There can be little doubt that Sales Performance Management (SPM) software has had a profound and positive effect on how the world of sales operates. From utilising tools that allocate territories and quotas more evenly and responsively; through launching, maintaining, and accurately calculating incentive compensation programs and payments, to providing insight and analytics on product and people performance. The right SPM software is probably the most useful business partner you’ll ever work with.
What’s that we’re hearing through the virtual sound waves? Are you wondering whether that statement is a little too confident? Here’s a figure to pique your interest and diminish any doubts. In 2018, Gartner estimated that SPM software as an entity was worth $850 million every year.
This blog contains reasons to believe and get onboard with SPM software – and while we’re at it, we’re presenting a strong rationale for how this platform and suite of applications doesn’t just provide the dashboards and data, it also offers your sales team the tools to remain motivated, perform at their optimal best and therefore help boost your bottom line.
The Problems with (Many) SPM Processes and Systems
Before detailing the advantages of a single, integrated, SPM software platform, where are you at with your SPM processes right now?
Perhaps you’re trying to oversee and collate numerous spreadsheets in advance of issuing the latest incentive compensation statements, or quarterly visit from the auditors, knowing that there are likely to be payment inaccuracies or potentially date inputting errors.
Your current cause for concern could be that there is growing dissent among the sales ranks regarding unwieldy quotas or under-resourced territories which has arisen due to inadequate, predictive software?
Maybe it’s that whatever system you’re using is neither accessible nor transparent, resulting in a rise in shadow accounting behaviours, payment disputes, and possibly more of the team leaving the business altogether?
Whether it’s one or all the above, or maybe an additional issue, you’d be fully entitled to be feeling the financial and human discomfort of such negative dilemmas. So before moving to some SPM reasons to be optimistic, let’s allow ourselves a collective “ouch” as we move past these common pain points.
The Key Purpose and Advantages of SPM Software
What we’re talking about here is an integrated, customisable platform that brings together all sales processes and areas of reporting to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales force while providing accurate data and analytics that not only reflect current metrics but can contribute to tomorrow’s projects and decision-making. That means no more multiple systems, no more inputting errors that skew the numbers, and no more siloed working or secretive behaviours that lead to doubt and mistrust.
‘But hold on a minute,’ you may be thinking, ‘how exactly does this invaluable, but technical SPM software wizardry make a positive impact on human sales behaviour, and ultimately our bottom line?’ Glad you asked…
Benefits for Your Sales Team and Revenue
1. Accuracy is (almost) Everything: When your sales team is confident that the incentives compensation platform they’re working with is not just “on the money”, but making them money, it gives them a strong reason to believe and concentrate their efforts on selling and negotiating, rather than putting time and energy into checking and double-checking their calculated commission and launching pay queries and disputes when something feels a little bit off.
It’s not just the sales team that benefit from this – compensation administrators and payroll clerks will find that with robust software, they are not having to use precious hours clearing up pay disputes and their time can be better spent further improving processes or rolling out new pay initiatives and bonus-related incentives. A welcome knock-on effect from greater accuracy is that those auditors have less need to question every line of data. This means that their job is less time-consuming and costly to your business.
2. Transparency is (almost) Everything Else: Often coming hand in hand with accuracy as a feature and outcome of SPM software installation is greater transparency and visibility. When road-testing your choices, it’s important to make sure that the right people have access to all the relevant reporting, dashboards, and analytics. For example, say one of your top salespeople has recently been allocated a new territory, new product line, and therefore, a challenging quota. To do their job to a high standard, they require a clear view of competitor activity, their own current sales performance, and the quotas of colleagues in other territories. Without the above permissions and tools, that top salesperson is likely to feel isolated, in the dark, and maybe even resentful.
Conversely, if they can access all this information as and when required, plus being able to submit queries in real-time, they are much more likely to be committed and therefore a convincing, high-earning sales professional.
3. Performance Analysis is Something Too: Bringing together all the functionality and features is the one-stop-shop ability and beauty of robust SPM software. It informs and shapes performance, wider business objectives, and KPIs. As a manager, it will be a huge relief that you no longer have to source this information from a plethora of sources. By analysing the sales performance of an individual alongside that of other team members, you can use this data for more honest and helpful performance reviews.
Instead of picking up a missed target here and a booming month there, this holistic picture means that you can successfully identify skills and training gaps, which in turn is helpful insight for the development and recruitment teams. Further, by studying area sales reports and dashboards over customisable periods of time, you can clearly see if a territory is over-resourced by your own people, if the localised competition is abundant, or that possibly, the product line is wrong for that place.
The Last Word on SPM Software
Software – whether it’s to make the perfect cup of coffee, or to run a first-world nation’s GDP reports – needs to do what it claims and be both accessible and understandable for every user. In the case of SPM software, that means not just knowing the buttons to press and screens to view but appreciating and utilizing the value of the information available.
Start your path to stronger sales growth by investing in one of the Varicent products today. With Varicent, you’ll be opening up the door to more than accurate metrics and reporting - it’s also the gateway to recruiting first-class sales professionals that could potentially be clamoring to bring their skills to a transparent organization such as yours.
Click here to learn more about what Varicent offers in SPM software.