Sales performance management: Are you prepared for the revolution?
As upward of 100 percent of a company’s revenue derives from sales, effective compensation of your sales team—whether through remuneration, commission, bonuses or incentives—is critical to your business growth. Today, as organizations deal with the challenges of inefficiencies and inaccuracies from outdated legacy systems, in a marketplace defined by increased competition and sustained volatility, sales performance management (SPM) is also rapidly changing. As a business evolves and grows, the question of how to optimize the efficiency of its sales performance becomes a key criterion of business success.
Drivers of change in sales performance management
A number of factors are contributing to the current revolution in sales performance management. These include:
Increasing customer demands: Customers now demand more from brands, which places a greater focus on sales teams. This also makes SPM a company-wide issue.
Qualitative metrics: More sophisticated sales performance management technologies enable an organization to access qualitative, as quantitative, metrics in analyzing performance for growth.
Optimizing accuracy: The pressure to hit personal and corporate targets can encourage mis-selling, and organizations are cracking down on the adverse effect this has on the customer. This means optimized SPM is critical. Businesses need a 360-degree view of their operations, fueled by data, to balance the pressure of corporate objectives with the need to adhere to best practices.
Best practices to optimize sales performance management across the enterprise
Ultimately, businesses need to increase the accuracy and efficiency of their employee incentive programs while ensuring sales and contact teams are still hungry for success. Sales performance leaders can help achieve this goal by adopting several critical best practices:
Automating processes: This is usually the first critical step toward optimizing SPM. By using automating procedures such as incentive inquiries, disputes and adjustments, the margin for costly and time-consuming errors is reduced.
Transparency: Providing a holistic view of all incentive compensation activity is also crucial in ensuring businesses can make the right decisions—and that the sales teams are kept informed.
Analytics: Analytics can give sales performance leaders the critical insights they need to optimize performance, and enable better reporting on performance to senior executives and boards. Dashboards that provide information such as sales transactions, team performance and team rankings provide real-time insights into sales and compensation across a business, while powerful predictive analytics can enable sales managers and executives to see clearly how their activity benefits the organization.
How your organization can benefit from optimized sales performance management
Accurate and efficient sales incentive systems can significantly benefit both the business and sales teams. Providing your sales teams with visibility into their performance and incentive packages ensures sales professionals spend more time selling and less time focused on remuneration issues—fostering a company-wide culture of performance. Consolidating incentive compensation management processes also frees up IT spend and resources, and gives managers and executives the insights they need to develop strategies and tactics to better optimize sales performance.