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Innovation and Competition: SPM is Primed for Consumer Benefit

There has never been a better time to consider a Sales Performance Management (SPM) solution for your business. In recent years, the domain has experienced large amounts of growth, due to innovations and options available to consumers. Here are 3 reasons why now is the time to seriously consider an SPM solution:

  1. New Players, More Options

There has been an increase in the number of SPM vendors in recent years who are making good deals and breaking out into the space. The market is made up of two types of players. There are those who best cater to enterprise-level businesses and those who are primed to aid mid-market and SMB-level teams. Each of these vendors has different strengths that allow them to work best with different organizations, meaning there is a solution out there for any type of business.

2. Competition Breeding Innovation

The SPM space has seen several advancements in technology and offerings in recent years. Its common sales knowledge that competition is good for the consumer, and the SPM domain is no different. As vendors compete the leaders who innovate begin to pull ahead with breakthroughs in AI technology and usability, insights and control over territory and quota management, and others. Meaning that as vendors compete, the offerings for you get better and better.

3. It’s Still Growing

This growth and burst of innovation are not a one-off, but the emergence of a trend pointing towards a growing industry. Experts believe the global SPM market will reach $5.68 billion by the end of 2022 due to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.3%. The SPM market is expected to reach $10.47 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 16.5%. Meaning that this domain will continue to innovate, compete, and grow, increasing the potential rewards for your business if you make use of a system.


With all these offerings before you, it can seem daunting to cut through the chaos and not be deafened by all the competing offers. Which vendors are right for you? What offerings make sense for your objectives? In times of growth like these, it can be helpful to leverage the support of a consulting organization in the domain that can answer all these questions for you. Our industry experts with deep domain expertise can guide you in making the right choice for your needs.

To learn more about the SPM domain, its growth, and which solutions could be right for you, reach out to us.


Infographic Showing SPM Growth
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2 Major Reasons to Invest in Future-state Modeling

When it comes to including future-state modeling in a Sales Performance Management (SPM) solution, some businesses choose to opt out during the implementation process. The causes for this are varied, but mainly the business chooses to simply focus on traditional reporting rather than these benefits that allow them to look ahead. Those who make this choice are missing out of an important function that would allow their business to achieve their goals more effectively and accurately. Future-state modeling works with an SPM system to predict future outcomes related to compensation plans and incentives. Here are 2 reasons why future state modeling is a benefit for any sales business.

  1. What-if Modeling

What-if modeling involves creating scenarios for different compensation plans across different product lines or business units. You see the impact plan changes will have in the future and can factor in influences such as economic downturns and supply chain issues. This process is much faster and more accurate than trying to manually calculate using spreadsheets. This automated process is efficient and accurate, which is necessary when looking ahead, as it gives you time back to act on your predictions.  

2. Sales Target Assessment

Sales target assessment gives power to your sales team. It allows your team to predict how much they stand to make on specific opportunities, what sales they need to make to reach their targets, and know how much commission they will earn for closing certain deals.  Reps will know how to reach their targets, reduce time and risk due to the process being automated for them. It allows them to focus entirely on selling rather than calculating what they stand to make themselves.

Future planning naturally takes time and effort. If you are planning on making changes to your quotas, commissions, territories, or other metrics that define incentive comp, then you will have to bring pages of data to calculate the impact. If you are considering this capability, then you must have your data present. It must be complete, and accurate, or future-state modeling will be unable to accurately make predictions for you.  If you are already ready to make use of this valuable capability to get the most ROI, you need to talk to experts so they can help you avoid issues and implement smoothly. You need a partner who has seen this all before, and can guide you through the process

To learn more about future-state modeling, SPM, and preparing your business for tomorrow, contact us.

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3 Goals for Your Dashboards and Reports

While your Sales Performance Management (SPM) system is calculating and monitoring the performance of your employees, it provides you with Dashboards and Reports to show that performance. With them, you can track employee progress, and see areas that need improvement as well as areas of success. But how can you build out these dashboards and reports to be the most effective for your organization’s needs? There are three objectives to shoot for when designing your dashboards and reports, each will help bring clarity to your business and efficacy to your sales team.

  1. Providing Actionable and Relevant Insights

Don’t build your dashboards and reports to simply track everything. Instead, home in on the areas of your business that concern or excite you. If you are looking at everything that is happening all at once, the information you are looking for may get lost in the white noise. Instead, focus on what is relevant to your business. Identify your goals for your sales team, and track that which shows growth and areas that need improvement. Ensure that the insights provided are actionable, that something can be done about them when found

Before you design your dashboards and reports, you must first ask yourself what it is you are hoping to see. Ask the questions that you need answers for. If your dashboards and reports are giving you data that is irrelevant to the future of your company, or data that cannot be effectively acted upon, then you need to re-design them.

