Solving Unique Business Needs Of A Wide Range Of Industries


A Manufacturer of Luxury Automobiles


A venerable manufacturer of luxury automobiles found itself in the midst of a change in the competitive market. No longer defined simply by speed, road performance or engineering prowess, rival imports had elevated the definition of “luxury” to include the manner in which customers were treated during the overall buying experience. Potential buyers defected and sales declined.


The company knew it needed to move quickly to recapture its footing, however it’s current sales incentive programs, and the processes that supported them were one-dimensional. They rewarded against aggregate sales only and required manual intervention. Information entry and processing was delayed and as a result data was limited in its ability to match customer experience stats with sales records. Company field representatives, tasked with focusing their dealer partners on customer care, asked for a tool that would support their efforts.


Sales, customer feedback, and training progress was combined into an easy-to-understand format, personalized to each participant. Ancillary support teams in financial and insurance services were also added after launch.

An antiquated sales processing procedure did more than cause incentive delays; it limited the manufacturer’s ability to focus personnel on customer satisfaction. Madison went to work by building a new front end, web-based sales entry system that synced with the company’s dealer inventory system. Now the manufacturer had daily updates connecting models sold to specific sales individuals.

Next, we tied in their customer satisfaction data collected by a third party. By building an interface that connected customer feedback and grading on everything from a sales rep’s knowledge during the initial visit, to a customer’s opinion of the dealer’s loan and leasing representatives, to the buyer’s satisfaction with the delivery process, we were able to isolate and reward against all the behaviors that influenced the customer’s total buying experience. We then linked into the manufacturers’ library of learning materials so soft training messages could be used in conjunction with program communications. That benefited dealerships personnel who were underperforming in any key area.

Finally, to help the manufacturer’s field sales team become better in-dealership coaches, we also added a manager’s dashboard that gave them real-time insight into which dealer staff was doing well with their customers and which needed a little extra help embracing the mission.


This manufacturer’s dealer incentive offering evolved from an outdated process to a state-of-the art, all encompassing, real-time business support system for dealership personnel, dealer principals and front-line manufacturer reps.

1. In its first three years of operation, sales in both new and certified pre-owned vehicles topped all-time records by at least 5% year-over-year.

2. Dealer field managers credited the system with shortening a vehicle’s average time on the lot by 15%.

3. Financed purchases, as well as leased sales, in the critical “brand entry models” for younger buyers topped forecast by 45%.

4. Customer satisfaction scores soared by 35%. With 95% of all customers saying they would both “buy again” as well as “recommended the dealership to others”.

5. Participant surveys indicated that 98.7% of targeted personnel rated the program as “excellent” in all major categories.

Click Here for PDF

A Leading Biotech Company


This leading Biotech Company had directed substantial funding and effort behind numerous non-cash incentive programs. Through surveys and third party research they knew they were outspending in this category.


Their investments were not having the impact they had hoped for. Many of their 1300 sales people reported the same experience, namely, that they did not know they were eligible for a particular program until it was over. The aggressive use of sales promotions, spiffs and other contests by various brand managers resulted in numerous incentive offerings posted on the company’s intranet or across the internet. There was no logical way for participants to find them and no effective way for sales operations (sales ops) to manage them.

The previous approach was costly. Every product group wanting to run an incentive had to begin from the start and was forced to find a communications and reward’s vendor to implement their program.

To help streamline activity and control expenses, Madison implemented a centralized rewards concept—a nexus of incentive activity for all of the company’s non-cash reward programs.


With the company’s sales ops team as our partner, Madison went to work. We focused on building the “common recognition” components first; core level and corporate sponsored programs. Next we configured the sales incentive technology to develop and launch product brand-sponsored programs across each selling channel (primary care, specialty care and formulary management).

This company had several older drugs entering an expanding market place with newly approved indications. To help re-launch them the company needed to focus their reps on targeting the right accounts while positioning the revised therapies properly. Madison helped this Biotech develop behavior-based contest models that emphasized specific momentum building activities for sales representatives to focus on.

Finally, we organized spot award programs (manager budgeting, nomination forms, approval tracking, supporting communications and budget distribution). As the site grew in utilization we added variable pay pages as well as incentive travel promotion and registration functionality.


