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Address sales performance challenges by enabling companies to better manage performance, motivate behaviors, and mentor...

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"Oracle Leads the Pack" in the Forrester Wave™: Sales Performance Management

Forrester has named Oracle as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Sales Performance Management Solutions, Q1 2019, with the highest score in the Current Offering category. In January 2019, Forrester released The Forrester Wave™: Sales Performance Management Solutions, Q1 2019 and named Oracle’s SPM solution as a Leader. Oracle believes being named a leader validates customers choice in Oracle Sales Performance Management. Forrester states “Oracle has an excellent end to end solution,” and “With the recent release of Oracle Sales Planning, Oracle has enhanced its modeling capabilities, allowing customers to optimize plans across SPM, customer experience (CX), HCM, and ERP.” Forrester notes that “the platform’s ability to turn large data sets into recommendations through ML is its biggest differentiator.” The Forrester Wave™: Sales Performance Management was authored by Mary Shea and evaluated the 8 most significant SPM providers. Companies around the globe leverage Oracle SPM to better manage performance, better motivate behavior, and better mentor best practices – ultimately helping to maximize the performance of the sales force. You can access the full Forrester report here: The Forrester Wave: Sales Performance Management Solutions, Q1 2019 Report Learn more about our product here: Oracle Sales Performance Management.

Forrester has named Oracle as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Sales Performance Management Solutions, Q1 2019, with the highest score in the Current Offering category. In January 2019, Forrester...

SPM

2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management, places Oracle as a Leader, four years in a row

Gartner has named Oracle as a Leader in the 2019 Gartner Sales Performance Management Magic Quadrant for the fourth year running! Oracle experiences very high adoption by its customer for all the core SPM capabilities – incentive compensation, territory and quote management. Companies around the globe leverage Oracle's comprehensive and innovative solution to improve sales effectiveness and exceed revenue goals. You can access the full Gartner report here: 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management Oracle CX Sales offers the most complete and innovative Sales Performance Management, Partner Relationship Management, Customer Data Management, and Sales Productivity solutions to meet your entire sales needs. Learn more about Oracle Sales Performance Management. Disclaimer: This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Source: Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management, Melissa Hilbert, Adnan Zijadic, 14 January 2019.

Gartner has named Oracle as a Leader in the 2019 Gartner Sales Performance Management Magic Quadrant for the fourth year running! Oracle experiences very high adoption by its customer for all the core...

Sales Planning

Oracle Sales Planning Cloud Deep Dive

Join us for a deep dive into the new Oracle Sales Planning Cloud: According to a survey by WorldAtWork, only 28% of companies have incentive compensation plans, territories, and quotas ready on day one of a new fiscal year. Oracle Sales Planning Cloud helps organizations get their sales plans out on day one, so sales reps clearly know who to sell to and what to sell in order to maximize their variable compensation. Using Oracle Sales Planning Cloud enables you to reduce errors by eliminating spreadsheets in key sales operations processes and improves collaboration by breaking down informational silos. Oracle Sales Planning Cloud is fully configurable using the EPM Cloud framework. The application can quickly be configured in a matter of minutes by enabling the most common planning flows. The application is also fully extensible, so that any planning spreadsheet can be completely automated. The application provides both a web interface, and also a connecter within Microsoft Excel to allow live updates directly within Excel. Oracle Sales Planning Cloud can be integrated with Oracle Sales Cloud for pulling the latest set of accounts, sales reps and products and then pushing calculated quota targets to incentive compensation. Join us for a deep dive into the new Oracle Sales Planning Cloud! Date and Time: January 15, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am Pacific Time https://cloudcustomerconnect.oracle.com/posts/359ebb4504

Join us for a deep dive into the new Oracle Sales Planning Cloud: According to a survey by WorldAtWork, only 28% of companies have incentive compensation plans, territories, and quotas ready on day one...

