Coffee, Commissions, & CPQ: What is SPM, CPQ, SaaS, ICM

Coffee, Commissions, & CPQ: What is SPM, CPQ, SaaS, ICM

Coffee, Commissions, & CPQ: What is SPM, CPQ, SaaS, ICM

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Author: Canidium Podcast

Candium's podcast Coffee, Commissions, and CPQ is a podcast that will cover topics about all things sales, sales operations, sales enablement, and SPM! In the sixth episode of our series, Renae Carlson helps explain all the sales acronyms in simple terms that people in the industry throw around. Tune into our podcast by clicking the link below, or read the transcripts on this blog! 


Rick Roberts:  Welcome to Coffee, Commissions, and CPQ, a podcast where we talk about all things related to increasing the effectiveness of your sales organization. My name is Rick Roberts, and I'm your host for this episode. Today, Renae and I will be discussing SPM, ICM, CX, CRM, SaaS, and CPQ. Now, what's it all mean? And why is it important? We'll get into that, but before we do, let's learn a little bit about Renae. So Renae, thank you very much for coming on the podcast today.

Renae Carlson:  Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

Rick Roberts:  No problem. So why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself, you know, anything going on, anything new in your life or what you do for fun? Things like that?

Renae Carlson:  Sure, absolutely. So I am Renae and I am a consultant for commission software. I'm in the Midwest, I enjoy being with my family and doing things outside. Just your average, ordinary person.

Rick Roberts: That's right. So you said you're from the Midwest, and So currently, where are you now?

Renae Carlson: Yes, so I was born and raised in South Dakota, and I recently moved to a small town in western Iowa. I'm very close to Omaha, Nebraska. So I do have a little bit of the big city but I'm still in a very small town.

Rick Roberts: Got it. Okay. And when you say big city, do you mean Omaha?

Renae Carlson: Yes, yes.

Rick Roberts: That's great. Yeah, I've actually, I've never been to Iowa, actually never been to South Dakota, but I've been told, I like hunting in my spare time. I'm a big upland bird Hunter. And everyone talks about South Dakota. That's the holy grail of bird hunting. So I'll definitely make it out out there for sure. And I've never been to Omaha, Nebraska but yeah, no it's funny because coming from New York City and I've been to Chicago, San Fran, LA and I really do love getting to see what other cities are like. I think maybe coming from there I'm a bit jaded in that sense, but I really do enjoy these smaller cities like you know, like a Denver or something like that. I really do. I really do love that because they have such, they're so cozy, in a sense, right? Like there's plenty of things to do like you could actually see the sky. You know, there's a lot of space in between. There's not everyone honking or, or you know, cursing at each other. So it's a good time.

Renae Carlson:  I was going to say my version of a small town is about 700 people or less. So take that into perspective. Denver is a little large for me.

Rick Roberts:  That's funny. Yeah, I feel like as time goes on, I'm starting to really realize that I need more and more of that small town feel I've been there. I've done that in the large city and all that. And I think, you know, at this point in my life, there's there's nothing more than I love than being, you know, really just in my backyard and a hammock with you know, my dog running around and my girlfriend, barbecuing and all that not really dealing with everybody else. 

Renae Carlson:  Right.

Rick Roberts:  So you know, you work here, obviously, at Canidium. And you discussed a little bit about your role. So why don't you dive into that a little bit? How long have you been here? You know maybe what it looks like in the industry as well how you long you've been in the industry, what is your day to day look like, just kind of paint a little bit of a picture about that so that we can get a better sense of the role that you play here and how that translates into what we do for our customers.

Renae Carlson:  Absolutely. So I've been with Canidium for just over two years. And my role here is, is as a consultant for commission systems. Before that I was in the telecommunication industry for over 21 years, and I held a lot of different positions while I was there. But about the last 12 I was in the sales commission world. I was the admin for the sales commission systems of work that we were using. So yeah, overall, I've been in the industry about 12 years, maybe a little longer. But yeah, I really enjoyed it.

Rick Roberts:  Great. What do you think is the best part about working in sales performance for you?

Renae Carlson:  You know, I really enjoy finding solutions that accurately pay our salespeople and help motivate them. You know, you get what you pay for. And sometimes, companies aren't always looking at that bigger picture. And they're just doing what they've always done. So it's really rewarding that when it's transparent, the salespeople know how they're being paid. They understand their comp plans. So yeah, it's just really rewarding to me to see that fall into place. Because sometimes companies just, you know, it's just kind of a big black hole. So yeah, to allow them to have transparency into that. 

