Considerations When Replacing Your SPM Technology Solution

We identify seven key areas we find critical to completing this effort.


Understanding the challenges companies face when migrating Sales Performance Management (SPM) technology solutions can be a significant undertaking. This paper is designed to provide high-level guidance to stakeholders who carry this responsibility. As OpenSymmetry has helped many companies evaluate and effectively migrate to new technology solutions, we are sharing seven key areas that we find critical to completing this kind of effort.


A critical initial step before migrating to a new SPM solution is understanding how well your current program is performing across people, processes, and technology. From there you can devise a future state vision for how your SPM program should operate. By understanding both current state gaps and what your future state needs look like, you can effectively begin defining requirements while also clearly articulating success criteria. It’s important to recognize that your previous or initial SPM implementation may not have gathered all necessary processes/requirements, so it’s vital to take a fresh, holistic view in this first step.


One of the most complex and time-consuming requirements is determining how to best leverage current source data feeds to support the new platform. Within the context of your current state assessment and future state planning, the team should review what their reporting, analytics, and any future state compensation elements needs are to ensure a meaningful inventory of data requirements are defined. SPM solutions vary in terms of how data is gathered, translated, and uploaded into the system. Some solution applications may have a standardized format requiring additional configuration, whereas others may have the ability of data field mapping, which provides additional flexibility. The ability to own the data translation from your source systems to the SPM platform is key. Another focus point is to ensure that you evaluate all manual feeds to incorporate automation, as well as any additional error validation processes.


Migrating historical data is an often-overlooked requirement when moving from one SPM platform to another. To keep costs down and minimize complexity, clients may want to ID only the data that is needed to ensure ongoing management of comp (e.g. payment history) and then transfer detail-level data into data storage to be referenced at a future date. It is important to consider what historical data is needed for the new system for reference on future payments


Each SPM solution may require users to interact with the system in different ways. This area may need additional attention, especially as it has the potential to improve processes currently employed to manage sales compensation. Understanding the impact a new system will have on current processes, as well as those who manage the processes, is critical to ensuring a successful launch and ongoing management of core processes. As an example, two of the leading solutions in the market have very different expectations regarding the skills users need to possess to effectively maintain compensation plans and reports and, in some cases, execute the day-to-day activities. Defining expectations of your staff related to the new technology, prior to the project, will ideally give your organization the necessary time to introduce training that ensures effective ongoing management of the program.


SPM solutions vary widely in their ability to support automated workflow. As a result, there are significant challenges for sales compensation teams related to an SPM migration. Capabilities can range from templates to existing documentation, levels of routing, and even implementation of a stopgap for a payee to accept plan documentation prior to payout. Within the context of your future state definition, capturing and defining areas where automated workflows can be leveraged is a necessary part of the core requirements. Before a new system is deployed, it is important to map these processes out to drive user adoption, leverage the SPM system as an auditable repository, and minimize email management.


It is critical to develop a holistic vision of information distribution to the various stakeholders and tools used to deliver this content (i.e. static pages vs. dashboards). Similar to workflows, different vendors have various capabilities related to reporting for the end users. Assessing these capabilities against your business requirements is imperative to the success of the roll-out. For example, some vendors require more robust configurations in the system (e.g. crediting logic) to enable specific analytics capabilities, while some solutions, architected specifically for reporting and analytics, have much more robust capabilities. Another area for consideration is the use of the vendor’s reporting solution against your in-house technology stack. Some solutions make it easy to port data into new environments, which could be a consideration in helping to keep the number of reporting tools requiring management to a minimum.


The implementation of a new solution should be designed to minimize the impact on payees and managers. One of the most critical aspects of your effort is assessing how all stakeholders will be impacted and how to mitigate any disruption. It is important to identify upcoming changes for your sales organization, administrators, and other internal partners with a plan in place to offer the steps needed to ensure the best chances for solution adoption.

The first step when considering a new SPM platform is an assessment of your current program and the development of a future state vision. OpenSymmetry offers a no-cost workshop to help you gain an understanding of how your current SPM program performs against your needs and industry best practices, as well as a readout on current solutions in the market.

Leveraging the OpenSymmetry assessment methodology and knowledge of the leading SPM providers, you will be equipped with:

• A current state analysis scorecard
• The framework for a business case to support change
• Contemporary intel on the SPM market and SPM vendor capabilities
• High-level deployment and license cost estimates

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OpenSymmetry enables clients to achieve greater operational efficiency and get better sales results.  OpenSymmetry is a global consulting company specializing in the planning, implementation, and optimization of industry leading technology suppliers of sales performance management solutions.

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