Sales Crediting and Why it Matters - Written by Sarah Wright

One of the most impactful ways of automating an incentive compensation process is something people often forget, or assume cannot be automated. Some customers refer to this as pre-processing or territory management or payment rules or book of business or simply my biggest HEADACHE. Most customers manage the process manually or with highly custom, hard-coded jobs maintained by an IT team. At Oracle, we call this process sales crediting and we have found a way to solve this problem. The concept of sales crediting refers to the process of determining who gets credit for a certain event. In the context of a sales organization, an example would be: after an order is booked, the sales rep who sold the order gets credit for the sale. In some cases, this is a very straightforward process. However, in the reality of complex organizations today, often times the answer to “who gets credit?” is not so straightforward. As an example, a current customer compensates, on average, nine individuals on a single transaction. They have inside sales reps, field reps, sales managers, account executives, product specialists, technical specialists, industry experts, project leaders, etc. that often work together to close a single deal. How do we know each of them should receive credit? And how much credit? Customers like this utilize Oracle’s unique capabilities with the Incentive Compensation solution to manage this process in an automated fashion. Within Oracle’s Incentive Compensation solution, we have a robust crediting engine that automates the process of managing crediting rules. This engine is unique to our solution and a concept our customers are leveraging more and more. Our solution also includes an intuitively designed user interface that gives customers the ability to manage all of their crediting rules in a simple, easy to manage hierarchy. There is great flexibility in how customers can define their rules in order to accommodate extensive complexity. The incentive compensation process often starts with an anonymous transaction, meaning we cannot identify credit receivers (individuals who earn credit) from the data contained on the transaction. As an example, we get an order transaction that contains the following information: Order Number: 123, Revenue: $50,000, Customer: ABC, Inc., Date of Sale: 4/1/2015, Product Sold: Red Widgets. We do not know who sold the order or who should ultimately receive credit. However, there are business rules in place for this. Let say John Smith is the account owner of ABC, Inc. and every time an order is booked for that account, he gets credit. Additionally, so does his boss and his inside sales counterpart. Our solution will take in this transaction and process it through the defined business credit rules and determine all three individuals should receive credit. In modern, complex organizations, these rules and definitions get exponentially complicated. The process of mana ging them manually is arduous and costly. One of our most complex customers compensates an average 42 resources per transaction and worked hand in hand with Oracle to implement our sales crediting technology. This customer had a $15M spend on processes related to variable compensation and it identified managing sales crediting as two-thirds of that spend. Once they implemented Oracle’s solution, they were able to cut their administrative costs in half. Oracle’s unique solution to this problem is helping customers across industries cut costs and better align their sales crediting rules and incentive programs with their organizational goals and objectives.

One of the most impactful ways of automating an incentive compensation process is something people often forget, or assume cannot be automated. Some customers refer to this as pre-processing or...

Modifying Sales Behavior Using Oracle SPM - Written by Tyrice Johnson

One of the key metrics in evaluating the strength of a business is growth. Growth can come from an increase in revenue or increase in market cap for a business. In order to facilitate growth, senior management of these organizations create strategic goals and initiatives for their workforce to carry out. Many of these initiatives are targeted around sales and growing revenue. Therefore, the performance of the sales organization and all other departments associated receives more scrutiny. To motivate these teams behavior, companies utilize elements such as competitive compensation plans, sales contests, incentives, and job security and more to drive performance. It should come as no surprise that many of these same organizations are not satisfied with their results. 48% of companies are not satisfied with their compensation plans, 61% are not satisfied with the sales productivity, and 66% are dissatisfied with their incentive programs . So how do you fix this problem? The answer lies in understanding what drives people to do what they do, behavioral psychology. Behavioral psychology is the study and altering of behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. If we can understand what drives the behavior of our workforce, then we can utilize different mechanisms to influence the right behavior to meet our business goals and objectives. This ideology is a core principle of the Oracle Sales Performance Management (SPM) suite. Oracle SPM houses a behavior modification engine that enables organizations to align strategic goals with the performance of their workforce. Customers using Oracle SPM have seen success in handling their commissions, royalties, truck driver pay, non-cash rewards, and more. The engine is where senior management can match art with science and explore new ways to drive behavior. This model coupled with a suite of applications that are audit-able, scalable, and flexible provide relevant analytics to create a more performant organization. The growth and success of businesses depends on the behavior of their organizations workforce. Variable compensation typically represents the largest line item on most businesses balance sheets. Thus, organizations tend to focus an immense amount of time thinking about gaining better results from their sales force. Unfortunately, year after year many of these companies have not been satisfied with the results of these sales teams. Our customers have experienced different outcomes by placing a deeper focus on driving behavior with Oracle SPM. Oracle SPM is the only end-to-end performance management suite designed with a behavior modification engine that enables management to better manage, better motivate, and better mentor your workforce.    

