Like every other business sector, over the last three decades sales have been transformed by the implementation and use of fast-evolving technologies. It’s not so long ago that sales executives were phoning in their results, submitting paper receipts, and had little idea of how the rest of the team and business was performing – especially if they were physically based out in far-flung territories.
With the introduction and adoption of agile and accessible Sales Performance Management Software (SPM),technology in sales has come a long way since the bought-ledger notebook. Thanks to the power of a robust, integrated platform, sales professionals feel connected and visible wherever they are based, commission payments are accurately and automatically calculated, and both teams and managers can feel confident that quotas and territories are distributed evenly.
In this blog, we’ll go further than reminding you of the obvious advantages; you’ll also discover how the technology that supports a scalable, transparent SPM solution can bring down costs, drives efficiencies, and motivate your salesforce to attain higher targets.
The Legacy Systems and Processes That Need to Go
If the time is right for you to review your current technology and processes (and if you know you’re losing money, customers, and employees, when is not the right time?), you’re going to have to say a permanent farewell to some team losers. And what do we mean by “losers”? Quite simply, any tracking process that involves manual inputting and data entry, and therefore anything that ends up on the dreaded spreadsheet. Add to that in one sales division alone there are likely to be at least two unrelated software packages on the go, the result can be both chaotic and costly.
Let’s be clear about this, human keystroke errors happen, and the result of that occurring even once can be expensive. The mentality that has bolstered this sales technology for as long as this, is a combination of “If it ain’t broke…” and “New stuff is a bit scary”. However, when your old-school methodology means you’re paying out more to plug the holes left by mistakes (auditors, compliance fines, underpayments to staff), you’ll recognise that is a false economy.
The Sales Technology Software You Need
Replacing the old stuff with something shiny and different is just a small piece of the story. If you’re about to invest in a new piece of sales software that will be utilised by everyone in the team, you’ll want to do your homework and feel confident that it can earn its place on your team almost instantaneously. This means, not only should it be easy to use and understand but justifying the outlay should not be something to worry about.
Wondering how all this is possible and what to prioritise? The following should help:
1. Even and Fair Quota and Territory Allocation
The problem of old is that early iterations of software for quota and territories may have looked more impressive than a hand-drawn map, but beyond the graphics, stronger analytics was often missing. This next generation of sales technology software, such as Varicent’s Territory and Quota Management (TQM) solution, provides you with the data and reporting as to why an area is ripe for your product, how it should be managed throughout the sales pipeline, and what this translates to in terms of quotas.
2. Incentive Compensation Management
Your Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) solution needs a strong technology platform to sustain it. The stories about what can happen when the figures don’t add up and your sales team are certain they have been underpaid are more than myths. Discrepancies, lack of transparency, and inconsistencies in a company-wide plan can lead to shadow accounting, erosion of trust, demotivation, and eventually, top performers moving on. This problem could be relegated to the garbage can of systems past when you harness the technology of a one-stop-shop automated ICM solution.
In short, it’s a single platform to manage, distribute and plan commission effectively, which also offers critical access and real-time participation to your sales team. Intel from existing users of the Varicent solution says it all; a ninety percent reduction on time spent trying to sort out compensation schemes matched a ninety percent improvement in payment accuracy. Throw in a sixty percent decrease in shadow accounting activities, and it’s clear this piece of technology means business.
3. Managing, Reporting, and Planning
Without reliable reporting, metrics, and analytics, none of the above is even possible. The power that can be provided by a first-class sales technology platform cannot be underestimated. Having an instant gateway to all information about a product, person or team allows every manager to carry out more informed and helpful performance reviews, set clearer objectives and KPIs while also planning. This forward-thinking approach can be supported by augmented intelligence technology such as Symon.AI, which doesn’t just chuck out reams of data and dashboards – it turns it into predictive information when you want to present, “what if” scenarios and plan future projects while understanding possible risk.
Cost-efficient, Streamlined, Easy: Time to Make the Technology Leap
Even if you’re fairly certain that this is the route you want to take, there will of course be concerns. What about training and onboarding? Well, any vendor worthy of your time will not only provide a full demo but a complete training program and ongoing technical support.
Will any of this clever technology in any way threaten the role and value of our human colleagues? Of course not. The SPM solution that you choose will free up many of your best people from the cumbersome and time-consuming admin jobs that take up so much time, so that’s a big tick for efficiency right there. Also, when used in the way it’s intended, this technology is an aid and not a replacement for the influence and contributions of a real person.
During this time of remote working when we’ve all quickly adapted to video conferencing, shared networks, and online learning, take a moment today to discover how Varicent’s SPM solutions can transform your sales business for tomorrow.