"As opposed to fighting it," he said, "I think they're embracing it, understanding it and trying to figure out the best way for them to make it work for themselves."
The changes for 2018 were implemented as many dealers missed their targets in 2017. The changes covered such areas as weighting of CSI scores, retail sales objectives and roadside assistance requirement.
"We really just tried to figure out where some of the angst was, or the issues, with the 2017 program and make it better in '18," he said.
Despite the changes, 2018 is still expected to be a challenging year for Cadillac's more than 900 dealers, as it remains a car-heavy luxury brand in a crossover-crazy market.
Cadillac is scheduled to unveil the XT4 compact crossover next week; however, that vehicle isn't expected to arrive until the tail end of the year, leaving dealers with a lineup that's another year older.
Churchill said Cadillac is trying to help dealers before that by being more transparent with 2017 sell-downs and incentives, including more support for the ATS compact sedan to help drive sales volume.
"We still have to sell cars in '18, and GM launched some pretty aggressive programs in the start of January, which showed a commitment to trying to help us hit the numbers," he said, "because if we get too far into the hole, XT4 will be a great car, but it can't do all the carrying itself."
Cadillac's U.S. sales dropped 8 percent in 2017, its second straight year of declines.