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Sales performance management tips from record breaking Girl Scout

Girl Scout sales record breaker 2

To anyone who thinks that Sales Performance Management is only for the corporate world, think again. An article this week that caught our attention describes how Oklahoma City Girl Scout Katie Francis recently broke the world record in cookie sales by selling 18,107 boxes of cookies this past year.

Should your sales operations team be on a sales compensation plan?


The debate about whether Sales Ops should be on a sales comp plan can be quite lively. On one hand, sales operations can mean different things to different organizations and be the root of some deeply rooted opinions. Some Sales Ops roles may greatly influence sales results and outputs (i.e. setting quota’s or deal level opportunity identification) while others may have more of a focus on activities such as training or sales compensation administration. In short, it can get a bit confusing about what is the best way to approach this question. Simplifying this complex issue and adding some context and definition to the issue is the first step in making the right decision.

Sales Compensation & recent Harvard Business Review conclusions


An interesting article was published recently by Adamson, Dickson & Tomas of CEB in the Harvard Business Review 'Why Individuals No Longer Rule on Sales Teams' which certainly got my attention.

Territory Management - an important link in the Sales Performance Management chain

Territory Management

Sales Performance Management is a term that has evolved over the past few years to describe the process of measuring and rewarding sales performance. In the past, similar industry terminology such as Sales Incentive Compensation Management (ICM), Enterprise Incentive Management (EIM), and many other acronyms were popularized by consultants and practitioners to describe the same fundamental process of measuring and rewarding sales achievement. Practitioners using the term Sales Performance Management typically refer to three keystone elements to the process;

Ensure a successful roll out of your 2014 sales compensation plans

change   darwin
Change is the one constant that Sales Executives and their Sales Operations teams struggle with constantly. Updating your sales compensation plans to reflect new market realities is something a large percentage of sales teams have to do 
frequently. Jim Stoeckmann over at WorldatWork offers up some great advice for those of us grappling with significant changes their 2014 sales compensation plans.

Here are some of the notes I took while listening to Jim;

Case for change
Be sure that you build and communicate the strategic need to change from the current plan structure to a new plan structure. What has changed either from a competitive standpoint or the perspective of goal alignment throughout the organization.

Know your audience
You are selling the new plan to your sales team, so sell to them! Engage them early in the sales process, 'lay the groundwork' for the new plan, what worked well from last years plan, what didn't. What has changed and what does this mean to them. Be sure to listen intently and incorporate feedback wherever possible.

First Line Managers
Sales managers are key to a successful roll out. Get to know them, communicate early and often with them. Win their support and buy in. When they have feedback, be sure to listen and act on it. Incorporate good ideas and concepts, debate the feedback which should be debated, etc. With the buy in from your first line sales management, you have the foundation of a successful roll out of new plans.

A big thanks to Jim for sharing his experience above. Be sure to follow Jim on twitter (@WorldatWork_Jim) and at WorldatWorkls blog.
For those who are interested in some guidence related to putting together a world class SPIFF's this coming year >>>>

Keep it Simple; Sales Compensation Administration must have's

Sales Commission Software

Simplicity is a phrase that comes up often when discussing sales compensation. Phrases like "Plans need to be simple so they can be understood clearly", "keep the measures to less than three or four so it does not get too complicated" etc. are common for a reason. It is hard to focus on and do many things well. This philosophy transcends just talk of plan design and should impact your view your whole sales comp process. Execution of the entire process has to be as important as the elegance of a well designed sales compensation plan. To execute, it helps to narrow your focus to just a few items and do them well.

Communication tips for global Sales Performance Management teams

Global Communication

Improved Sales Performance Reporting (New Years Resolution #1) is a vital element of your Sales Performance communication strategy, but it is just one element of a broader effort. When you are dealing with a sales force that is spread out geographically, the quality of forethought that you put into your communication strategy can be the difference between success and failure.

New Years Resolution #3; Collapse the Cycle Time of Your Sales Compensation Process

Collapse the cycle time of your SPM process

One of the core SPM 'Best practices' that managers in sales, finance and HR should always remember when accessing the state of their Sales Compensation process is the proven value of being able to reward actions that are aligned with your sales and company goals as soon as possible once they occur. (click here for a more in depth discussion

New Years Resolution #2; Improve Accuracy of Sales Comp Calculations

sales comp Accuracy waw

With New years Resolution #1 aimed at improving the clarity with which you report and communicate sales performance to your sales and executive teams, it makes sense to be sure that the results and data which we are communicating are as accurate as possible.

New Years Resolution #1; Improve Sales Performance Reporting

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It's that time of the year again and I have no doubt the list of things you would like to improve and accomplish in the new year is long. As a manager, one of the improvements that can have a massive payback on your companies health is to improve the way you report performance to your sales team. Feedback from surveys on Sales Performance Management by WorldatWork & OpenSymetry tells us that for at least 75% of us, there is a tremendous opportunity to improve reporting Sales Performance to your organization. Here are some quick 'take aways' from the survey. 

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