Customized Compensation

Flexibility and personalization are the pillars of Nu Skin’s innovative comp plan.

One of the biggest attractions of the direct sales industry is the ability to build a business on your own terms around your life. Different people have different goals and different skill levels, which can evolve with experience. The challenge is to design a scalable compensation plan that also provides a personalized experience that matches distributors’ goals.

Justin Keisel, GM of Nu Skin’s North America, shared some of the strategies and philosophies behind Velocity—their revamped compensation plan that focuses on flexibility and personalization while helping individuals achieve their desired goals. A global company, Nu Skin had to develop a plan to work across all borders and while leveraging the digital commerce culture.

“We were the first in the industry to roll out a global, seamless compensation plan, where regardless of where the volume in your organization takes place, it would roll out across borders,” Keisel says. “It’s about matching the environment. And clearly, the environment over the last five to eight years has been rapidly evolving in terms of digital technologies, social commerce, digital commerce, and that has disrupted every element of the industry.”

Segmentation with Flexibility

Keisel acknowledges the challenge of the sharp rise in flexible opportunities outside the industry. A successful comp plan in today’s economy not only must address how people earn income but also the way they are paid, when and how often they are paid, what they are paid for, all while keeping it simple enough for people to understand the specific actions they need to take to achieve their individual goals. That’s why Nu Skin created a segmented comp plan that still offers enough flexibility for achieving small to large business goals. For example, once a Nu Skin Affiliate sells a product they’re almost instantaneously paid their sharing bonus through the daily pay feature.

“One of the fundamental tenets was flexibility. And that really was less about a progression in a compensation plan that’s all connected to the next step and the next step and the next step,” Keisel explains. “It was about meeting people where they were at finding a place where people wanted to participate whether that was a few hours a week, a few days a week, full-time and everything in between.”

Nu Skin noticed this approach was attracting different types of distributor teams with individuals focused on similar goals with similar leadership traits. “Our segmented plan came out in terms of a sharing segment, a building segment of groups of sharers, and then a leader segment, which is more traditionally leveraging the compensation,” Keisel says. “The sharing/affiliate level is where our business has really been able to grow.”

Scaling Personalization

Instead of creating a universal one-size-fits-all training, Nu Skin’s module compensation training allows people to choose the areas that fit their interest and experience level. The back office is also tailored to individuals and different teams to create contests, special rewards and other benefits. And it is all driven by the distributor field. “I’ve actually called the field ‘the customization engine of Nu Skin,’” Keisel says. “They really create these dynamic, customized businesses, and our role is to provide them with the framework, the programs, and a flexible approach to business.”

A personalized comp plan also fits perfectly with Nu Skin’s approach to customized products. So, the theme extends through the entire experience and company culture. While a more personalized experience may seem to limit duplication, leveraging digital tools helps scalability.

“We feel like it’s critical to provide that personalized opportunity and a personalized business. So, it’s really not a cookie-cutter approach,” Keisel adds. “Duplication is easier when it’s the same thing, but it also takes away from the personalized nature of the business. We’ve really leaned in on this convergence between technology and digital tools to allow us to personalize and scale. So, digital has allowed us to scale personalization.”