2. Are Intuitive and Visually Appealing

Your team is going to use these dashboards and reports every day, so it is integral that you design with user experience in mind. It is best to adhere to the “5-second rule,” which is, that it should take 5 seconds to understand the visual you are looking at. Ensure that they are intuitive and easy to read so that your insights can be more easily gleaned from them.

You can design your dashboards and reports to tell a story and also reflect company branding. These dashboards and reports are the stories of your employees’ progress towards goals and they should reflect that

3. Provide Transparency for Your Team

Just as you should receive accurate and actionable insights into your employee progress, so should they. By having access to their own progress, they will be better able to improve. They should also provide accurate information on sales incentives and payments for your team. It is important that your salespeople know what they are working towards.

By doing this, you foster greater trust in your organization. Your team will know what they need to do to grow, and they are clear on incentives and offers for them. Clarity is the best policy with sales teams, and with this clarity they will worry less about their current standing or the status of their comp plans, and do more of what they do best, sell.

SPM solutions already bring efficiency, acuity, and transparency to your sales organization, but with dashboards and reports you can bring these aspects to greater heights. Ensuring that your dashboards and reports provide you with pertinent information, are easy to read and understand, and provide greater transparency into your organization, will lead to a more effective sales team.

To learn more about how to design your dashboards and reports to bring out the best in your SPM system, reach out to us.

Three Computer Monitors over a Cloud in the Sky

3 compelling reasons why it’s time to invest in a Cloud-enabled SPM platform

Is your business ready to take the next big leap into the future? In today’s world of enterprise IT, there are many factors that a company must consider in order to decide whether a cloud infrastructure is the right fit.  There is no denying Cloud computing provides businesses like yours with several benefits.

Here are 3 big reasons why investing in a Cloud-enabled Sales Performance Management Platform (SPM) could be right for you.

1. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

One of the most significant benefits of cloud computing technology is offloading the cost of maintaining onsite servers. When businesses leverage the cloud, they can reduce TCO by cutting the costs of hiring on-site technical professionals, as well as the general cost of upkeep of the servers and the space that houses them.

Cloud technologies are engineered to provide control of the system configuration in the hands of the business users, reducing the time for system updates and achieving business goals.

Using a Cloud provider also reduces infrastructure waste. Most Cloud providers offer elastic solutions where organizations are charged based on usage and bandwidth.

2. Scalability and Agility

A Cloud solution provides cost-effective scalability to growing organizations to increase computational capacity, storage, and performance. The platform supports your business now and evolves for the future.

Cloud platforms also are agile and nimble in nature allowing you to pivot quickly adapting to the needs of a changing and growing organization.

3. Domain Ecosystem Integration

A Cloud-enabled SPM platform lends itself naturally to integrating with other platforms that are part of your domain ecosystem. Using Cloud capabilities your organization can rapidly integrate with the Sales, HR, and Finance enterprise applications providing a holistic and comprehensive -enterprise capability to streamline your business.

If you are in the market to upgrade your sales performance management solutions, a Cloud-enabled SPM platform is a compelling choice. Every growing company needs scalable and cost-effective infrastructure that can support, data transformation, and end-to-end visibility of all the data and processes in their dynamic ecosystems. Reach out to our experts today to learn which Cloud-enabled SPM platform would be right for you.

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Flexibility: A Critical Component in SPM Solutions

It often feels as though new technology will be difficult to integrate into our daily lives. With our work, this is doubly so. Cost, deployment time, and ongoing management of technology solutions may seem to be annoying pitfalls that may keep you away from integrating new systems, but in the vein of SPM solutions, this is rarely the case. Flexibility, here meaning a capacity to change, is a core tenet of many SPM solutions and even more so for their vendors. SPM is not some difficult software to manage, it is designed to save time for all business stakeholders, and the leaders in this space are tailor-made to fit any environment.

Any given business has its own unique demands, which may be caused by its industry, its workers, its territory and quota needs, regulatory oversight as well as any number of other factors. SPM solutions which seek to enter this market must be able to meet each of these demands in order to function. The very best SPM software not only takes this requirement into account but actively caters to it. The best deployment is often rapid, flexible, and able to adapt to a host of issues. Often when a SPM solution with a large amount of flexibility is deployed, customers found the system is able to accommodate their changing business needs, simply continuing on with a product that was just right for them. The software they chose was able to keep up with whatever demand they had because it was deployed with those constraints in mind. This is one of the major strengths of a top SPM solution, the ability to aid sales teams with whatever they need and help them reach their specific goals without hindrance.

