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.
Sales Performance Management Best Practices Blog
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.
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.
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.
One of the worst kept ‘dirty little secrets’ in the Sales Performance administration world is the difficulty in managing the Sales Compensation process in a timely, accurate and yet efficient manner without being derailed by some of the myriad challenges that abound. One of the biggest challenges that rear’s its ugly head is the need to wade through the morass of a large number of adjustments every payroll period while simultaneously trying to maintain error free levels of quality and hit payroll 100% of the time. Lets face it, adjustments take many forms and never seem to occur at a convenient time.
Most winners don’t start at the top, in fact there might even be some embarrassment about where they are starting from; Last years 2012 Boston Red Sox season can be generously described as a train wreck marred by poor on field performance coupled with a clubhouse culture that defines the term ‘dysfunctional’ in every way possible. How can your Sales Compensation process benefit from these lessons?
Over the course of many years in this field, I can say without reservation that data quality is one of the cornerstones to a solid sales compensation process. Due to the nature of this beast, it is often a hidden aspect to the process and often rears its head only when the quality of your data is poor. Think of it, if you are one of those fortunate enough to have a relatively high quality pool of performance data, when was the last time someone appreciated that fact and all the work that went into creating that high quality information? The alternative is those who struggle with issues related to data quality and quite frankly there are few things that can hamstring your sales performance improvement efforts more than poor data quality. When this occurs, the two steps forward, three steps back grind overtakes your process affecting everyone from sales reps to analysts, and all the senior managers to whom these producers report.