Investments in Sales Incentive & Compensation Management directly impact the performance of any sales team. Why ?
Time is your sales team’s most valuable resource. Success and failure often hang in the balance as sales reps allocate their efforts to activities they feel will bring them, and their companies, the highest benefit. Improvements to top line revenue, the annual increase in revenue that can be attributed to increasing the time each rep spends selling, as well as the effect of a clearer focus on selling a product mix that is aligned with corporate goals.
More time selling
Sales Commissions are notoriously inaccurate. Ask any rep if they double check their commissions check and many will brag about the elegance of the spreadsheet based system (macros and all) they created to validate their sales credits and commission checks. You can bet that the time spent performing this activity (often call ‘shadow accounting’) takes away from selling time. If your current process & system has not won their trust, who can blame them? The productivity penalty of this situation is enormous. Research indicates that sales rep’s will spend up to 5% of their time, or one day a month, shadow accounting.
A selling organization whose selling activities are well aligned with corporate goals will focus closely on the product mix being sold. Sales commissions are used proactively as a means of rewarding sales that are complementary to that strategy.
This is a common need for companies with the following:
- Dynamic product lines and the struggle to manage the product life cycles (introduction through obsolescence) of multiple product lines
- Multiple divisions trying to optimize the efforts of sales forces by encouraging more ‘cross-selling’
- Just completed or are planning an acquisition
- Looking to encourage sales of the most profitable product lines
- Sales forces with Strategic Account Teams
An important aspect of higher employee retention is avoiding the productivity hit as new sales people ramp up the learning curve. Maintaining the excellence of your high performing sales agents is an often-overlooked benefit of an investment in sales commissions automation. Often, it is the high performers that are making the most money who have the most to lose from an error prone system. Thus, it is usually these high performers that will seek employment elsewhere if they do not trust the company’s sales commissioning system. It typically takes a new sales rep 6-9 months to ramp up to maximum productivity.
The sales force of the 21st century must be able to react to shifts and emerging market opportunities faster than ever before. Sales Incentive compensation is a strategic tool that enables sales teams to react quicker than competitors to these changes, but only if the correct systems, technologies and skill sets are in place.