Be sure to get a self-evaluation of your Sales Commissions process off on the right foot by fully understanding your needs. By working through this questionnaire up front you should be able to more fully understand the results you're shooting for with any process improvement efforts you consider undertaking.
If you are part of the estimated 85% of companies out there that still manage your sales incentive & commissions using some form of off-line system such as spreadsheets or a homegrown SW solution, you may be thinking of migrating to an automated approach to managing, calculating and reporting on sales performance. Before getting too deep into this investigation, be sure you know what you envision as the endpoint of the project. The best place to start is by looking in the mirror and understanding what you see and truly understanding your needs.
Only by looking in the mirror and asking the question “Who am I?” (as it relates to the process anyway) will you be able to fully develop a vision of a desirable endpoint for the project. Go through the questionnaire below and check off those passages that best describe your situation. Reflect on what that means from a solution standpoint and rank them in order of pain level, relevance and importance. Any desired outcome for this project should be aimed at blowing up those issues you identify below.
- “We’re scared to death that the analyst who manages our sales compensation process will just up and move to Tahiti one day and leave us high & dry”
- “The number of rules to determine who gets credit for what is getting to difficult to keep up with using our current methods & systems”
- “Things are getting so complex that every month there are situations where we just calculate the payouts incorrectly”
- “It is taking way too much time each month to close each period and calculate commissions for everyone”
- “Things are so hard to keep up with that we spend way too much time making adjustment to stuff we missed in prior periods”
- “We barely have the bandwidth to calculate commissions correctly, forget about providing performance reports and feedback to sales that can motivate them to really impact our business”
- “We really want our sales reps to log into one place and get everything they need, including their commission statements”
- “Our reps do not trust our sales comp system enough, they spend way too much time tracking their activity off line”
- “We are having significant difficulty getting sales to sell strategically important products”
- “We are experiencing unacceptable sales turnover and part of it may be due to the way we are currently managing and reporting on sales performance & commissions.”