Kjell and Company: Motivating Salespeople with Incentive Compensation (A)

Case Solution

Doug J. Chung
Harvard Business School ()

Kjell & Company was a Swedish electronics retail chain. The company’s products consisted of electronics and home accessories. The company was characterized by excellent customer service and a fair “one for all” personnel policy. In the past, sellers were compensated with a fixed salary and a variable commission, depending on meeting a monthly sales quota. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the monthly fee compensation system may have demotivated some sellers towards the end of the month, as those who fell short at the beginning of a month simply gave up because they had no chance of hitting the fee. To alleviate this problem, the management proposed a daily quota scheme with a shorter time horizon. Case (A) focuses on the CEO’s decision to change the field service compensation plan to a shorter time plan and, if so, how to implement the change. Cases (B), (C), and (D) show the results of different metrics for different types of salespeople after the compensation plan change has been implemented. The case series examines different ways of analyzing the data to draw conclusions about the behavior of sellers due to a change in the compensation structure. The case series also shows ways to experiment with the causal inference compensation plan.

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