Building the Best Sales Compensation Structure for Startups with Nabeil Alazzam of Forma.ai
When we are working with our portfolio companies, we find that a big part of success is building a strong sales team. But what’s the best way to do that, and how should sales teams be rewarded and structured. Our guest today is Nabeil Alazzam, Founder and CEO of Forma.ai, a sales compensation platform that removes the guesswork of motivating sales teams and unlocks agility through a delivery-focused, AI-driven platform.
About Nabeil Alazzam:
Nabeil Alazzam is the Founder and CEO of Forma.ai. He began his entrepreneurial journey while studying Mechanical Engineering at Queen's University and continued through graduation as a consultant for ZS.
During that time, Nabeil advised Fortune 100 companies on sales force effectiveness and strategy and saw first-hand the pain of poor enterprise sales compensation management. He saw a gap in the market and moved quickly to gather a team and found Forma.ai in 2016.
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In this episode we discuss:
02:32 Nabeil’s journey to starting Forma.ai
04:16 Lessons Nabeil learned as a management consultant
05:44 How working with Pharmacuetical Reps shaped his view on the importance of data in the sales process
08:18 Pain points as VP of sales that lead him to starting Forma
11:35 How Nabeil views a proper compensation structure
14:14 What founders need to consider prior to rolling out a sales comp plan
17:22 How companies can implement strategies when limited data is available
20:35 What you should do to implement a new sales compensation plan
23:00 Creating feedback loops between sales and leadership
24:54 How early-stage startups can use Forma
27:37 Dealing with fallout from changing compensation plans
30:25 Communication strategies to sales staff
32:25 How quota and targets can lead to attrition
35:11 Organizations that hurt themselves with a poor comp plan
38:29 How Forma actually works
41:21 Methods which Forma collects data
44:22 How their recent series B came together led by ACME Capital, along with our good friends at Crosslink Capital, Golden Ventures, and Uncork Capital
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