One of the key metrics in evaluating the strength of a business is growth. Growth can come from an increase in revenue or increase in market cap for a business. In order to facilitate growth,...

Driving Sales Behavior Using an Estimator Tool

The objective of a good incentive compensation plan is to reward the sales representatives who meet and exceed their sales goals. Typically sales measures are based on revenue and or profitability, but there might also be additional expectations such as promoting certain products. Sales Reps usually find out what their incentive earnings are after the fact; after the order is booked or the product is sold, and processed through the commission application. However, if sales reps have the ability to project potential earnings and their expected attainment they can make informed decisions about where to focus their sales efforts. Key Benefits of Estimating Commission and Bonus:   Deal Prioritization: Using real-time data helps sales to focus sales activity and to structure opportunities to maximize payout. CRM Adoption: Increase use of your sales application by providing estimation based on leads and opportunities in the pipeline. Drive Sales Behavior: Providing this visibility, and helping participants prioritize their efforts, will help organizations to drive desired sales behavior. It also helps participants align their objectives with those of their company. Providing a tool to estimate incentives helps sales reps to understand the outcome of any transaction based on the expected revenue (and margin). The best tools use current compensation plans and actual attainment and earnings as a basis for these estimates. By estimating potential compensation against pipeline opportunities, sales reps can determine where to focus their efforts so they can meet their goals and earn their target incentives. If the compensation plan is well designed and aligned with corporate strategy, evaluating current opportunities and focusing on deals that provide optimum results means your organization can achieve its desired sales goals. For example, the organization has designed compensation plans to promote a certain product line or focus on profit margin for your flag-ship products. When sales reps estimate his opportunities he will discover that his earning potential and quota attainment is greater for one deal versus another. This drives him to pursue that opportunity, by putting forth his best efforts. Key Factors That Drive Estimator Tool User Adoption:   Ability to instantly see what their commission might be for any sale before the sale is final. Ability to adjust the price, profit margin etc, or provide alternate products and check revised commission. Calculations are based on the current plan to which the sales rep is assigned. Calculations use current attainment levels so accelerated rates are used, if applicable – this is crucial. Launching Estimation:   A simple and easy-to-use interface, where users can run estimation based on prospective deals. A web service that can be plugged-in to an opportunity or a quote module in your SFA applications. Summary: The ability to estimate incentives is a major motivational factor in the sales cycle, giving sales representatives the impetus to push deals through and achieve a higher momentum. “Commission Forecasting” ability motivates, and educates sales in “Corporate Sales Strategy” that is incorporated into their sales commission plans and aligns them closer to corporate goals. Product Note: Oracle Sales Cloud provides the ability to estimate earnings based on current sales opportunities. This includes an Estimated Compensation feature as well as a web service. The feature provides an easy to use interface where sales reps can estimate their potential earnings and attainment by keying in their pipeline deals. The web service can be launched from a variety of places. It utilizes the same calculation data, such as current plan, attainment and earnings, regardless of where it is launched from. Click the demo link for further information: Estimating Compensation

The objective of a good incentive compensation plan is to reward the sales representatives who meet and exceed their sales goals. Typically sales measures are based on revenue and or profitability,...