Today individuals within this company’s three distinct sales forces are able to log-on to one site and see all of the programs that are specific to them. Product managers have a quick and easy tool from which they can launch a contest. For sales ops personal that are charged with managing the company’s interest in any program that’s launched, they now have complete access to the insight and controls they so desperately needed.

Today individuals within this company’s three distinct sales forces are able to log-on to one site and see all of the programs that are specific to them. Product managers have a quick and easy tool from which they can launch a contest. For sales ops personal that are charged with managing the company’s interest in any program that’s launched, they now have complete access to the insight and controls they so desperately needed.

1. The company has realized significant cost savings by consolidating incentive program activity under one umbrella that leverages common elements. In its seven years of operation the platform has generated over $750,000 in fixed costs savings while also shortening incentive delivery time.

2. Brand sponsors report 95% satisfaction ratings in the platforms “ease of use”, “reliability” and “business-building value” to their franchises.

3. Sales ops credit the system with helping the company stay focused and on plan. As a result it has reached or exceeded its sales forecast numbers in every year of operation.

4. The portal now displays the firm’s “total rewards investment” in each employee, reinforcing opportunities for variable earnings, career advancement, professional development and work-life balance. That feature is credited with reducing voluntary turnover below market trends by 15% for all sales people and by 35% for top performers.

5. Internal surveys have shown a 60% increase in the number of sales force employees who feel that the company recognizes them appropriately for their efforts and values them as employees since inception. This has resulted in increased productivity and reduced turnover.

Click Here for PDF

A Major Pharmaceutical Company


A major pharmaceutical company was faced with competitive pressure in several different areas. In some, market reps needed to be more skilled at gaining appointments. In others, they were underperforming in critical steps like detailing therapies or negotiating drugs onto hospital formularies.


Where and how the company needed to improve its performance depended largely on the individuals in specific territories. The company could not effectively isolate and improve shortcomings with a broadly defined offering. It needed an advanced incentive solution.


Madison created a manager-directed discretionary reward system that allowed filed supervisors to set goals and reward sales personnel based on localized objectives. Utilized by all sales force groups, it had over 9,000 eligible users including 8,000 field sales personnel and 1,000 regional and district sales managers.

Designed to be highly adaptive and pertinent to the client’s rapidly changing business climate, the solution was as flexible as it was comprehensive. It blended enhanced managerial options offered with an array of predefined corporate controls. With this platform managers had the ability to direct the investment of their non-cash award budgets quickly and accurately within set business parameters.

In addition to optimizing sales results, our reward system helped field managers play an integral role in the ongoing development of the sales force. Managers used the tool to coach, encourage and promote desired behaviors. It leveraged a combination of company sales aspirations that included a wide range of 12 menu-driven choices ranging from Call Effectiveness to Customer Relationships to Local Teamwork.

Along with an equally diverse group of sub-criteria including Respect for People, Innovation, Leadership and Quality. This gave managers the option of blending both the subjective (behavior based) and the objective (measurable results) within individual growth objectives.


The company’s previous approach was underperforming; Madison quickly ascertained that the mechanics of operation were to blame. Previous mechanics were limiting and counter intuitive. They required unnecessary administrative steps from managers who, over time, had grown frustrated with its restrictive functionality. Managers quickly moved away from the system and this caused recognition activity to decline, engagement scores to weaken and business opportunities to go unaddressed. Madison’s technology simplified the process for all of the users, automated core functionality, removed repetitive workarounds for staff and expanded the platform’s goal setting and coaching utility for field managers.

Our system’s advanced design included an award interface that eased the award selection, issuance, notification and tracking processes. A tool that allowed authorized users to build a program through a series of quick steps and supporting templates along with a site-specific search tool that helped managers find related program information quickly and accurately.

The expanded functionality helped managers nurture the attitudes and abilities of their team by using non-cash contests and recognition funding allocations more strategically. With our solution in place, front line managers are better prepared to set goals and earning criteria. They can easily redirect a rep’s focus to close individual performance gaps or adjust the efforts of their entire team to reflect district or corporate goals.

1. The program attrition the pharmaceutical company faced from the legacy system has corrected itself. Managers utilize Madison’s technology at a rate of 100%.

2. Eligible sales reps access the site an average of 1.6 times a week, illustrating its central role in the total rewards mix.

3. Revenue across all product lines has exceeded forecasts by an average of 5.25% year-over-year.

4. Engagement levels rose by 42% with most improvements attributable to the employees’ improved relationships with immediate managers.

