Blending Talent and Sales Performance for Success

February 26, 2015

Attention to performance results including your periodic reviews with your manager, regular sales progress, and management by objectives (MBO’s) all look to focus on the goals and objectives, as well as the achievement results after a period of time. There is huge opportunity for organizations to connect the importance of the right talent to the delivery of optimal performance. Companies doing this are creating best in class organizations, delivering predictable results and engaging their employees. This type of organization, one that is best in class, is often sought after by recruits and the lucky individuals who have the opportunity to work in this environment are engaged and performing. A question that is often asked is: how can you get these two technologies tracking various programs across Sales, Human Resources & Finance in a way that provides insight to help organizations find the right people so that performance goals are achieved? The goal is not necessarily about having one system for all applications, but building that dream suite so that you are set up for success. It is just as important to track your talent pipeline and forecasts as it is to track your sales pipeline, and most importantly, do this in an integrated manner given the dependency on sales teams to have the right people, processes, tools and technology to execute on their plan year.

Occasionally, organizations may run into roadblocks, as it relates to sales behavior, incentive compensation, system design, respectively, as well as finding and hiring the right talent. Have you thought or asked yourself the following questions:

  1. How do you know if my team is set up for success? Just because we have our sales plans rolled out, our sales targets, a strong marketing engine, great incentives/reward and the right technology are we truly set up for success? Are we staffed under capacity to reach targets? Do we have the right sales enablement to execute on the plan effectively? Nowadays, hard work and determination are not sufficient to achieve and exceed your sales goals.
  2. Does our sales team understand their roles and responsibilities in order to reach projected revenue growth?
  3. Can we mitigate risk? What processes and contingencies do we have in place so that something does not slip through the cracks?

If you have any red flags when thinking about these questions, it is time to reevaluate the effectiveness of your approach. Organizations need to function in a way that allows them to be both agile to changing market conditions, as well as enables them to set up a predictable business model – a no surprises approach. However, in order to have this it goes back to having the right people, processes, and technology. Tying it back to a previous a blog post, the last thing that anyone needs is to be blamed for deflating the footballs. How can organizations use technology to their advantage, reduce the pain in their every day operations, and really be set up for success, no matter what that definition of success might be?

According to Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant report, sales performance management providers are starting to move away from having single, siloed systems to more holistic systems that are incorporated into other business platforms – again getting back to that dream suite.   Most importantly, vendors are expanding their applications in a way so that organizations are able to find and hire the right sales talent. This in turn is allowing them to move out of their current state, to a highly functional, success driven future state with dynamically linked systems. From a functional aspect, a SPM system, whether it is being use it for territory and quota planning, administering and tracking your teams incentive and rewards schemes (Incentive Compensation Management), Management-by-Objectives (MBOs) or anything in between, it directly impacts how your human capital is managed, specifically, the talent management aspects. What exactly does this mean? You are able to measure your team’s engagement levels and success and then match it up directly against performance goals set by the organization, setting your organization up for success.

How can organizations become top-tier, whether it is starting from the beginning or making adjustments to their current systems and processes? A critical component is having a future vision and strategy. It is imperative that you are able to look and understand where you are in the current state and the business challenges that you are experiencing, so that proper adjustments/changes can be made to move your organization up the maturity curve to a thriving state.  Unsure where to start? Our strategy experts are available to help you understand exactly what your organization needs to be and the necessary steps to get there.

But what if you already have a homegrown or 3rd party system in place? Are you using it to its full capacity? Can you easily digest and understand all the key metrics and data? Is your sales performance management technology complimenting your human capital management system, so that you are able to build out that powerhouse team? What kind of trends are you seeing? Are you honing in on the right pieces of information? You have all this data, but do you really know what it means? If the CSO knocks on your door, can you provide him or her a readout that can be easily understood?  The end goal is to use all of this data to your advantage, mitigate risks, and help your organization be set up for success. Success is: being best in class.

Interested in learning about this topic or getting a Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant readout? Contact us and schedule a meeting with one of our experts. We also encourage you read Predicting the Unpredictable to learn how you can drive workforce behavior through business intelligence maturity.

Want to know if you are leveraging your systems to their full capacity or have any questions? Leave them in the comments section below!



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