Ironside Case Study: Nova Biomedical Drives Sales Growth

Wooden steering wheel on a ship reflects the direction that Nova Biomedical is steering its sales team.

Medical devices save lives every day. You’d think a product with an upside like that would sell itself, but in reality it requires a knowledgeable, highly motivated sales force to deliver it where it’s needed most. Nova Biomedical, one of the leading manufacturers of blood analyzers, wanted to be certain they were giving their sales reps the support they needed to excel in their space. To accomplish this, they partnered with Ironside to establish a modern sales performance management (SPM) system and strategy that would be capable of providing the robust compensation and reporting assets needed to accelerate sales success.

Nova Biomedical Logo

Industry: Medical Devices

Size: >1000 employees

Areas of Engagement: Sales Performance Management

Nova Biomedical is one of the 25 largest in vitro diagnostics companies in the world. They specialize in the development of the most efficient and advanced blood analyzers available on the market today. Dedicated to supporting the care of hospitalized and critically ill patients, Nova devices deliver the most extensive stat test menus, the shortest time to results, and the lowest costs. Nova currently maintains sales and service operations in 100 countries either directly or through subsidiaries and distributors.

The Challenge

Nova recognized that their approach to variable comp needed to change. They had been relying on an Excel-based, manual compensation processing system that required an investment of 65 or more employee hours per month just to pay out variable comp. The system was also falling short in the areas of calculation accuracy, flexibility around plan changes, and transparent reporting on payouts and goals. For these reasons, Nova approached Ironside about moving to an incentive compensation management (ICM) platform that would be able to expand and adapt alongside their organization and automate the steps required to process variable comp and distribute it in a timely manner.

“Nova’s main priorities for ICM were to decrease the amount of time it took to pay out our sales force, improve accuracy, remove shadow accounting, and improve transparency,” says Justin Frechette, Senior Financial Analyst at Nova.

To help meet the goals Frechette mentions, Ironside’s SPM team proposed an ICM platform implementation that not only would be tailored to Nova’s specific comp calculation strategy and automate payouts, but would also build a foundation of goal-oriented, forward-looking reports that would move Nova beyond day-to-day ICM activities and into a more mature SPM ecosystem.

The Journey

Nova Biomedical brought in Ironside SPM consultants to realize their vision for a new ICM platform. The Ironside team worked hand in hand with Nova’s internal resources to design, implement, configure, and test the new system itself and all the comp plan calculations and reports required to support Nova’s sales team with the highest level of accuracy possible. Specifically, the project’s scope included:

  • Processing territory-level crediting, quota, and attainment.
  • Payee crediting and payment calculations for bookings, revenue transactions, and lead generation.
  • Handling retroactive payments to dollar 1 for attainment increases.
  • Calculating all guarantees, splits, termination holdbacks, and crediting reductions.
  • Developing Comp Summary, Comp Detail, and Payroll Extract reports.

Getting all these goals accomplished required a coordinated effort between the Ironside and Nova teams. Ironside consultants focused on standing up the ICM architecture and creating the necessary calculations and reports while Nova’s technical resources prepared and loaded the data for payees, territories, quotas, rates, and transactions into the new environment. Together, they established an infrastructure ideal for supporting Nova’s sales team.

The initial phase was so successful, in fact, that Nova expanded the initial scope and brought Ironside back to further refine the system with several additional enhancements:

  • A new component to handle Canadian transactions (a new ICM territory), which would then roll up to the Director of Sales to measure attainment of total revenue quota for the region
  • A breakout of new and existing business (bookings) at the product level to assign separate quotas for each
  • An edited version of the Comp Summary and Comp Detail reports to include these new components

“This new resource allows us to compensate our sales force as soon as they generate a new sale. This motivates our sales force to close deals, knowing that they will receive compensation immediately. Not only is it motivating, but also a very attractive feature when trying to lure the best talent.”

– Justin Frechette, Senior Financial Analyst, Nova Biomedical

The Results

Nova Biomedical SPM Report Example

The first and most tangible result that Nova has seen since its new ICM environment went live is a major impact on two key factors: timeliness and trust.

“After the implementation, we have reduced the amount of time it takes to pay out our sales force from 6 business days to 1 business day,” Frechette states. “Our sales team has nothing but the utmost confidence in the tool and its transparency, which allows our sales force to spend more time in the field rather than calculating their commission payouts.”

Beyond just delivering the compensation on time, the system also allows sales reps to see the wider strategy behind their efforts and track their achievements against company targets through the reports it makes available. These give the entire sales organization the resources they need to directly monitor and contribute to Nova’s SPM strategy. Sales and Finance leadership also have both the bandwidth and visibility needed to define future directions.

“Ironside has provided us the support we need to build/implement new complex features into our compensation plan. We can focus more on results, and creating updates that will incentivize our sales force to generate the revenue we need to meet our annual revenue goals. Without Ironside’s help, we would be investing more of our efforts into producing/updating reporting, stack rankings, commission payouts, etc. Ironside has played a big role in how we analyze our business.

Ironside gives our sales leadership the ability to think about the future, as opposed to investing all our time reflecting on the past.

– Justin Frechette, Senior Financial Analyst, Nova Biomedical

Conclusion: Nova Biomedical’s SPM Future

After the 14 weeks that Nova and Ironside spent together, the company is much more well-positioned to execute on their mission to deliver the finest medical devices to those who need them most. They also have the foundation they need to continue evolving in the SPM space. Nova sees Ironside as an important partner in this future journey.

“The most valuable feature about partnering with Ironside is their responsiveness to time critical updates that need to be added ,” Frechette asserts. “For example, our sales leadership team wanted to incorporate an intricate addition to our existing payout structure, and provided very little notice in advance. Ironside was able to accommodate our needs by implementing the addition quickly, accurately, and efficiently. As a result, our sales payouts were not delayed.”

In addition to these continued maintenance activity, Ironside will always be ready and able to jump in as a trusted advisor to further advance Nova’s already sophisticated ICM and SPM strategy. This support combined with Nova’s innate ability to see ahead of the competition and put in place the systems they need to succeed will lead to the company’s continued growth and thought leadership in their industry.

“There is nothing I would change in regards to the approach we have taken with Ironside. Ironside has exceeded our expectations, while remaining within the agreed upon resources we set aside for this project. Ironside consultants are experts, and challenge areas in our comp plan that may not be best practice. I trust Ironside, and will only trust their consulting expertise when making changes to our compensation plan in the future.”

– Justin Frechette, Senior Financial Analyst, Nova Biomedical

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