5. Surveys suggest stellar levels of satisfaction with Madison’s concept, along with Madison’s day-to- day support and execution of the program. Front line managers indicate they are 98% satisfied with the system while employees rate stratification levels at 96%.

Click Here for PDF

A Manufacturer of Performance Motorcycles & Recreational Vehicles


This leading manufacturer of performance motorcycles and recreational vehicles continues to make significant, ongoing investments in both sales incentive programs for their network of independent distributors and sellers, as well as promotional programs for professional and amateur “racing” drivers.


As the company grew, its incentive and promotional initiatives became more frequent in occurrence, more complex to manage and more expensive to operate. Their legacy system lacked the functional depth and sophistication to keep up with their increased activity. It needed a partner who could turn what had become complicated on the back-end into something that was simple to manage on the front.


Madison launched a new incentive application that allowed participants, no matter what their category status, to access all of their information—current and historical—in one easy location. Based on pre-established eligibility settings, it streamlined every participant’s interaction with the system, giving them a manageable entry to racing incentive plans, sales incentive programs, or any other supplementary incentive programs involving them. It also gave the sponsoring manufacturer a new modernized tool to implement, roll out, administer, and track all of its promotional activity.

The first phase of the program addressed professional and amateur riders within the manufacturer’s racing programs. It categorized historical data and updated current functionality. It allowed the manufacturer’s support staff to directly input results and deposit race winnings based on complicated earning scenarios on location and in real time. Between the two audience classifications this represented about 2,000 participants.

It’s worth noting here that many of their professional racers are less than 13 years of age, making any of the professional or amateur racing sites they interact with subject to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Madison quickly identified a partner who is at the forefront of COPPA-compliance software and has Safe Harbor status from the FTC (meaning users are indemnified against suits alleging violations, as the system). We incorporated their technology in that area of our site. The result continues to be a seamless and secure incentive experience for this unique demographic of underage participants.

We then rolled out the Sales Rewards program on the same platform to another 8,000 participants and synced-in the company’s learning and certification content. This allowed specific product line sponsors the flexibility to position training accreditation hurdles as qualifiers to some participants (those who may have been new or were underperforming) before they could earn points. In addition, other components, such as a dealer discretionary award module was introduced to support localized incentives. This new reports module captured, itemized and/or consolidated all program transactions and delivered data to authorized users in a number of formats depending on the view chosen.


This manufacturer’s web based incentive portal incorporates their complete portfolio of sales incentives and rider promotions in one easy to access location. It manages the presentation of offers based on the participant’s demographic eligibility. It tracks and aggregates results based on the programs they are involved in. In addition, it helps manufacturer management across product lines and geographic territories isolate revenue results while tracking and comparing their total sales numbers.

Since inception our solution has:

1. Reduced sales incentive and driver promotion administration costs across all brands by 55%.

2. Has increased the firm’s product promotion efficiency ratio (specific product line revenues attributed to any promotion divided by costs) by 23%.

3. Solidified COPPA compliance processing and tracking. All underage drivers are now 100% compliant. The firm has had 0 complaints filed. They estimate that this has saved them over $185,000 annually in legal management services.

4. Has helped this manufacturer out pace all rivals in market growth across all relevant product categories by an average of 4.7%.

5. Maintained high levels of dealers’ satisfaction, with the manufacturer satisfaction scores hovering in the high 97% range.

Click Here for PDF

A Worldwide Professional Services Company


A worldwide professional services company recognized it had a collection of highly motivated professionals, but it also understood that the unique demands of its business model could strain an individual’s sense of connection to the group.


With its global workforce operating in a highly integrated yet virtual manner, the firm needed a recognition solution that reduced attrition and increased employee engagement—two factors that were adversely affected by the physical separation of work groups. Here, recognition opportunities are linked to key corporate values. Performance factors identify brand values in an identifiable context and connect them to a desired behavior that individual employees can more easily understand and act upon.


Working with a senior leadership team, Madison developed the economic business case for recognition. Using a combination of manager to associates and peer-to-peer recognition devices, our solution was designed to commemorate the importance of individual and team based contributions, promote shared values, exchange best practices/innovations, and reinforce a high level of “mutuality” in every employee interaction.

