Enhancing End User Experience

Even the best implementations of an Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) system can be considered unsuccessful if you have poor end user adoption of the system after you go live.

Below are key best practice recommendations when thinking about end user experience, with both sales and management/leadership that can result in higher or increased adoption and utilization of your ICM technology.


Spend time with end users (payees & management) to understand their needs or wants as it relates to sales compensation data. Discussions should include frequency, format, and what type of data they are seeking (examples: statements, attainments, revenue, payments to date, payroll, etc.). Providing end users with data they feel is relevant increases the use of the tool.

Consider leveraging dashboards to display several key reports or metrics. Most can be customized by role and give the ability to show specific details for the relevant audience. Utilize views and formats that the team may already be familiar with and seek to use intuitive labels that allow the end user to easily consume and interpret their information.

Ensure people and transactional data needed for the different types of reports are being captured by the ICM tool. This will aid in report building, which will likely become the central repository for performance and plan metrics including a tool for management to use for performance and plan effectiveness tracking.


Utilizing workflows within your ICM system provides the ability to create, distribute, and track approvals all in one place. Common workflows are Plan Acknowledgement Forms, Payroll Approvals, Quota Distribution and Reviews, Pool Based Comp Distributions, etc.

Leveraging workflows brings additional users to the tool and increases the adoption of it.


Introducing a new system, especially a system as important as an ICM system, needs to have a thoughtful approach to end user training.

Once ready to “go-live”, provide training to the sales management team first. It is important to ensure this team is versed on the tool and ready to support the launch and answer questions from their team.

In preparation for the training(s) the below items are best practices to have available and ready at the time of training/kickoff and for new hires.

  1. Prepare FAQ documents.
  2. Prepare short training videos on key areas of the tool.
  3. Have a Development environment or hierarchy offshoot ready with “dummy” accounts and data for live trainings. This also assists in the development of training materials (screenshots, training videos, etc.)

If time permits, conduct smaller training sessions throughout the rollout. This gives the end users the opportunity and space to ask questions.

Administration Support

On-going communication and keeping the tool fresh with enhancements helps ensure high end user adoption of your ICM investment.

Communicate upcoming calendar items: processing time, dispute windows, estimated payout dates, etc.

Create a central point of contact source (team, email alias, etc.) to ensure outgoing and incoming messages and inquiries are received properly.

The more effort sales compensation administrators put into end user communication and optimization will help drive the adoption and use of the tool.

Article written by: Ashley Holbrook

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