Rick Roberts:  Yeah, I like the way you talk about it, too. And you and I had a conversation a little bit ago regarding, you know, the whole B2B vs B2C. And I think a lot of the messaging within this industry as because it's B2B is it's just very robotic in the sense, right, just tossing technical terms at people. Things that you know, are really getting to the heart of it and for someone like yourself to come in and find that solution. I think that elements of, and Tim Bensman been actually touched upon this recently, but that elements of seeing their smile or then be able to take a breath and say, Wow, you know, you've made this process so much easier now. And, you know, we don't have to deal with disputes nonstop and that kind of thing.' You know, at the end of the day, we're going in there and we're speaking and meeting with, with people, and they have their own problems, not just in the workplace, but outside of the workplace and being able to provide a solution that's going to take off, take some stress and take some of the weight off their shoulders. I think that at the end of the day is probably the most priceless thing. So it really is what we do, we're in the business of customer success. David Kohari will always say and that's, that's first and foremost. And I think you know, these solutions are, are a huge part of that. So we had started off this podcast by listing out a ton of acronyms, right, and I'll just remind the listener. So SPM, ICM, CX, CRM, SaaS and CPQ. Okay, that's a whole lot of letters that together probably don't make any sense to anybody who's brand new to this. So why don't we get a little clarity into what SPM means and I know you you had you had said it before and people may not have picked up on that but what it what is SPM?

Renae Carlson: Absolutely. So SPM is sales performance management. I like to think of SPM as kind of our Broad tier or Broad name, for everything sales. So SPM includes incentive compensation plans. It includes business goals and objectives, quota management, sales territories, analytics. You know, sales gamification, so just kind of everything that falls under the umbrella that would affect your sales team is basically your sales, performance management, your SPM.

Rick Roberts:  Got it. Okay. And then moving on to ICM.

Renae Carlson:  Right. So ICM narrows that down a little bit more. ICM is incentive compensation management. And really ICM is more concentrating on the comp plan itself, the commission plan, the creation of the commission plan, the crediting, automating the commission process, making sure that you're following all the governmental regulations and appliances. So ICM really is more concentrated on the incentive or commission side of things. So it does fall under the sales performance management. But it's kind of the next step down.

Rick Roberts:  Got it. Okay. No, that makes complete sense. And CX is something that we often talk about. People may be familiar with CX, but why don't you kind of dive into that a little bit?

Renae Carlson:  Right. So CX is customer experience and sometimes people say, "Well, how does that really fall into sales and commissions and you know, that's kind of, you know, a different branch of our company." But, CX comes into play a lot. Because we talk a lot about customer experience management system. And that's basically just technology that helps you in your organization manage your interactions with your customers, both current and potential customers. So we're really concerned that the customer has a good experience, and that we're able to access that data and utilize that data to drive our sales.

Rick Roberts:  Yeah, and I think certainly with CX at the end of the day, I think people really need to be able to draw the line between how a solution is going to improve that, right. I mean, that is that's central to a lot of that. I think a lot of people are only thinking about, for example, you know, what the solutions can do for the sales organization and the reps. But it's so much more than that, right? Because if you create a if you have reps that are paid accurately, and on time, and they're more motivated, they're going to go out there and they're going to make sure that every person that they're meeting, the first impression that they're setting is going to be you know, 100%. They're gonna they're gonna make the best impression they can possibly do, they're going to go out of their way. And you know from a marketing perspective, essentially what a brand is, is the the sum of all the experiences and the emotions that a consumer has. When they engage with the brand, right and so when you go to Amazon and you order something and you know that whatever you search, it's probably going to be there It comes with quickly. And if you have prime you can get it in two days. Or if you go to a sporting goods store and let's just say you want to get, a new set of I don't know golf clubs and you have somebody there that knows about golf and actually takes the time to say okay, like this is a good fit for you or you may not want this because of X, Y, & Z you're gonna always go back there. And so setting up a system or process through these solutions, that's gonna create a better customer experience at the end of the day. You know, you can't just be focused on the field or organization, but the person that's walking through that door, who's going to be the one to sign that check.

Renae Carlson:  Absolutely. And that kind of will fall into our next acronym that we talked about. But, you know, the bottom line is first impressions are very, very lasting. And, you know, like you said, Amazon, I know I can get my item into two days, I know I'm not going to have a problem returning it or with billing. And that's all part of that customer experience. It's very important for that salesperson to keep that in mind. That really is going to take your relationship and have a returning customer there.