We helped the organization frame the economic justification for increased employee engagement and positioned behavior-based recognition as a tool to ignite higher scores. With a highly diverse workforce, Madison knew that the program needed to speak to each of its workers in a highly personalized manner if it was to have the desired impact. Madison segmented the eligible population through a series of pertinent variables (location, job codes, current assignment, team association, etc.) so messages, goals, success stories and the aggregate user experience was relevant to the individual’s role in the firm.

The nature of company’s business model also required a high level of fluidity. Teams formed around client projects often migrated across supervisory relationships and geographic locations. Madison developed a hierarchal structure that effectively managed the change in personnel assignments and reporting alignments. As a result managers could continue to track and give awards efficiently and accurately without any additional administrative burden.

The program relevant reward selection was from more than 100 countries. Madison designed a series of in-country reward catalogues that leveraged local suppliers guaranteeing that all redemption would be handled locally without the extra time and expense of customs, duty or international shipping.


The company is a highly metric-driven firm and continues to track the program’s success against the objectives of its original business case, while also contrasting its own experiences against comparative best practices suggested by Madison.

Here are some highlights from the last review:

1. Significantly reduced attrition rates, especially in its statistically outlying countries (historically experiencing greater than 40% attrition was brought down to 24%).

2. Employee engagement scores continue to increase at an annual average of 12% per year as do the supporting financial outcomes linked to a highly engaged environment.

3. Program utilization continues to outperform senior level expectations in all measured categories including login rates and award issuance, which is increasing yearly.

4. Surveys confirm a higher level of satisfaction with the program’s structure and execution: 93% of employees rate the program as a “good” or excellent” tool for recognizing high-performers within the organization.

5. Senior management credits the increased use of recognition and non-cash compensation as a “significant factor” in sustaining a “recognition culture”.

Click Here for PDF

A Manufacturer of Office Equipment


A premier office equipment manufacturer of copiers, printers, fax machines, and management solutions is reliant on independent distributors for the bulk of its revenue. These channel partners are autonomous, representing multiple brands across a variety of competitive offerings. To motivate third party representatives to recommend their offerings over others and to keep a rep’s mind share year round, it is not uncommon for this manufacturer to have dozens of sales incentives programs in play at any one time.


The problem was managing them all. It had become a challenge to organize, direct and track promotions across multiple sales groups representing hundreds of SKUs. Realizing they had stumbled in the past, the manufacturer was concerned about system uptake and envisioned the launch of Madison’s solution with a phased-in roll out. To guarantee a high rate of adoption across all targeted sellers and to be as effective as possible in a business model where brand managers could initiate an incentive at any time, Madison knew that the solution needed to be easy to use across multiple audiences.


Madison’s solution was built to initiate, host and manage multiple sales-related promotions ranging in size and scope. We combined targeted communications with on-demand training tools to familiarize each audience with the technical features and business building benefits of the new system. This approach heightened interest within the channel, the initial rollout targeted the digital color sales force only (about 500 participants) but quickly grew to its current 33,000 users. From quarterly contests, to annual incentives, to new product introductions and short SPIFFs, we made it possible to implement variations of each with specific target audiences in mind.

Our solution made it easy for the manufacturer to configure and launch an incentive and then track its impact through a user interface detailing the core incentive offerings. Everything within any contest can be modified including the aesthetic design to its objectives and reward options, along with all the supporting communications components and reports. Each version is chosen via a simple click and point menu selection process. Sales objectives and reward options can be isolated or duplicated across relevant channels. Secondary measures and/or earnings multiples can be added on, deleted, or adjusted easily across relevant groupings. The reporting and analytical package allows any authorized user to compare and contrast results by distributors and/or roll up sales activity for an aggregate,enterprise wide view. Additionally, the solution can be localized for distributor principals who can then use it as a business building tool for their own reps. The system also supports social communications across customers or other distributors along with an easy to access library of sales support materials.


During this time the office automation industry was going through a number of significant transformations and consolidations. Being able to track reps through changes in distributor ownership required manual interventions in the past but Madison’s approach maintained rep alignment, eligibility and earnings history in a seamless manner. On an ongoing basis it continues to track sales activity automatically through the site.

In the volatile market of office automation, product and brand managers need the flexibility to shift promotions toward competitive threats. One of the greatest strengths of the platform is its enhanced ability to segment promotions by multiple variables. For every product the manufacturer makes, the platform allows sponsors to adjust objectives levels and eligibility for each channel independent of all others if needed or desired. This allows product managers to put their marketing dollars to work where they are needed the most, without incurring additional programing costs or wasting precious time.

