By Richard Lefebvre on Sep 04, 2012
During the London Olympics, we were exposed to dozens of athletes who worked with sports psychologists to maximize their performance. Executives often hire business psychologists to coach their teams to excellence. In the same vein, Fusion Incentive Compensation can be used to get people to change their sales behavior so we can make our numbers.
But what about using incentive compensation solutions in a non-sales scenario to drive change? Recently, I was working an opportunity where a company was having a low user adoption rate for Salesforce.com, which was causing problems for them. I suggested they use Fusion Incentive Comp to change the reps' behavior. We tossed around the idea of tracking user adoption by creating a variable bonus for reps based on how well they forecasted revenues in the new system. Another thought was to reward the reps for how often they logged into the system or for the percentage of leads that became opportunities and turned into revenue. A new twist on a great product.
Fusion CRM's Sweet Spot
I'm excited about the sales performance management (SPM) tools in Fusion CRM. This trio of Incentive Compensation, Territory Management, and Quota Management sets us apart from the competition because Oracle is the only vendor that provides all three of these capabilities on a single tech stack, in a single application, and with a single look and feel. The niche vendors offer standalone territory or incentive compensation solutions, but then the customer has to custom build the other tools and can end up with a Frankenstein-type environment.
On average, companies overpay sales commissions by three to eight percent. You calculate that number for a company the size of Oracle for one quarter and it makes a pretty air-tight financial case for using SPM tools to figure accurate commissions. Plus when sales reps get the right compensation, they can be out selling rather than spending precious time figuring out what they didn't get paid or looking for another job.
And one more thing ... Oracle knows incentive comp. We have been a Gartner Market Scope leader in this space for the last five years. Our solution gets high marks because of its scalability and because of its interoperability with other technologies. And now that we're leading with Fusion, our incentive compensation offering includes the innovations that the Fusion team built, plus enhancements from the E-Business Suite Incentive Comp team. It's a case of making a good thing even better. (See product video.)
The "Wedge" Apps
In a number of accounts that I'm working on, there is a non-Oracle CRM system of record. That gives me the perfect opportunity to introduce the benefits of our SPM tools and to get the customer using Fusion. Then the door is wide open for the company to uptake more of Fusion CRM, especially since all the integrations they need are out of the box. I really believe that implementing this wedge of SPM tools is the ticket to taking market share away from other vendors. It allows us to insert ourselves in an environment where no other CRM solution in the market has the extending capabilities of Fusion.
Not Just Your Usual Suspects
Usually the stakeholders that I talk to for Territory Management are tightly aligned with the sales management team. When I sell the quota planning tool, I'm talking to finance people on the ERP side of the house who are measuring quotas and forecasting revenue. And then Incentive Comp is of most interest to the sales operations people, and generally these people roll up to either HR or the payroll department.
I think of our Fusion SPM tools as a three-legged stool straddling an organization's Sales, Finance, and HR departments. So when you're prospecting for opportunities -- yes, people with a CRM perspective will be very interested -- but don't limit yourselves to that constituency.
You might find stakeholders in accounting, revenue planning, or HR compensation teams. You just might discover, as I did at United Airlines, that the HR organization is spearheading the CRM project because incentive compensation is what they need ... and they're the ones with the budget.
Global Solutions Manager, Fusion CRM Sales Planning