We are happy to share with you the following 'guest post' contributed by Clinton Gott & Ted Briggs of Better Sales Comp Consultants focused on recent research they conducted focused on sales force turnover. In addition to some solid findings related to turnover, there are some tremendous best practices the pass along in the form of 'turnover counter moves' that may sound simple, but can be very hard to do well. Enjoy ...
Sales Performance Management Best Practices Blog
We came across a Sales Analytics presentation by the sales consulting firm AGI a while back which highlights many reasons why it is so important to consider any investmnts in improving sales performance. Simply stated, for investments in productivity tools such as Sales Commissions Software - The payback is astronomical. Below are six data points that jumped out at us from this presentation which highlight the importance of continuous focus on improving sales performance and the payoff for those who get it right.
Sales Performance is a two way street between the business and the sales force and often is as much about trust as it is performance. When a sales team generally trusts the process by which they are measured and rewarded, lower turnover has generally been understood to be a result. This point often supports ROI analysis on investments in Sales Performance technologies such as Sales Incentive Compensation Management.
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.
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.
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.
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;
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.