Rick Roberts:  Sure, yeah. But without the right SPM or ICM solution, that might be a disgruntled rep, and they might just not even care. Right? So. So they really are, I really are connected.

Renae Carlson: So the next acronym that we'll discuss here is called CRM. That's what I've called customer relationship management. And this is more where we're focusing on the customer. And what we're really trying to do here is usually when they say CRM, they're referring to a system or a software. Some kind of tool that helps them with all of their customer data from contact management, sales management, how many widgets they bought, when do they buy them? Are they returning customer? So really, it's all about that customer experience and tracking that data of how what that customers experience was. And so usually the CRM systems will allow your sales force to have access to that information. And you know, for your upper management to have access to that information. So very important in the big picture, but also in the sales world. It can do everything from letting your salesperson know where their next geographical client may come from, to the phone number of a client you had 20 years ago. So yeah, large system and very broad. But basically, we have all your customer data, everything, just kind of analyzes and tracks all that data throughout the customers life cycle.

Rick Roberts: Sure, and I think there's, I mean, there's a lot of empowerment there too, right? I mean, looking at all the data that you're able to capture over the years, even something like for example, if they have a few kids that play soccer. Right, and you know that their weekends are really busy having to go back and forth between all these games, then, you know, you could reach out and just say, 'Hey, how are the kids? How's how's John?' you know, you may even know that kind of stuff. And you can write that down. But I think instead of always just going to somebody, the thing I love about CRM is that instead of always just saying, Okay, I know their name, their email and their phone number, and so I'm going to hammer away at them for the next six months until they either say please leave me alone or yes. Being able to have the information that just says, you know, look, this is the person that I'm selling to right. They're not just the check, like a blank check. This is a person and being able to go to them and say, hey, look, you know, how, how are you weekend's been you've been really busy or I know hockey seasons coming up and you're getting ready for that. You know, that's that's a great way to start an organic conversation that, it might be unsolicited, but people are going to be much more More likely to want to engage with you when you're trying to connect with them on a personal level, rather than saying, Hey, we're the best solution out there if you want to talk, right? And I think we've all been, we've all been sold to whether you go on LinkedIn every day, you get 15 messages in your inbox saying, "Hey, I'm the founder and CEO of this new company that could do all this for your marketing analytics". I don't want to hear that. I think a lot of people because everyone's so busy, they don't want to hear that right. Like admin, for example. Their day to day is just, it could be it could be very frustrating. And  they just really want to know, okay, what, what's the payoff here? But they don't want to just be yelled at right or talked at they want to be talked to. I think with CRM, it really does form those conversations, makes them a whole lot better, and a lot more likely to close those deals. And also form relationships.

Renae Carlson: Yeah, and I think it empowers our salespeople. I think It just gives them a lot of power to go out and do their job to the best of their ability.

Rick Roberts:  100% Yeah, I mean, look, if someone connects with me, and they just want to talk a little bit about marketing and say, hey, look, there's some, there's a solution that I have, whatever, they can introduce, it's like a soft sell, right? But eventually, they get to know me a little bit more. And this is in their CRM, and they're asking me about, like, oh, man, how you guys doing this year. Um, you know, again, I'm going to be much more likely to engage with them, but we're going to form relationships over time. And so as you know, wherever I end up, right, let's just say I move to another company. Well, then, if I have a good relationship with that person, then I might bring them in again. Right. And I think I think you know, CRM allows you to ask yourself, you know, what is it like to be in their shoes and approach it from that kind of angle? I always like to say, okay, who are we speaking to? How are they probably going to approach or see this, and how can we connect with them? CRM is that tool that allows them to do that. Absolutely but looking at SaaS now, I think we spent a lot of time looking at CRM. But SaaS is software as a service and funny enough I was in a conference one time at an event and they were passing out shirts that said on the front of it ‘nice SaaS’. I really got a kick out of that. And that actually, that was actually the first time that I had seen SaaS. So the first time it actually saw that acronym, so why don't you tell us what that is?

