Company: Installation and Service Technologies, Inc. (IST), based in Kansas City, Kansas, sells, services, and supports point-of-sale (POS) systems, wireless drive-through solutions, WiFi hotspots, and related technologies to customers in the restaurant and retail sectors. This nationwide service organization was formed 20 years ago by the merger of four companies that were providing service and support to McDonald’s restaurants across the United States. IST started by installing POS systems at McDonald's in the mid-1970s and has grown to provide solutions to many different industries nationwide.
Challenge: After 20 years of being a services company, installing hardware and software technologies in fast food restaurants, the leaders of IST saw an opportunity to sell the types of equipment they were installing. The company hired Matt Haselhoff as director of sales to start the new division, tasking him with building and managing a brand-new sales team focused on selling products.
Because this was a new area for IST, there were no examples of previous sales compensation plans Haselhoff could use. He needed to develop a plan mixing base salaries and commissions in such a way his sales force would be motivated to go the extra mile…and of course, be rewarded appropriately for their success.
"We wanted to find good people and incent them with a compensation plan that was both fair and motivational," says Haselhoff. "We needed to make sure the mix and pacing of base salary and commission gave the sales reps a reason to really reach for their stretch goals, but without fear that extraordinary performance would wreak havoc with the company's profit margin." Looking for sample plans and creative ideas, Haselhoff began searching online for material that could be helpful.
Solution: Haselhoff found sample sales compensation plans on the Makana Solutions Web site and learned that these plans were created with the self-service sales compensation tool, Makana Motivator Express. He attended an online demonstration of Makana's solution and was impressed—IST signed up right away.
With Makana Motivator Express, Haselhoff was able to create sales plans based on industry best practices in a matter of minutes. Because of the tool's built-in knowledge, Haselhoff is confident his plans will strike the right balance between motivational compensation and company profit.
"IST was making the transition from being a services organization to selling products," he says. "This meant there were no preexisting plans or performance numbers I could use to develop sales plans."
"Makana Motivator Express solved this problem for me. In a matter of minutes I was up and running on Makana Motivator Express and generating incredibly effective sales plans."
Results: Using Makana Motivator Express, Haselhoff was able to quickly and easily build his sales compensation plans—allowing for more time to focus on more strategic responsibilities, like growing IST’s product business. "I used to set aside four weeks at the end of each year to put these plans together," he says. "With Makana, I can develop all my plans for the year in a matter of days."
Another powerful benefit Makana Motivator Express has brought to IST is the ability to instantly and interactively show prospective employees how their compensation plan would work. Says Haselhoff: "Now when I sit with a prospective employee in an interview and I'm negotiating a salary, I can show them on the fly what their plans will look like and how they can achieve certain compensation levels. There’s just no way to do that in Excel or any of the other tools people try to use for sales comp planning."
Almost immediately, Haselhoff found Makana Motivator Express to be extremely valuable in developing better-conceived sales compensation plans, and more generally, in its ability to help grow sales while also saving significant time and money.
"The best way to sum it up," says Haselhoff, "is that Makana takes the work out of sales compensation. It's one of those rare tools that’s both more powerful and much easier to use than the alternatives. We were up and running immediately and realizing both financial and motivational benefits within weeks."