Modern Sales Performance Management – How to Create a More Performant Sales Organization

Written by Monica Raofpur and David Goltz. Both authors are Cloud CRM Sales Consultants specializing in SPM and Incentive Compensation. “90% of sales organizations say that sales execution is among their top five corporate priorities.” Companies across the globe establish a variety of unique goals and objectives for their sales organizations, yet a common goal persists: To maximize the performance of salespeople and improve sales execution. But how well are companies achieving this goal today? Unfortunately, many organizations struggle to accomplish the performance and organizational outcomes they expect. Furthermore, many organizations lack the tools and resources to drive behavior and align sales execution with corporate goals. Recent studies indicate that there are three main challenges facing today’s sales organizations. Lost Opportunities: Imagine taking 5-10% of your company’s annual sales and throwing it out the window. According to Gartner Research, companies are essentially doing just that and losing opportunities that could have been won with an effective Sales Performance Management (SPM) tool. Managers simply do not have the visibility they need to help mentor their salespeople, which results in lost opportunities and missed revenue. Inaccurate Forecasts: CSO Insights recently found that less than 47% of the opportunities that are committed in sales forecasts actually close. In other words, a salesperson’s odds at beating the casino in black jack are better than the accuracy of his or her forecasts. Failed Results: Harvard Business Review found that companies pay out over $800 billion for variable compensation within the U.S. annually. That is larger than the budgets for the U.S. Social Security Administration and Department of Defense, and three times larger than the annual advertising spend in the U.S. Yet, 48% of incentive plans do not achieve desired results. There must be a better way. With Oracle SPM, companies can systematically address these challenges. Sales organizations can use Oracle SPM to efficiently and effectively drive behavior and improve sales execution to maximize sales performance and organizational outcomes. Oracle SPM makes this possible by enabling a three-step approach. Better Manage Performance: As soon as new resources (internal and external) are on-boarded into the sales organization, managers should be thinking about how to create efficient growth paths for them. With Oracle SPM’s coaching tools, managers can assign appropriate goals and milestones to reps and encourage collaboration to streamline their growth process. Oracle SPM also has sophisticated territory and quota management capabilities to help define your go-to-market universe. Additionally, SPM can be used in conjunction with your Sales Force Automation (SFA) tool to increase the quality of your data, manage pipeline, and create more accurate forecasts. Better Motivate Behaviors: If managers can motivate reps to focus on the goals and objectives of the organization, imagine the growth possibilities for your company. It is important to get reps thinking about achieving success, which is measured by both lagging and leading indicators. To drive reps to achieve lagging measures, organizations often leverage incentives, in the form of commissions, bonuses, and SPIFs. Since leading measures may not warrant these types of incentives, Gamification can be used to motivate to motivate lagging measures. Gamification uses game mechanics to award points and badges to reps based on performance. Oracle SPM’s Gamification tool also provides stack rankings in the form of leader boards where reps can earn non cash rewards when they reach specific achievement levels. Oracle SPM has everything you need to motivate reps’ behavior, including sophisticated Gamification capabilities. Better Mentor Best Practices: Top sales performers are often promoted into sales management roles. However, successful selling skills do not always translate to successful management skills and competent leadership is critical to all sales organizations. Most salespeople (including top performers) benefit from being coached and mentored throughout their careers. Every organization has star performers, average performers, and below-average performers. The key is to better mentor best practices by identifying the qualities in star performers and coaching below-average performers to adopt those qualities. With Oracle SPM, managers can include best practices in sales appraisals to better coach and measure your reps’ performance and growth. Managers can also tie everything together with coaching scorecards to get an unbiased view into sales reps’ performance. Oracle’s cloud-based Sales Performance Management (SPM) application provides an end-to-end solution directly focused on improving the performance of salespeople. With Oracle SPM, companies can efficiently and effectively address the challenges facing today’s sales organizations. Additionally, Oracle SPM equips companies with the tools and resources to drive behavior and align sales execution with corporate goals so that salespeople can blow out their numbers. Oracle SPM is the only complete solution in the market that allows you to better manage performance, better motivate behaviors, and better mentor best practices of your salespeople.       References 1. Ovidian Survey (2013) 2. Gartner Marketscope for Sales Incentive Compensation Management Software (March 2010) 3. CSO Insights, Sales Performance Survey (2013) 4. Harvard Business Review,Motivating Salespeople: What Really Works,” (July-August 2012) 5. Data vs. Instinct, Performing Global Sales Performance by The Economist Intelligence Unit (2012) 6. Lagging indicators refer to post-sale events such as bookings, product sales, revenue, etc., which are usually tied to incentives because they are usually financial transactions that bring in cash or budget. Leading indicators refer to pre-sale activities such as prospecting, forecasting, etc., which are not necessarily tied to money or revenue, but these are the behaviors organizations want to drive, since they directly impact lagging indicators.

