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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.

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4 Major Considerations for Driving SPM Requirements

The requirements development stage of implementation is the stage where a business defines what they need their new Sales Performance Management (SPM) system to do. Requirements not only define what the new system will be but also your business will be supported by the technology in the future moving forward. It is essentially creating a blueprint for your implementation team to follow as they build, configure, or install your new system.  There are 4 key considerations that should be kept in mind for this critical stage.

  1. Clearly defined end goals

There are two main directions to take your business when discussing requirements which are ‘lift and shift’ or ‘future state implementation’. Both directions help structure the direction of your requirements.

 ‘Lift and shift’ is simply put, doing your current system but better. Regardless of how your system is currently running, if there are processes you want to keep, your system can be upgraded or enhanced while adhering to current business processes.

If you are looking for an entirely new system based on the future state of the company, there is another suite of questions that must be asked. What changes are coming down the company pipeline? What new frameworks will be required? These goals must be defined in no uncertain terms, so your implementation can provide you a system that meets your end business goals.

2. A robust and field-tested requirements development process.

It is extremely important to have a comprehensive and proven process for developing requirements. This must include upfront planning and analysis. There should be standardized processes for documenting, reviewing, refining, and verification of the requirements. This standardized approach ensures the requirements team is on track for the quality and time required at this stage.

3. Availability of all critical information and data.

Your implementation needs to comprehensively understand your current compensation business area. What processes are manual? Which are off the books? Which sets of users interact with the system? How do they use it? Make this information readily available to them to help you define the future system. Ensure you have accurate, up-to-date, and complete compensation plan data the new system can support your specific business needs.

4. Stakeholder engagement through the entire process.

The people who are using the system have an in-depth understanding of what is needed from the new system. They understand what currently works best, what needs improvement, and the gaps that exist. It is critical to have subject matter experts and your main system stakeholders engaged at every step of the requirements defining process. As a result, the new system would be more effective in meeting your key business objectives. Additionally, it will be more easily adopted by your sales and incentive compensation management team.

                To learn more about implementations and how to prepare for the requirements stage, reach out and speak to our industry experts.

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How to Combat Inflation in the Sales Environment

Inflation is on the rise in the US, and we are all seeing the price of goods and services increase. During inflation, your costs are going up, and naturally, you will have to offset increased costs with increased price of your own products and services. This may negatively influence your customer base. At this time, it would be critical to retain and better compensate your sales reps in an inflated economy.  So how do you protect your bottom line? Some ideas that can work are as follows:

  1. Basing comp plans on margins versus revenue

In times of inflation, your sales reps may be forced to offer discounts in order to get the sale across the finish line. If you pay your salespeople on the margins, they will work harder to keep that margin and will drive investment in your business. Giving them this greater transparency into what your margins are will create greater trust for your organization.

2. Bonus structure and other incentives

Salespeople love recognition, competition, and being paid for performance. They engage with contests and awards, and it gets them invested in your company. In this volatile market, it is critical to invest in your people. Consider non-cash incentives, rewards, and recognition when adjusting your comp plans.

3. Utilizing an agile sales comp management system

Having a system ready from the start that is flexible for changes will allow you to pivot to protect your business needs in changing times. Legacy homegrown systems are rigid and require a lot of time and effort to implement change. Instead of being held hostage by your system in times of crisis, invest in a modern, flexible solution that can change with your needs.

Smart organizations use all the help they can get in being prepared to navigate uncertain times. They find strategies to pivot and adapt that not only help them survive but also thrive in such times. A sales performance management (SPM) system can provide a holistic and cohesive solution to develop and manage these strategies for change.

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Fostering an Engaged and Productive Sales Team

The modern business environment is rapidly changing, and the relationship between sellers and sales administrators is shifting with it. The growing uncertainty about the future following the pandemic as well as the shift to a remote work culture has drastically reduced seller engagement. How can we increase seller motivation and productivity in these unprecedented times?

Providing lucrative incentives can seem like the logical solution. But oftentimes throwing money at a problem is simply not enough. Incentives that are personal, trackable, and realistic will help your sellers sell more. Setting tangible daily, monthly, and yearly goals that your sellers perceive as achievable will fosters a sense of accomplishment thereby increasing engagement. This can be further enhanced by providing recognition for hitting incremental targets as they progress towards their goals. Designing and streamlining territory and quota plans specifically for each seller, can make them feel valued and give them a sense of ownership of the business.
Using only monetary incentives runs the risk of feeling transactional. However, by using other more holistic strategies to appeal to personal direction, a sense of accomplishment, ownership, and recognition, you can start to create an engaged and productive sales force.

For a sales leader, this creates an additional burden to design and execute a holistic strategy to nurture their sales teams. This burden can be alleviated with a Sales Performance Management (SPM) solution that is aligned with these strategic goals. In addition to housing enticing and flexible compensation plans, an SPM solution provides effective territory and quota management tools enabling you to align your sales talent to territories effectively. They provide the much-needed insight to track goals, targets, and other measurable achievements. This insight can help you reward and showcase your people appropriately.
Your sales team is your most valuable resource and by leveraging SPM solutions you can make them feel valued and encouraged to show up as their best, most productive self every day.

To learn more about SPM solutions and how they can help to engage your sales team, reach out to our experts.

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Leveraging SPM to enable Sales Force Retention Strategies

Recently one of the top concerns for sales leaders and executives has been the phenomenon of the great resignation. Between April-June 2021, a staggering 11.5 million American workers left their jobs. And according to Gallup polls, 48% of America’s working population are actively looking for new job opportunities. The sales department within organizations is no stranger to feeling this pinch proportional to these overall numbers and this is often the result of sales representatives losing trust in their organizations and feeling less valued. At this delicate time, how can you retain a loyal, motivated, and engaged sales force?  

The biggest piece of this puzzle is trust. Consistently inaccurate payouts, with little or no insight into the payout transaction details, will result in suspicion and bad blood between the employees and their leadership. Accuracy in compensation plan payout is critical as is providing easily accessible insights into their compensation details. In addition, creating a nurturing environment that offers support and guidance as and when needed can go a long way in creating a healthy employee culture aiding retention. 

This is where a good Sales Performance Management system can help create high value. A platform that automates compensation plan calculations with high accuracy develops trust where it matters. An intuitive user interface that provides consumable insights into payment transactions will eliminate the need for shadow accounting allowing more time for your sales representatives to do what they do best – sell. A well-designed and effective dashboard and reporting solution will allow your team to track their progress against their objectives fostering engagement and motivation. In turn, your sales leadership team will have insight into the progress of your team, so that they can identify where additional training and guidance may be needed, create, and execute actions to support their sales force, and track their improvement.  

SPM platforms have the potential to be excellent tools that enable organizations to reduce sales employee turnover. The key is to optimize the platform implementation to your team engagement business objectives. Your technology implementation partners should work with you to understand your business goals and implement a solution that helps you achieve them.  

To learn more about how you can leverage an SPM tool to create a loyal, engaged, and motivated sales force, contact us