Before we kick off this article, congratulations. You may be thinking that’s an odd thing to start with, but we’re making an assumption that you’ve got a sales management system up and running, which is a great thing in itself; all that value rich data and reporting on a sales rep’s monthly or quarterly closing record, how well a product is selling in different territories and who’s on track for a decent commission. It’s all good, yes? The next question—and the one that we’re going to answer here— is this: How hard is it working for us? And also this: Am I making the most of its capabilities? We look under the hood of a typical sales management system at just 3 elements, so you can be certain you’re maximizing all those functions that are sometimes hidden from view.
1. It’s a Numbers Game
Supporting all other functionality, you want to be sure that your sales management system is delivering a robust calculation engine for managing sales compensation. This is what keeps the sales wheels turning and your teams motivated as well as tracking the dates and deadlines of territory assignments, streamlining quota allocation, managing pay adjustments and reducing the arduous amounts of admin and inputting that were a necessary evil of previous systems. And best of all, a strong and healthy calculation engine practically eliminates the possibility of human error.
2. Identifying Strong Performers
The continuing success of your sales operation is heavily reliant on the talents of the team. You’d think that by implementing a sales management system, the names of the best-in-show would automatically surface, along with a whoop from the crowds and a fully illuminated dashboard. Yes and no. On one level you’ll certainly be able to track an individual’s sales record, but really good software considers many more attributes and variables. What training have they completed? Are they achieving a high number of calls and emails that create prospects rather than simply closing the deal? Have they been spending time mentoring others? Are all these considerations part of the compensation scheme? Conversely, you don’t just want to see that someone is off their ‘A’ game, you want to know why. With a sales performance management system like the one offered by Varicent, you can easily get into the granular detail rather than just looking at a month-by-month breakdown of deals.
3. Understanding your products
While a sales management system is primarily seen as a method of tracking and reporting on the people creating and closing sales opportunities, the absolute power to strategize better and forecast for the future is using the tools to track product performance. A decent piece of sales in system kit can inform you of a territory where a product is performing strong or facing a drubbing from the competition. It should also use data to inform you of where is ripe for a new sales team and where to pull back. All this integrated and joined-up thinking means that you can set rational KPIs and objectives, be more strategic with quota planning and ensure you have the right people supporting your product lines.
We’ve only scratched the surface here. There are all the technical bonuses, such as integration and the beauty of being on a single cloud-based platform that make for a great software system. In addition, ask yourself if you can perform some scenario modelling; can your field teams easily access their own records and add data in real time? And can you easily adjust the dashboard data to switch between monthly, quarterly and annual reporting? If we have managed to surprise you with this picture of additional features and functionality, give yourself and your team time to explore. If you’re looking to upgrade your current sales management system, ensure you are given a full demo, so you understand far more than the basics from day one. You’d paid the money; you owe it yourself and your business to properly exploit the software for all it’s worth.
Find out what Varicent’s software can bring to your sales management system by speaking to your representative.