Written by Monica Raofpur and David Goltz. Both authors are Cloud CRM Sales Consultants specializing in SPM and Incentive Compensation. “90% of sales organizations say that sales execution is among...

What is Sales Performance Management?

The term “Sales Performance Management” (SPM) includes three key words: “Sales”, “Performance”, and “Management”. Re-arranging the order of these words, e.g. the management of sales, or managing performance of your sales force, etc., provides a clearer picture of what this is all about. In 2014 SPM is much more than it was in 2010 and prior. Earlier, SPM was generally thought to be three applications. While Territory Management, Quota Management, and Sales Commission products are still the underlying foundation of SPM, there is much more involved. It’s everything to do with sales people and sales processes. SPM includes the entire SFA process as well as ‘HCM’ aspects in the context of sales processes. Sales Managers do not care which applications provide key information needed to run their organizations – they just simply want the information to make better decisions. For the sales force it includes:   Intelligent and timely commission reporting to reduce shadow accounting and increase selling time Projecting or estimating future commission or bonus to help drive CRM adoption Driving sales strategy by providing an estimator to help prioritize deals based on actual current compensation plan earnings     Assuming your compensation plans truly drive corporate strategy Social collaboration which can be used for working deals, communicating compensation plan information, team communication, etc. For sales managers it includes: A direct line of sight to current attainment and pay for their directs – when their directs succeed the manager succeeds, both financially and otherwise Accurate Forecasts Methods to help their direct reports retention, growth, and drive behavior through     Coaching     Managing sales activities     Training     Gamification (which may include elements of activities, training, CRM Adoption, mentoring, etc.) SPM is what helps your sales organization blowout their numbers. How you implement SPM within your company depends on many factors; the size of your sales force, the industry, the tools, the data available, and your creativity. This blog includes an example of creating a Coaching dashboard using sales activities and various metrics. We’ll follow-up with several SPM type examples over the next couple of months. Using Your Incentive Application for Sales Coaching In this example, activities and tasks, customer retention, and sales stage metrics are used by the incentive compensation plan to calculate a scorecard. Activities, tasks, and opportunity data is fed into the commission application. Each set of data (scorecard category) is tracked by separate performance measures in the compensation plan. Each performance result (score) is weighted and used to determine the final score which is the earning outcome. Notice the earning is not an amount, it is the score. Regular commission and bonus can also be included in the same plan. The difference here is that scorecard measure results are used by reporting. Commission and bonus is paid out of the incentive application. Scorecard results are presented to sales as a Coaching Scorecard dashboard. The dashboard is viewable by the sales team and sales managers. Managers use scorecard results to help guide the low scorers. They have their star performers mentor newbies; they coach the non-achievers with focused advice based on their measured results, and training where results are lacking. Scorecard results help sales managers devise plans to find answers for what makes team 'stars' successful and use this knowledge to drive better performance for their underachievers.

