SPM Training: From E-learning Classrooms to Mentorship and Everything In Between

Companies often spend a lot of time and money selecting and implementing Sales Performance Management (SPM) systems but find that they don’t have everything needed to administer and configure the system after the implementation. In this blog, we’ll explore the types of trainings available in the industry, the impact of improper and insufficient training, and OpenSymmetry’s unique mentorship program that supplements standard training to maximize the investment in SPM.

Types of training in the SPM market

There are many types of training in the SPM market – we’ll take a look at some of the options available, whether high-level or more specialized classes.

  • E-learning courses covering the basics – these provide a high-level look at the software and capabilities.  Here, students get hands-on training using the application. This would be a starting point for getting familiar with the SPM system.
  • Self-paced courses with student exercises – for students who does not have 3-5 days to devote to an onsite course, these can be a good option for those who prefer to work at their own pace.
  • On-site, instructor-led courses for specific components of the application – these may or may not be customized to the audience depending on the provider.  This type of course is more focused on design and modification of specific components within the application.
  • Hands-on end-user training classes – these train the salesforce on system access, navigating within the application and how to view reports, view and approve compensation plan and open pay disputes.
  • Evergreen end-user videos – these videos train the salesforce on how to access the system. Videos can be hosted on the company’s portal and be incorporated into new-hire programs when onboarding sales reps.

Too little time, too little training

Standard training is a necessity to get a new SPM solution off the ground within an organization. However, standard training for SPM administrators typically does not meet the following needs:

  • Addressing unexpected errors or changes to the system
  • Onboarding new SPM configurators and administrators
  • Utilizing advanced system functionalities

In addition, organizations often do not plan adequate time for SPM administrators to be properly trained, but instead have a condensed timeline after adding training to the deployment schedule as an afterthought.

As a result, costs go up by depending on third-party program support every time there is a new plan change or something unexpected happens to the system. Managing the system itself is constrained to only what is known after limited training. Often, companies find that standard training approaches are not enough to own and operate an incentive compensation management system, and the full potential of the technology is not unlocked.

A unique approach: OpenSymmetry’s mentorship program

To help give organizations real proficiency with their SPM system, OpenSymmetry offers a mentorship program to supplement standard training for SPM system administration. The objective of the mentorship program is to enable SPM configurators to be more proficient in the administration and configuration of the SPM system and improve understanding across the different configurator skills and competencies.

The ultimate goals of the OS mentorship program are increased knowledge and self-sufficiency, resulting in the ability to support technical operations, process improvements, and change management in alignment with best practices.

The OpenSymmetry mentorship approach involves training SPM configurators by using the same standards and requirements that OpenSymmetry applies to hire and train our own configuration consultants.

The mentorship program leverages direct interaction/guidance from senior consultants and a curriculum dependent on active participation, thereby ensuring that once the program is complete the mentee has proficiency in the following areas:

  • Ability to translate business requirements into a technical solution design
  • Expertise in creating/adjusting core configuration components
  • Capacity to hold training sessions for other internal resources
  • Understanding of scope impacts of requested changes
  • Skills to establish ongoing (post-deployment) improvement efforts

Benefits: Sustainable SPM operations independence

Leveraging a formal mentorship program during your SPM deployment provides companies with internal expertise to help ensure:

  • Self-sufficiency and cost management: The organization can become self-sufficient and comfortable tackling SPM configuration challenges without costly third-party support.
  • Expertise to address company challenges: Knowledge transfer of best practices and case studies outside of the classroom context during “in the moment” training gives configurators confidence to perform more advanced operations.
  • Optimized SPM system: Internal resources capable of assessing program performance and implementing improvements to both process and solution configurations.
  • Ability to train new team members: Reducing onboarding and training costs by removing reliance on a third party.
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