Kjell and Company: Motivating Salespeople with Incentive Compensation (B)
Kjell & Company was a Swedish retail electronics chain founded in 1988 by brothers Marcus, Mikael and Fredrik Dahnelius. The company operated 84 stores, all company-owned, located mainly in the metropolitan areas of Sweden's most popular cities: Stockholm, Gothemburg and Malm . The company's products consisted of home electronics, accessories for home electronics and cellular phones (e.g., networking accessories, headsets and phone cases), and parts for consumer electronics and appliances (e.g., semiconductors and switches). The company was noted for its excellent customer service and a fair "one-for-all" HR policy. The company had a direct sales force of about 350 in-store salespeople. The salespeople historically had been compensated by a fixed salary and a variable commission conditional on meeting a monthly sales quota. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the monthly-quota compensation scheme might have demotivated some salespeople toward the end of the month, as those who fell short early in a month simply gave up because they had no chance of meeting quota. Thus, to mitigate this problem, management proposed a shorter temporal horizon daily-quota scheme. The (A) case focuses on the decision faced by the CEO, Thomas Keifer, on whether to change the sales force compensation plan to a temporally shorter daily-quota scheme and, if so, how to implement the change-that is, whether to run a pilot study with the new plan (implementing it at a few selected stores) or to launch the plan at all stores simultaneously. The (B), (C), and (D) cases show the results of various metrics across different types of salespeople after the change in the compensation plan was implemented. The case series explores different ways to analyze data for inference about salespeople's behavior caused by a change in the compensation plan. Also, the case series shows ways to experiment with the compensation plan for causal inference.