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    Building a Case for Sales Commissions Automation

    Organizations that rely on manual compensation processes often struggle with a variety of operational bottlenecks. When left unchecked, inefficient manual compensation processes can severely limit any organization’s ability to overcome these challenges.

    In most scenarios where organizations have recognized a need to change, cross-functional teams are created to discover and implement corrective measures for common pain points related to existing manual compensation processes. Some of the most common pain points include:

    • Underperforming sales results: Lack of plan clarity, shadow accounting resulting in diminished sales
    • Inaccurate commissions payouts: Audit teams continue to identify frequent over-payments
    • Inefficient and inflexible systems: IT teams face lengthy annual compensation plan changes

    While a high sense of urgency exists on modernizing legacy sales commissions systems and introducing automation to compensation processes, organizations need to remember that building a compelling business case requires further planning.

    Why is gaining approval for a sales incentive solution so challenging?


    Immediate, hard-dollar benefits are often easily identified because they’re tangible, visible, and often easily quantifiable. However, revealing long-term benefits of automated sales commissions processes can be a complex fact-finding mission that requires both a keen understanding of the solution’s full capabilities and an ability to relate them to current challenges.

    Since the objective for business case teams is to obtain approval and move projects forward, team members will spend much energy on identifying the immediate hard-dollar benefits and forego longer term considerations. This results in business case teams moving forward with an incomplete view of the short- and long-term benefits of the Sales Performance Management investment. This increases the risk that the project is not approved, resulting in a delay, or even shelving of the project in favor of investment opportunities that were better qualified

    When talking to companies with unsuccessful business cases, the number one cause mentioned is not having spent enough time at the beginning on quantifying long-term and soft-dollar benefits. In short, they don’t consider the Total Impact of the new solution.

    To help internal teams look holistically at the benefits and costs of sales commission automation and kickstart this process, organizations need to consider these 4 categories:

    • What are the desired outcomes, including revenue growth, cost reduction and efficiencies?
    • What is the time to value for the project?
    • What are the risks and how can they be contained?
    • What is the Total Cost of Ownership?

    How to Maximize the Benefits of Sales Incentive Automation?

    Sales commission automation will bring multiple benefits for companies such as better alignment with sales strategy, increased effectiveness of sales cycles, reduced errors in payouts, and lower administration costs. However, the highest impact long-term benefit that our consultants have experienced over the years is increased agility through SPM application administration.

    Sales commissions automation also provides an opportunity to revisit existing processes and leverage modern systems. As companies move through the new system implementation and process automation, they discover opportunities for reducing complexities. Some Intangent clients reduced the number of software logic components managed post automation vs. manual processes by more than 40%.

    In addition to generating efficiencies in plan maintenance, automated systems will speed up year-end plan changes. When complexity is eliminated, compensation teams are more motivated to experiment and spend more time on modeling. When compensation administration teams are spending less time fixing errors, more energy is available for proactive sales force service as well. It’s clear that combating complexity with simplification strategies drives better outcomes and has a direct impact on cross-functional team agility.

    It’s important to remember though that while teams might experience some of the benefits driven by automation immediately, the actual benefits will be realized over an extended period.

    Let’s speed up your “idea to funding” process together! Contact us if you are interested in how you could harness the benefits of simplification through sales commissions automation, schedule a meeting here.

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