, you should consider training sessions with your managed services provider. These sessions are specific to your system and address your unique needs. Working sessions with an expert can help you tackle complex tasks while providing a safety net to ensure accuracy.

Custom training is essential because every organization's unique ICM configuration reflects specific business rules, compensation plans, and reporting requirements. Generalized training cannot cover the particularities of your setup, making it challenging to apply general knowledge to your specific scenarios.

Customized sessions allow you to focus on the unique aspects of your solution, such as bespoke reports, dashboards, and complex compensation structures. This tailored approach ensures you can navigate and manage your ICM system precisely and efficiently. At the same time, your managed services provider can also configure new solutions to existing workflow issues as they arise. 

The hands-on experience of your managed service provider helps you understand the interdependencies within your system, enabling you to make adjustments confidently and maintain the integrity of the compensation process.


Why You Should Uplevel Your ICM Strategic Planning

Improving your performance as a compensation administrator through solution upskilling offers numerous advantages. As a comp admin or a manager, you will see significant improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of your efforts. The results will positively impact departments, adding value to your organization as a whole.

Three key benefits of comp admin upskilling are increased self-sustainability, enhanced adoption rates among end users, and better system understanding.


Why you should uplevel your incentive compensation management strategic planning


Increased Self-Sustainability

One of the primary benefits of training on your ICM solution is the development of self-sustainability. When you understand the system comprehensively, you can manage and troubleshoot without relying heavily on external support. This independence leads to more efficient operations, quicker problem resolution, and overall smoother management of incentive programs.

Imagine encountering an unexpected issue with the incentive calculations just before the quarterly payouts. Because of your training, you can quickly identify and resolve the problem without contacting support. This process ensures your sales team receives their timely incentives, maintaining their trust in the system.


Enhanced Adoption Rates

Another significant benefit of improved admin training is the potential for higher adoption rates among sales representatives and other end users. With advanced skills, you can configure the system more effectively, creating additional reports and dashboards tailored to user needs. This customization makes the system more accessible and useful for sales reps, increasing engagement.

For example, say you receive feedback from sales reps that they need more detailed reports to track their progress. With your advanced training, you create customized dashboards that provide the required insights. As a result, the sales reps start using the system more frequently, appreciating its added value to their daily tasks, and overall engagement with the ICM solution improves.


Better Incentive Compensation System Understanding

A deeper understanding of the ICM system's work allows you to optimize its features and functionalities. This knowledge translates into better system configurations, more accurate data management, and the ability to leverage advanced features that might otherwise be underutilized. Consequently, the organization benefits from a more robust and effective incentive compensation management process.

This improved understanding of your incentive compensation solution will have a tangible impact on your performance as a comp admin. For instance, imagine your company implementing a new incentive plan with complex rules and tiers. Thanks to your thorough understanding of the ICM system, you can configure these new plans accurately and efficiently. In this scenario, the new incentive plan goes live without any issues–such as overpayments–and the sales team adapts quickly, resulting in a seamless transition and continued motivation to achieve their targets.


Getting Better Results With ICM Strategic Planning

Underutilizing your ICM solution limits your potential. Missing out on the software's capabilities results in lost efficiency gains, increased workload, and reduced financial returns. This inefficiency affects your ability to deliver accurate and timely compensation data, impacting overall sales performance.

Achieving self-sufficiency in managing your ICM solution is crucial. Self-sufficient admins can confidently navigate the system, troubleshoot issues, and make informed decisions, ensuring full utilization of the ICM solution and maximizing return on investment.

To become self-sufficient, engage with training resources and tailor your learning. Start with generalized training from your software vendor to build a foundational understanding. However, you must contact your managed services provider to maximize your fully configured solution. 

The benefits of upskilling include increased self-sustainability, enhanced adoption rates among end users, and a deeper system understanding. These improvements lead to more efficient operations, greater engagement, and a more effective incentive compensation management process.

Now that you understand how to uplevel your performance with ICM training, your next step is to learn the six essential skills comp admins need.

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