Author: Neal Hudson
A phrase becomes cliché for an obvious reason, and "The right tool for the job," is no exception. It takes a lot longer to drive a nail with a pair of pliers than it does a hammer. Unfortunately, I speak from experience. Often the decision to use a less effective tool comes from the convenience and the lack of commitment to the effort of finding, acquiring, and, in the case of Sales Performance Management (SPM) systems, properly configuring the right tool. Any time and resources saved by taking the shortcut are quickly lost in the long run. What should you be looking for in order to support that an SPM software is the right tool for the job? Here is a shortlist of boxes that you should make sure it checks off!
Speed to deliver change
There are plenty of great and necessary applications for custom IT solutions in any organization. However, even in the most efficient organizations, modifications take time. And that time can quickly become a burden when the sales effort needs to adapt to the unforeseen and change quickly.
There are numerous discussions currently taking place trying to find the best way to manage and correctly incentivize sales as we all face this most difficult reality. It’s as if the “game board” has been turned upside down and those best able to quickly adapt and innovate will best serve their organization (now, more than ever).
A mature, proven, SPM system offers many features that accommodate rapid, reliable changes to compensation elements. The utility provided by built in rate tables, assignable variables, shared formulas, multiple hierarchies, and transaction classification significantly shorten the time to deliver accurate, fully tested changes to compensation plans.
Integrated reporting is also a tremendous advantage when placing priority on speed to deliver change. Flexible, and easily configured reporting elements found in a mature SPM system can cover most reporting needs without the expense and delay of custom report development.
Protecting and serving your most valued resource
The obvious core of every sales organization are the people whose considerable efforts result in profitable revenue. The ability to move quickly to manage change is critical in serving this staff and the entire organization. While an effective, efficient SPM system does not, itself, provide the necessary critical thinking to navigate a quickly changing landscape, it is nonetheless important in its ability to deliver that change in time to take maximum advantage. One feature that is extremely useful right now is the ability to implement recoverable or non-recoverable draws in order to pay and retain reps, rather than lose talent, or have to recreate your compensation plan. With an SPM solution you can easily implement and track draws, guarantees, and more to help retain reps. Doing everything we can to keep the sales force successful and motivated should always be the priority during volatile times.
The need for a digital transformation
Excel is still the leading solution for SPM - and so as unbelievable as that may seem to me, chances are many of our readers are still using it for operations as crucial as commissions. This is likely due to the fact that it predates modern SPM solutions - and remains a legacy system within many sales organizations. There are a number of drawbacks, which become even more evident during volatile times. A digital transformation is paramount, in both the short and long term. As mentioned above, a modern SPM solution can speedily deliver change. Whether it’s COVID-19, or another disruptive event, which is certain to come at some point, admins can ill afford to spend time manually creating rules and reports. Not only does this affect the admin, a resource which in itself can be hard to find, it also affects the reps. Disruptive events are unfortunate, however, they serve to remind organizations of the need for a digital transformation - if there was ever an argument, the current, unprecedented situation is the business case an admin or Director of Sales Operations needs. A robust SPM solution is the right tool for the job because it has the key features and benefits that are necessary to weather a storm in bad times, or keep an even keel during less hard times. The right tool for the job is a solution that empowers your key players.
If you want to discuss a digital transformation, reach out to Canidium by clicking the button below, or visiting www.canidium.com/contact.
Learn more about the author, Neal Hudson.