When considering the possibility of whether SPM will aid your business or not, look no further than its ability to change. There are very few situations in which SPM cannot find proper function in a sales environment, and few issues that cannot be addressed by it. SPM solutions are by their nature flexible, and they must be, in order to help manage sales in any number of businesses or teams.

Red Door Amongst many Gray Doors

Criticality of Selecting the Right SPM Solution

So you’ve identified an area in your business where you can increase efficiency, you’ve decided to take measures to improve your incentive compensation and help manage sales, you’ve chosen to use a Sales Performance Management Solution, but where to start? You know your business best, and exactly what it will need, but SPM is an interesting market, there are many options and choices. There are dozens of solutions out there, Varicent, Oracle, Optymyze, Anaplan, and several others. Which one do you choose? How do you know what will fit your team best? Each of the software offerings has strengths and weaknesses, it’s capabilities and deficiencies, but in sales demonstrations, all of them appear to be able to meet every need. How can you cut through the sales gloss and glamour to determine a true fit?

It’s important to remember that SPM solutions are an investment. You aren’t just purchasing software, but investing in the future efficiency of your company. Selecting the wrong software solution can have a lasting impact on your sales compensation process, as this is typically an 8-12 year investment in technology. As 2020 and the pandemic has shown us, little is certain and it is difficult to tell what will change down the line. Will the solution you pick be able to accommodate any changes to your business?  Will the delicate configuration process be adaptable as your organization grows and changes?  For whoever oversees integration, it is not enough to introduce a solution then walk away. One of the highest purposes of an SPM solution is flexibility, but how can it remain flexible if your vendor bails after the initial work is done?

This is where the team at the Blue Horizons Group come in. We do not offer you a product, or even a service, but a partnership. Not only will we integrate SPM into your business, but we will offer you the best option, carefully chosen based on your criteria and needs, cutting through the sales hype to carefully align a software vendor with your specific needs. And our team stands with you beyond selection, providing a full range of implementation options. After completing implementation of the ideal software solution for your needs, we will stay with you, never more than a phone call away. Our goal is to integrate SPM and ICM solutions and keep them flexible, and perfectly working for your business.

If you are in the market for a ICM or SPM software solution and would like to have an introductory call to learn more about our offerings, please reach out to us.

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Looking Forward: SPM Innovations for 2022

In the ever-shifting market space of 2021, made more turbulent by the ongoing impacts of pandemic fallout and global resource shortages, looking ahead becomes a key priority. SPM solutions will become more and more integral to sales divisions and sales leaders in the coming year. This will also likely happen sooner than you might think. SPM solutions have traditionally been seen as a solution for only the largest enterprise customers. However, industry expert predictions find that by 2022 over 40 percent of B2B companies with over 100 salespeople on payroll will deploy SPM solutions to reduce errors on both over and underpayments on sales comp. Additionally, by the same year, 75 percent of compensation disputes within organizations that use an SPM solution will be able to solve the issue with a digital assistant. So what does this mean? Next year, it’s going to become the norm for businesses to streamline and automate their incentive compensation processes. Ease of access and the ability to focus resources on higher value activities will become the industry standard. (Gartner)

Other predictions place 2022 as the year in which about 50 percent of sales organizations will have employed dedicated SPM solutions to aid their leadership operations and run things smoothly. Businesses across the board identify sales performance as a priority moving forward and are using these solutions to address that priority. As SPM software becomes more standard, sales teams are identifying the benefits of such systems, in error reduction and comprehensive overviews of sales. The businesses that choose to employ these methods will gain a competitive advantage, becoming leaders in their industries and pull ahead of their contemporaries, leaving behind those who failed to innovate. (Ventana Research & Forrester)

In this changing digital landscape, it is important to look forward, to always have your eye on the horizons, and to predict the shifts in your industry. For those who employ sales teams, this is the next wave of innovation. Next year a large majority of businesses will be using these programs, and before long you are going to be the odd one out if your team does not. SPM software allows a great amount of optimization and control, tailor-made for any team or business. It is no surprise that this technology has been noticed and is beginning to be utilized by industry leaders, who desire the efficacy that SPM can bring. The use of this software is the next big shift in sales management and will differentiate the leaders from those who are in the past.