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

  • June 17, 2014

What is Sales Performance Management?

Guest Author

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.

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