Sales Performance Management Best Practices Blog

The Hows & Why's of Flexible Sales Compensation Management / SPM

Posted by Jerry Hegarty on Thu, May 10, 2012 @ 13:05 PM

In every sales discussion we are always asked to define what differentiates NetCommissions from all the other vendors in the SPM marketplace. We have found that communicating the basic assumptions and principals that NetCommissions is built upon have evoked comments that sound much like “wow, that’s much different than the others we’ve talked to”.  So here is a bit of insight into what is a very unique approach to Sales Performance Management;

The following quote from Henry Ford strikes one as a timeless commentary of the approach many SaaS/Cloud software providers have to the needs of individual customers; "You can have any color as long as it's black."

In software, this one-size-fits-all approach works well when the process one is automating is managed in a uniform manner across your entire customer base (Homogeneous). For example, many elements of Sales Force Automation fall within this category as has leveraged to great effect.  

There are, however, many processes which do not lend itself to such generic treatment.  Based on decades of experience in the Sales Compensation & Performance Management Space, we deeply believe that Sales Compensation is a marketplace that DOES NOT lend itself to a classic one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter, multi-tenant, homogenous SaaS market model. In fact, we think it’s a heterogeneous marketplace where the needs of each industry vertical and each individual customer for that matter are unique in so many significant ways that those needs should drive not only the architecture of any solution aimed at the Sales Performance Management marketplace, but the culture of a provider as well.

NetCommissions is architected for flexibility; a highly configurable solution whose foundation has much in common with the manufacturing principles of ‘Mass Customization’ &NetCommissions Modular SPM approach ‘Spontaneous Build-to-Order’. This unique approach provides our customers with the ability to configure just the mix of capabilities they require, no more / no less.  Very granular Process Modules (Think: Building Blocks) are built on a core platform intended for the sole purpose of automating and communicating sales performance.  As strategies and plans shift over time, modules can be added and/or removed as needed. Think of NetCommissions as having a building block approach to Sales Compensation Management that allows configuration based on each users individual needs. The building block approach includes not only high level functional areas such as analytics, data and territory management, but also down to the level of granularity involving plans, crediting methods, quota's and reports.


At its core, Sales strategy is a direct reflection of every company’s competitive strategy and strategy is all about being different. Each sales & marketing department has to answer this question every day; “What do you that differentiates your offering from competitors in the eyes of your customer?” Being different is the foundation of strategy.

As anyone trained in Sales Compensation Plan Design will tell you, corporate strategy is the wellspring from which your sales organizational strategy & design take root. Decision points that go into this design include whether to sell direct or indirect? Vertical or horizontal market focus? Product focus or customer focus? Team or individual? Farmer or hunter? Commission or quota? Service, customer or technology?  Some customers will have to do credit assignment with their SPM solution, other not. Some will base credit on strategic customers while other bases it on products. etc. etc. etc. All these choices define what is unique about your business, and your SPM system needs to be able to morph as these drivers change over time.

Our approach is geared at tailoring each solution to each unique user by configuring modules (building blocks) aimed at providing each with a personalized solution that can grow as the requirements of each customer/division/business unit grows and changes, this Managed Growth approach is core to the low entry cost of NetCommissions and the simplicity of the solution that allows business users to easily manage every element of the process with minimal training.


NetCommissions Sales Performance Management

Topics: EVP/Sales Leader, CTO, CFO/Finance Leader, Sales Compensation Professional