For companies in every industry, advances in technology hold the promise of improving productivity, customer relationships, sales effectiveness and overall corporate success.
This is particularly true in sales organizations – technology offers new channels, better analytics for decision-making, and a superior tool for building a sales team and incenting performance.
Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) technology represents a key step forward in facilitating sales effectiveness. A proper ICM solution can yield both immediate and long-term benefits for a company’s sales goals and its team performance.
1. Improvements over Spreadsheets
ICM technology replaces the conventional management of compensation plans that relied on Excel spreadsheets or homemade solutions. By doing so, ICM technology offers:
- A birds-eye view of overall activity
- Drill-down capability into details of individual, team and customer movements
- The ability to focus attention where needed, and insight to determine the most critical areas of attention
- The ability to identify missed opportunities
- The flexibility to adjust to market changes
ICM offers a solution from which organizations can build their compensation plans on actual data and make educated decisions about strategy.
2. Ease of Access to Reporting
Technology provides your sales team improved access to data – relative to customer activities as well as team and individual performance. With the traditional spreadsheet approach, reports were only available through the “spreadsheet manager.” Sales reps that wanted to conduct analysis had only one option – to ask the spreadsheet manager for the information then wait for the response.
ICM technology addresses this challenge by making the information available to everyone. By employing the technology, team members can access reports via the web or through their mobile devices.
This improvement reduces the incidence of “shadow accounting” where sales team members spend their time calculating their performance and payouts. Team members can instead focus on increasing sales and raising revenues.
3. More Precise Decision-Making
Strategic decision-making requires information, but competitive advantage, enhanced productivity and consistent growth requires superior information.
Technology provides that superior information.
Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) technology is an analytics tool for the entire sales process – from customer activity through to team or individual performance. Most importantly, decision-making is informed by one single and reliable set of data, rather than best guesses.
4. Better Data Management Practices
Spreadsheets or homemade solutions are rife with data management problems, and organizations must absorb the cost of maintaining the data and addressing overpayments or corrections in payouts.
ICM technology reduces these complications and increases the dependability and robustness of the compensation plans and their data. With ICM, organizations can spend less time massaging and cleaning up their data and more time analyzing and reporting to support strategic planning.
5. Tackling Issues Before They Become Problems
ICM technology offers organizations more than just a tool to manage their compensation systems. Manual processes tend to detract from an organization’s ability to respond quickly and easily since even the simplest tasks can be cumbersome.
It offers greater consistency and control over their entire sales process. The insights generated will remove confusion about how calculations work, including which sales reps are getting paid, how much and why. Issues can be tracked in real-time and fixed before they turn into overpayments or incorrect payments, rather than constantly backtracking manually.
Increased Sales Effectiveness Through Technology
The bottom line is that organizations can facilitate greater sales effectiveness through technology.
The right ICM solution fixes problems before they become real issues, and relieves organizations of the costs and hassles of maintaining spreadsheets, fixing broken data and responding to sales team concerns.
Perhaps more importantly, the technology informs strategic planning and provides competitive advantage. The solutions provide access to insightful, meaningful information, allowing organizations to build their strategy on data rather than best guesses.