The term “Sales Performance Management” (SPM) includes three key words: “Sales”, “Performance”, and “Management”. Re-arranging the order of these words, e.g. the management of sales, or managing...

Accruing Commission and Bonus Expenses

Organizations need to understand how their commission and bonus expenses impact their financials. Generally companies book accruals to best understand that impact. Using an automated system, such as Oracle Sales Cloud Incentive Compensation can streamline this process. Typically, commissions and bonuses are paid after the actual sale is made. However, most companies need to determine such expenses in the period they are incurred in order to report their monthly or quarterly profits. This is known as the ‘Matching Principle’ in accounting. Here is a definition of the Matching Principle from the Accounting Coach Dictionary: “The principle that requires a company to match expenses with related revenues in order to report a company's profitability during a specified time interval, ideally, the matching is based on a cause and effect relationship: sales causes the cost of goods sold expense and the sales commissions expense.” Quite often, commission and bonus accruals are determined in the following manner:Actual data used for calculating commissions and bonuses is used for the accrual. For example, calculation is run on the first day of the following month or interval for which sales were incurred, and earning results are used to book the accrual amount in the general ledger (GL). The amount sent to the GL will typically vary from the final expense paid because, during the following months (or quarters), adjustments and cancellations are received and processed along with the original actuals. The difference is then added as an adjusting entry for the period. Companies manage accrual forecasting in many different ways. If a company does not understand the requisite factors for financial reporting, it can result in a significant impact to the company’s earnings. A very simple way to forecast is to take the actual expense from the first few periods in the current year, and project that amount across the remaining months for the year. Albeit overly simplistic, it’s easy to create a data set in this manner using reports or Excel. Other companies base accruals on the previous year’s revenue, with a growth factor based on current sales activity and market conditions. The challenge with this approach is that prior year comparisons may be unpredictable due to market changes, company acquisitions, product changes, and new competition. Some organizations apply complex models or algorithms on top of opportunity data. If your incentive solution is automated, then why not be creative? The first question to ask is what about the data? What kind of transactions do you use for forecasting accruals? And what kind of data is used to calculate commissions and bonuses? Companies are unique, and those sources are almost always different from organization to organization. However, when you have a flexible application there are different approaches you can take to manage this process. Here are a couple of examples of how Incentive Compensation customers have leveraged the accrual and forecast accrual process within their solution. Customer Example One Comp Plan commission/bonus is cumulative for the year (attainment/quota). Earnings are paid out each quarter based on rate of attainment for the year. Payments are trued up (reconciled) each quarter towards annual earn rate. Two pay components are used, one to track actual earnings and payment, the second to track accruals. The same data (booked orders) drives both commission accrual costs and actuals. There are two earning types associated to the performance measures; monetary, and non-monetary. Monetary earnings and payments are processed and sent to payroll and accounts payable. Non-monetary earnings are processed and results are used for accruals every month. Attainment and earnings aren’t included in payments or participant balances. Accounting Codes are tracked at the product group level and included in the accrual report. Customer Example Two Commission payments are calculated and paid every month based on booked order transactions. This customer set up identical performance measures (non-monetary) and processes orders which are used for payment and opportunities with a close probability greater than 75%, which are used for forecasting costs. They have developed a report that tracks accruals compared to actual costs by month, and export those accruals to Excel to be used for journal entries. This customer has also created a powerful report that compares the forecasted accrual rate, month over month, based on closed opportunities against the projected close. An even more accurate way to forecast accruals might be to leverage Monte Carlo simulations. This approach can help predict those times when sales costs might increase significantly due to new compensation plan design. (More about Monte Carlo later)

Organizations need to understand how their commission and bonus expenses impact their financials. Generally companies book accruals to best understand that impact. Using an automated system, such as Or...