Our system’s configurable structure paved the way for several incentive innovations: learning integration, social networking elements and market feedback tools. The biggest advancement was in its ability to consistently capture the efforts and mind share of independent reps and do so efficiently. Our approach not only improved sales results while enhancing the manufacturer’s image but it did so by reducing its administrative cost structure.

1. This client estimates it has saved over $250,000 per year in fixed cost by consolidating all incentive activity in one platform.

2. The solution has been credited with delivering incremental sales of over 525,000 units during the program’s operation. Depending on the brand, sponsors credit it with double digit year-over-year sales above forecast increases since its introduction.

3. The manufacturer also credits the system with playing a key role in spotting and exploiting market trends. Key market penetration levels are up over 50% since introduction, while share of customer spend within core audiences has also risen 22%.

4. Based on independent surveys, rep satisfaction levels with this manufacturer rose dramatically from a low of 56% to a high of 83% within a few years of operation.

5. End user customer satisfaction levels with the manufacturer’s products also rose from 82% to 97%. Customers cited their rep’s increased product knowledge and familiarity as key reasons.

Click Here for PDF

A Worldwide Specialty Manufacturing Conglomerate


This United States arm of a worldwide specialty manufacturing conglomerate employed over 60,000 employees across 12 independent divisions. It operated in sectors as diverse as medical technology, power transmission and industrial automation. But while its autonomous business structure allowed it to move with speed and agility in the marketplace, that construct also meant that its employee reward programs were not as connected to the company’s overall strategy and vision as they should have been.


The company was committed to employee recognition conceptually but each business unit had its own approach. The inconsistencies resulted in a wasteful duplication of expenses. Worse, the decentralized structure prevented the company from properly tracking or leveraging its recognition resources against strategic imperatives.

The company needed help in two areas. It required a configurable platform that was flexible enough to accommodate the needs and wants of various recognition leaders across the enterprise, many of whom had legacy systems in place. But first it requited a partner who could make the case of consolidation and build a consensus toward a singular approach that would impact dozens of stakeholders. They found both in Madison.


We worked directly with the Director of Compensation along with key business unit executives in HR and Finance to identify and evaluate core practices and shared procedures common across each business. We quickly found that different programs rewarded against differently defined behaviors that spoke to similar outcomes. We counseled the client to consolidate the spectrum of rewardable actions into recognizable behaviors that aligned to company’s shared values; like being responsible, demonstrating excellence in execution and/or being innovative in one’s thinking.

The company needed a technical tool that could both accommodate and embrace a wide range of program nuances while also simplifying the mechanics of recognizing employees. We identified the range of flexibility each business unit would need and we proposed and structured system functionality designed to streamline the user experience across a complex range of recognition scenarios.

With an eye toward user expediency, Madison automated each facet of the recognition giving and tracking experiences. Employee eligibility, approval processing, budgetary accounting and notifications were all seamlessly adjudicated. But beyond mere convenience we also designed the solution with three other C’s in mind; compliance, control, and consistency across the company.

We then positioned the program as an extension of the external brand and linked its theme, look and meaning to a new global marketing campaign that promised a corporate value proposition that was essentially people driven.


The initiative was successful in its quest to motivate, unite, and engage a diverse workforce in an efficient manner. It is now so accepted within the culture it has become part of the company’s vernacular. It has succeeded in bringing complete consistency to once contrasting approaches. It has been credited in giving each Human Resource team better insight into—and oversight of—the eligibility, nomination, approval and reward issuance processes that once ran unchecked. It has also helped Finance executives track and monitor reward spending against budgetary and tax compliances.

The program continues to return significant savings and material returns to its corporate level sponsor’s year in and year out.

Since inception it has:

1. Reduced recognition operating expenses by an estimated $500,000 per year.

2. Eliminated compliance and tracking expenses completely.

3. Driven engagement scores up by 600 BPs (basis points).

4. Reduced voluntary turnover by 5% per year saving the company over $29.5M in preventable workforce attrition costs annually.

5. Recently the client leveraged the tool by adding its Service Anniversary to the platform. Early results indicate a 25% savings in fixed costs along with an early 75% jump in employee satisfaction scores for the revamped approach.

Click Here for PDF