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

  • July 23, 2014

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

Guest Author

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.




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.

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