7 Advantages of Migrating From Your Legacy ICM System to Forma.ai

Sales incentives are more than just rewards – they're key motivators driving your sales team toward achieving targets and propelling revenue growth. For large enterprises with complex sales structures and a diverse sales force, optimizing sales compensation processes is not just a need but a necessity.  

Traditionally, enterprises have relied on Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) solutions with two primary goals: reducing the resources needed for managing sales incentives and providing insightful reporting and analytics for sales reps and management. Yet, many have either implemented conventional (a.k.a. “legacy”) ICM systems or developed their own internal tools, only to encounter limitations and unexpected maintenance costs due to complex data management requirements. 

Legacy ICM systems often present numerous challenges, from the inability to handle enterprise complexities to sluggish ongoing management, impacting not just the effectiveness of the ICM solution but also the overall performance of your sales organization. 

Enter Forma.ai: a solution crafted to address these challenges head-on. Our platform stands out with its agility and scalability, promising a smoother and more efficient migration process. This not only translates to a better return on investment for your ICM solution but also amplifies the overall efficacy of your sales operations. 

Considering a switch in your ICM solution? It may be time for a more progressive and dynamic system like Forma.ai. Here are 7 key advantages of migrating from a legacy ICM system to Forma.ai, and one prerequisite that’s essential for your migration process. 

Prerequisite: The Key to a Successful Migration 

Before we get to the key advantages of migrating to Forma.ai, there’s one prerequisite to discuss. 

Implementing a new ICM system often requires a cultural shift within the organization. Resistance to change, lack of understanding, or inadequate training among employees can hinder the implementation and subsequent adoption of the system.  

Inevitably, during a large system migration, there are project participants who want to keep the legacy process because that’s the way they have run the process for years and they don’t see the need to change.  

One of the keys to a successful migration is having leadership that is prepared to move away from processes that perpetuate legacy system constraints

That starts with leadership thoroughly understanding the limitations of legacy systems, accepting the need for change, and advocating for a more innovative solution, like Forma, that can more closely align with business objectives and smoothly integrate with other go-to-market processes. Hopefully, this list will help leaders open up to the need for change and build the right mindset. 

1. Enhanced Flexibility 

The first key advantage of migrating from a legacy ICM system to Forma is the flexibility to align closely with management and sales leadership requirements, providing a more adaptable framework for your organization than legacy solutions. 

Take sales crediting as an example. Most large organizations have complex sales org structures. These structures are the result of intricate sales hierarchies, with varying commission structures, multiple sales roles, and diverse sales territories.  

Configuring a legacy ICM system to accommodate these complexities while ensuring accuracy and fairness in compensation distribution can be a major challenge. Systems are often highly customized and work-around processes that are executed outside of the core compensation system are developed to accommodate these complexities. Most sales compensation teams are hesitant to change the underlying systems and processes they use to manage these sales structures. 

With Forma, not all constraints and governance are removed, but the solution flexibility allows an organization to define policies that more closely align with the expectations of management and sales leadership. 

2. Automated Transfer of Complex Sales Crediting Structures 

Not only does Forma’s flexibility allow your sales crediting to be more aligned with business needs, but you can also transfer intricate sales crediting systems effortlessly. 

When migrating to any other ICM tool, reconfiguring comp plans is a very tedious manual process. With Forma, there is no manual configuration. Our platform experts leverage AI to automate the transformation of legacy system rules into the Forma framework, speeding up the migration process significantly. 

Related article: Sales Comp 2.0: The future of Sales Compensation

3. Consolidated Systems for Increased Traceability 

Due to limitations of their ICM software, many enterprise companies resort to creating comp plans in homegrown, IT-administered tools. However, having comp plan logic in multiple tools removes user traceability, version history, and cohesion. 

With Forma’s ease of use and flexibility, there’s no need to use multiple tools. We strongly encourage our customers to shift all sales compensation plan logic from IT-administered systems into the Forma platform during migration. Bringing all plan logic together, including complex crediting, allows for a level of consolidation and traceability that most ICM and homegrown solutions don’t provide. 

4. Rapid Data Migration with Flexible Formats 

Another common challenge with ICM systems is integrating data from disparate sources, such as CRM systems, HR databases, and sales performance metrics often tracked and managed at local levels in spreadsheets. Many ICM systems require a fixed set of input tables and predefined data such as a specific type of unique rep ID and rep attributes, and order/transaction format and order attributes.  

Forma does not have these limitations. Data can be accepted in any format. Further, the automated data validation and transformation into the underlying Forma data model is done on the platform. This is another key advantage, making your migration process significantly faster than other systems with fixed input data requirements. 

5. Scalability to Manage Large Data Volumes 

Scalability to manage large data volumes (100s of millions of annual sales transactions) is an area where most legacy, and many current applications fail. As enterprises grow and evolve, scalability and flexibility become key concerns.  

Often, limitations in an ICM system’s ability to manage large data volumes force organizations to push high-volume data processing to a separate IT system, and only load aggregated transactions into the ICM system. When this happens, visibility into the data manipulation done in these systems is taken away from the comp administrators, and when data issues must be resolved, the comp administrators are dependent on IT system administrators to trace issues to their origin. 

Forma is designed to manage up to 100s of millions of annual sales transaction data volume in-platform, ensuring scalability and traceability as your enterprise grows. 

6. Administer Internally with AI 

Many ICM solutions come with a large implementation fee (2x to 3x the year 1 subscription fee). The reality that is rarely disclosed during the sales process is that expensive ICM consultants will be required to manage any significant changes or updates to the system well after go-live. Vendors and consultants will promise training and enablement, and often deliver, but this training and enablement only gets the comp admins to a level where they can run the solution day-to-day. The ability to manage the comp program through the ongoing changes from senior management and sales leadership required outside expertise.  

Forma’s approach is vastly different. Comp admins are trained and onboarded into the usage of the tool, while the heavy lifting of updating crediting, incentive plans, and rep dashboards are automated by Forma as part of the platform subscription. This allows sales comp teams to elevate above system administration, leveraging AI as a copilot, to focus more time on improving sales compensation effectiveness.

Related article: The 8 Most Expensive ICM Software Implementation Mistakes We've Seen to Date

7. Automate Repetitive Migration Tasks 

With Forma, data ingestion processes are automated and repetitive administrative tasks are built into tailored workflows. This makes for a highly automated, faster, and smoother migration process. During ongoing management, it opens time for comp admins to take on a consultative role with their sales team stakeholders instead of managing time-consuming repeatable activities. 

A Seamless Migration to an Innovative Platform 

While implementing an ICM system in a large enterprise has historically implied a range of challenges, migration to Forma is not hamstrung by these legacy system challenges. The benefits of enhanced efficiency, accuracy in compensation management, and improved sales performance management delivered by the Forma solution ensure a higher ROI than any legacy ICM system. 

Migrating from a legacy ICM system to Forma will be your smoothest transition yet, with benefits that last far beyond migration. To learn more about migrating your enterprise to Forma.ai, book a demo.

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