Sales Performance Management 101 for Sales Leaders: Maximising Performance of Your Sales Team Using the Right Technology
October 30, 2017
In this six-part blog series OpenSymmetry and IBM outline the impact of Sales Performance Management Technology on each area of the business including Sales, HR, Finance and Executive Management. In this second post we focus on the sales leader. Effective SPM supports sales leaders in the development and implementation of sales plans by providing key data and metrics on past and current sales performance of their sales organisation. Join us as we continue our journey to discovering how SPM covers sales best practices for people, process, and technology.
Setting sales strategies, calculating accurate sales forecasts, driving the culture and engagement of the sales team, motivating sales professionals, attracting and retaining top sellers, hitting targets and KPIs sales leaders need to be able to combine vision, processes and people in an effective way to drive optimal sales performance. Sales Performance Management (SPM) Technology helps Sales Leaders maximise sales by bringing visibility, flexibility and accuracy to the sales process. Many tasks performed by a Sales Leader can involve large data sets, many excel sheets and many manual processes. These activities include territory and target setting, forecasting, approving commissions and bonuses and query management. Manual processes can be time-consuming, ineffective and, worst of all, inaccurate.
SPM technologies like IBM Incentive Compensation Management empower Sales Leaders by providing real time pay for performance information. This can include key metrics on their sellers and sales teams, products and services sold as well as the associated commissions and bonuses earned presented through dashboards. Sales Leaders have the information to ensure that incentive design rewards the top performers effectively leading to higher retention. For the mighty middle, Sales Leaders have the data to design incentives that encourages an extra 5-10% performance out of a group that can get complacent. They also have the additional time to coach lower performers to better performance. The effectiveness of new incentive compensation strategies can be measured; SPM technologies are agile enough to facilitate changes in the commissions structure with new information.
SPM technology can also automate and streamline supporting processing such as managing queries on commissions and bonuses. Most technologies will support online management of these queries in a simple way, providing a single view of the data, clear tracked communication on the query and also the ability to apply an adjustment to address the query if required. There’s little to no potential for disagreement over the figures, because sales staff can monitor their own performance through the same platform, and Sales Leadership have key pieces of information to drive proactive decision making within their organisation.
Though these are the essential assets that all Sales Leaders should have access to, that is not always the case. Many are still having to deal with excel and email or other bespoke inefficient processes and don’t have ready access to the key metrics to support the key decisions that they need to make day in and day out. With SPM technology, the Sales Leader can view sales effectiveness reports to ensure that the sales team is in alignment with the sales strategies, manage territory and quota to ensure the company has adequate sales coverage, and quickly adjust sales strategies when the data presents new realities of the business landscape.
Most SPM technologies now integrate with CRM, which allows for pipeline reporting (and commission forecasting), as well as flexibility to make payment adjustments and resolve compensation disputes within a single portal. This eliminates the need for an inbox overflowing with emails. A well-implemented SPM solution can be a one-stop shop for a Sales Leader’s every need. At OpenSymmetry we specialise in creating configured, fit-for-purpose SPM solutions for our clients using a range of technology from best-in-class providers.
Discover more by joining OpenSymmetry and IBM for a webinar outlining the benefits of SPM technology for Sales Leaders to make timely, strategic decisions to keep their sales teams motivated and aligned with company objectives.