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Sales Performance Management Best Practices Blog

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How do you properly 'incentivize' sales reps with sales commissions?

 
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"People will do what they get paid to do" Its a basic tenant of sales compensation design but one we need to continually revisit due to its enormous importance. 

Rewarding Sales Excellence, more than just Sales Commissions ?

 
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The use of rewards to reinforce behavior and actions aligned with your company goals makes sense on many levels, but it is not where the discussion of sales excellence begins, nor ends. A culture of success and achievement within your organization is critical to building a sustainable world class sales team. In addition to sales compensation, there are many factors that come into play when looking to create this winning culture.
  • Sales Process Excellence
  • Sales Compensation
  • Career Development 
    • Skills & competency training
    • Career road-mapping with future leaders
  • Cross functional involvement
    • HR can play a pivotal role as facilitator in this
  • Management development
    • Competency training
    • Team & peer coaching
    • On-boarding
Jim Stoeckmann of World@Work summarizes many of these points very succinctly in the short piece below. I suggest scheduling some this week to break away from the routine and listen to this short 8 minute video.

Managing sales compensation through the complete services contract lifecycle

 
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Those of us who sell, or are involved with administering the sales commission plans of, service based products such as SaaS software and/or Professional Services know them to be, well, unique (to say the least). Sales compensation plans for these product types always seem to vary from company to company and never seem to be as easy to manage as they should be.

Sales performance management tips from record breaking Girl Scout

 
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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?

 
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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

 
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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

 
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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

 
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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.

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