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Nabeil Alazzam on Why the Future of Sales Compensation is Individualized

• Nabeil Alazzam is the Founder & CEO of Forma.ai, the world’s first sales compensation platform driven by a collective data model.

• He recently spoke with Justin Lane, host of The Sales Compensation Show to share the Forma.ai Story, the importance of individualized incentive plans, the future of sales comp, and more.

• Justin and Nabeil dive deep into the world of sales, incentives, and enterprise performance management for an in-depth, data-driven conversation.

• Visit the Podcast homepage to hear more episodes.


The Future of Sales Compensation is Individualized

Nabeil Alazzam is a Queen’s University grad, Forbes Council Member, and most importantly, a husband and father. But he’s most known for Forma.ai—the leading AI-driven sales compensation platform.

In a conversation with Justin Lane, Nabeil talks about the future of sales compensation plans and why they should be individualized and personalized for each sales rep.

Why did you start Forma.ai?

I believe there is a better way to motivate and drive a sales team. At Forma.ai, we’re enabling organizations to leverage their data to produce a more dynamic, real-time, and individualized way to motivate and drive behaviors within their sales organization.

I used to be a management consultant, where I saw a very old way of doing things in sales compensation. Think about it, every other part of the world that we live in has become more dynamic. The way that marketing campaigns are rolled out, the way that we are incentivized through loyalty programs, the way that we shop, the way that businesses target and reach out to the consumer—they’re all individualized. Yet, we still manage our sales reps with a one-size-fits-all approach.

I started Forma.ai to enable organizations to be more dynamic and drive a better outcome from their salesforce.

When you say individualized, are you talking about the design of the compensation plan or the communication with the rep?

It’s both design and communication.

Let’s start with the design. The point isn’t to create unnecessary complexity and have individualized plans for each rep. The point is that when you’re thinking about the design of the optimal incentive structure, you’re analyzing the level of data that you have—which should be individual. The premise of the design phase is to leverage your data.

In some cases when you optimize and analyze your data, the outcome is a base plan that can apply to everybody, but is designed based on the individual data. In others, the plan needs to be tailored based on the individual rep profile.

Nabeil Alazzam, Forma.ai

Now, let’s look at communication. There are many profiles of successful sales professionals, but your top reps think differently than others. The goal of individualized communication is to get each representative, not just your top performers, to take their comp plan and understand it in a way they can apply to their territory and account.

The final piece is continuously reminding your reps of their incentive throughout the sales cycle. Whether through dashboarding or reporting, consider how you can give them real-time feedback on their progress.

How can sales organizations get their bottom reps to think about the comp plan like top performers?

Most reps will look at their compensation plan and tell you they will try to maximize their earnings. But I’ve seen some top performers use Excel workbooks to pull data from their CRM to build various potential earning scenarios. Not every rep is going to do this. But if we can take that idea and make it so that each rep analyzes their territory to approach sales more strategically, it will only improve their productivity.

As a sales leader, think about how to get all of your reps to track how they can maximize their earnings. A well-designed plan and communication process will help you align.

The ideal sales comp plan is designed for the rep. If they can take the plan and translate it to what they need to do to maximize their earnings, it actually drives the right behavior and more revenue for your business.

Nabeil Alazzam, Forma.ai

What does the future of sales compensation look like to you?

I have three predictions:

  1. Sales comp strategy and execution will be fully connected
  2. Sales organizations will enable more automation
  3. Sales comp analysts will model plans based on individualized data

Every aspect of our lives today is individualized to the user. Businesses will need to find a way to capture this shift. They will need to capture the user’s (sales rep) attention. It’s a massive, complicated problem in sales compensation. This is the solution we’re building at Forma.ai.

In the future, if we can get sales reps to understand what their incentive means in real-time, then the dynamic nature of the plan no longer becomes a problem as long as it’s fair, equitable, and designed to pay for performance.

Great piece from Nabeil Alazzam & Justin Lane on the future of sales compensation 🚀 Click To Tweet

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