Looking to increase your revenue while motivating your salespeople to be the best that they can be? It’s time you got started with sales performance management (SPM). In today’s competitive landscape, effective SPM will not only give you an edge when it comes to hitting your sales forecasts but will also help you retain your best-performing sales stars and help everyone in the team reach peak performance.
What is Sales Performance?
What is Sales Performance Management?
Understanding the Importance of Sales Performance Management
It might seem odd to talk about the importance of sale performance management - surely it’s obvious: if sales are going up, and you’re hitting target, your team must be performing well. Equally, if they aren't hitting target, they aren't performing or doing a good job.
The situation is usually more complicated. While it's easy to kick back at the end of a sales year and say 'we blew our number of the water, we're the greatest,' the best sales managers will spend some time understanding why to give themselves the greatest chance of repeating the same feat next year.
Despite some teams being successful and others not, it isn't always clear why that's the case - otherwise, all sales teams would be successful, right? Assuming that capable and motivated salespeople staff all sales teams, the success of one team compared with another could be down to several factors.
One reason might be one team had a more realistic quota compared with another. If both teams have the same quota, but one targets a sector where order values are typically lower, then one team will have to work harder to be as successful. Equally, that sector might value a problem you can solve less valuably than other sectors, forcing one team to work harder than another. Maybe the difference is that one team has figured out how to engage more effectively with its customers.
While it may be easy - even gratifying for some - to say one team is better than another, the reality is that there may be a range of variables that need to be understood, especially the needs and interests of customers and how they buy.
Sales performance management can help you identify and resolve these issues so that you clearly understand why sales performance between teams and individuals may vary wildly. Sometimes it's down to the salesperson, and sometimes it isn't.
What are the Components of Sales Performance Management?
Benefits of Sales Performance Management
Five Keys to Successful Sales Performance Management
What to Look for in Sales Performance Management Software
Implementing Sales Performance Management in Your Organization
There are a range of technology solutions that can help you start your SPM journey. Let's explore some of the capabilities you can make use of.
Integrated Data Management
The data analytics that is central to delivering SPM requires a central database integrated into a range of data sources that can help you understand the dynamics and trends that underpin your sales performance. These applications likely cover your CRM platforms, eCommerce systems, finance systems, and other applications that can be used to provide the insight you need.
Effective SPM demands high performance data analytics to capture and synthesize the complete picture of all the issues that impact your sales performance. This analytics process is the ultimate search for a needle in a haystack exercise, as the insight will be spread among millions, if not billions, of data points. This demands scalability, which means extensive automation for several reasons. It’s often the sales managers, sales operations teams, and marketing teams that lead SPM projects. These employees are rarely trained data scientists, so automation is a critical way to bridge the gaps between their commercial experience and the deep expertise needed in SPM data analytics. They don't need to be subject matter experts in data analytics, but they need to be able to look in the right places and ask the right questions to get the answers that will help them improve their sales performance quickly and cost-effectively.
SPM is rarely a project managed and delivered by one person, however experienced and senior. To get the right results, you need several perspectives. Sales operations teams will see the world differently than the marketing team, while the sales leadership team will have an eye to making the final management decisions.
It’s critical that everyone can review the results, annotate them, manipulate them, and share them so that a consensus view of a company's challenges and opportunities can emerge. Easy-to-use and easy-to-configure workflow tools make delivering this key capability a dream, without the need for technical expertise or coding skills.