SPM Transforms the Career Path from Admin to Analyst

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 fourth post, we discuss how sales compensation administrators can streamline the incentives management process using SPM technology and in doing that transform their role from an administrative function to a business and analytical function. Join us as we continue our journey to discovering how SPM covers sales best practices for people, process, and technology.

Sales compensation administrators face a significant workload dealing with many stakeholders, sensitive pay-related outputs and tight deadlines. Many hours are spent (and lost!) manually calculating commissions and bonus, updating spreadsheets or bespoke systems for pay plan modifications, and managing queries and disputes about payments. Too often, they are dealing with unhappy sales managers, reprocessing commissions, and working long nights and weekends to hit payroll. All of this when really, they want to be focusing on analysing sales performance data and related payments, and making recommendations to management on ways to increase sales and reduce cost to improve the effectiveness of sales; just what they expecting to be doing when moving into the role. This is where SPM technology can be a game changer for Sales Compensation Administrators and their organisations.

A key benefit of SPM software is freeing up the time of Sales Compensation Administrators from manually calculating commissions, troubleshooting issues, responding to payment queries and disputes to focusing on higher value activities. These include working with the business to analyse results and with the sales people to ensure they understand their plans and are motivated. Calculating, checking, handling queries is still required, but SPM technology supports automation of all of these processes and in doing that dramatically reduces the time required from an administrator to support it. This automation and elimination of manual processes also reduces the error rate and the number of queries that needs to be investigated, resolved and responded to. SPM technology also provides one view of the data in a central location, easily accessible online by payees, their managers and administrators, so if a query is raised you know everyone has the same view and communication can easily be handled within the application, and if required adjustments applied in the application. All of this leads to improved operational effectiveness and efficiency. So what else?

SPM Technology transforms Sales Compensation Administration from an administrative function to a business and analytical function. With time now available that was previously spent manually calculating commissions, Sales Compensation Administrators can focus on analysing the rich data and information is provided. As standard SPM technology can provide near real-time access to sales data and pay for performance information. As long as sales data is available, SPM Technology can be configured to connect directly to source systems, for example Sales Force, extract data, and calculate pay for performance information using configurable reports and analytics. This makes reporting on a range on areas easy for Sales Compensation Administrators (Analysts), for example, how is our short-term campaign working and what is our current pay-out/exposure, how is the sales team performing and what is our current pay-out/exposure. SPM Technology can also automate the modelling process. With historical sales data already available in the system, models can be configured to test changes to current plans and impact they will have on performance and cost of sales. The opportunity for better analysis, better decisions and therefore better business results are huge.

Looking forward, SPM technology is looking to take analysis to the next level through predictive analytics and then augmented intelligence. IBM have integrated Watson Analytics as an add on to their Incentive Compensation Management platform providing a powerful analytics capability to identify trends and predictive insights to sales performance data. All looking to bring the next competitive edge to users.

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