Renae Carlson:  Absolutely. And this is kind of outside of the commission round. This applies to a lot of software out there. But basically, SaaS as you said, is software as a service. And this is just a model where the third party provider hosts the application so you no longer have servers on site at your location. You no longer have to install the software on your system and maintain all the updates, usually when you have a Saas service, they do all that for you. So they make sure that the software has the latest updates, they make sure that the patches are in place. And you don't have to worry about that and how. So it's a little more on the IT side of the world, but it does come up a lot. And it just is really confusing when they throw in another acronym out there. And it really what it means. Some services or software will offer where you can have it in house. It doesn't have to be as a service, you can host your own. Other companies, depending on security needs and that kind of thing. It's just easier to have somebody else host it for you and then you don't have to worry about it. So yeah, just kind of like a little IT stuck in there. But yeah, it's good to know what it is when they start throwing those letters out there. 

Rick Roberts:  Sure. And lastly, we have CPQ. Which CPQ is something that a lot of people probably use, maybe every day or or quite often, but have no idea that they are. And so why don't you kind of go into what does CPQ mean? And we can discuss maybe some of the applications?

Renae Carlson:  Yeah, absolutely. So CPQ stands for configure price quote. And usually it's CPQ software, is a term in the b2b world that describes a software system that helps the seller complete or put together those complex quotes and a price configuration. And it just puts it all right there, automates some of it. And a lot of times people don't, like you said, don't even know they're using a CPQ software. Because it can be anything from a point of sale on a website to the cash register that your local grocery store is using. So a very powerful tool, comes in with the field. Because you know, it does, once again, empower your sales people by having that information that you know, a lot of times people have real complex pricing and quotes and it could take several weeks, just to get a quote out to somebody. And CPQ software will just make that a lot more a lot quicker. And more at the salespersons fingertips. So yeah really just, very powerful tool and like you said many people don't even know they're using it

Rick Roberts:  Right like every time you order a pizza online right and you're like I want a large pie with sausage peppers, all those mushrooms and it's like each one is at a certain price but you're getting a receipt within literally the second that you click on one of the options that adds that. It changes the price on the receipt and then you order that and the pizzeria gets that order and knows exactly what they have to do. You know, that's that's the power of CPQ and people don't realize how often, whether they're shopping for clothes or or something like that on the e-commerce side. They're using this you know, all the time, and so that's why I said people are probably using this every day or or at least once a week. Unless, I'm just eating too much pizza, but there's a lot of application and then looking on, like the side of manufacturing. If you take for example, let's just say you're building a PC, or you're building a car, and the engine needs to have certain parts and all that. Well, in the past you used to have to have a big book that this rep would flip through and say okay, well this part is able to match up or not able to match up with this part. And so it would take forever for this person to actually be able to produce this kind of quote, in order to get approved and get to that sale. So now with CPQ  on the manufacturing side, especially because it's so complex. So complex on the manufacturing side. CPQ allows these companies to produce these codes so much more quickly, and then move on to the next sale. Right, and one of our clients once they onboarded, implemented SAP CPQ. We were able to increase the revenue 40% sustained. Right. And they had discussed how quickly they were able to put out these quotes. So you know, again, it's a really powerful tool CPQ and it's something that we have a lot of experience with dedicated practice to. And you're in one of the dedicated practices for Commissions or SPM. So yeah, it's something that people really need to know about, but as popular as it is, it still seems like a best kept secret.

Renae Carlson:  Yes, it really does. And, you know, to go back and just kind of sum up all these different things we've talked about, when you go back and you think about sales, performance management or SPM. Really everything we talked about, falls under that heading. And it's really all about just empowering your sales people. Making sure you're paying people accurately and you're getting the desired results. That your company's growing and it also is a bigger picture picture than it used to be. You just talked about commissions and that was it. Now we're talking about everything that plays into the sales commission and making their job easier and better and just empowering them

Rick Roberts: Yeah, I mean again, it's, the conversation can't just end at, with all these solutions, it can't just end at what it could do for the sales organization, right. All these translate into the customer as well. Customer Experience, the CX, that we described. So, get to get to know all these acronyms you know, learn them, love them. Again, SPM sales performance management, ICM incentive compensation management, CX customer experience, CRM customer relationship management, SaaS software as a service, and CPQ configure price quote, that's a mouthful. Every single one they get, especially in this industry. There's more acronyms in the US military. But these are acronyms that I think everybody should know. Whether you're in this industry or whether you're looking for a solution that's going to help you stop the bleeding or be able to meet your KPIs. Whatever it is, again, learn them, love them. And Renae, everybody, Renae Carlson, thank you so much for joining our podcast today. Really appreciate that. This has been extremely informative. I've learned a lot today and I'm sure a lot of listeners have as well.

Renae Carlson: Thanks so much, Rick, for taking the time with me.

Rick Roberts: No problem. Thank you. I'm sure you'll be back.

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