Sales managers are probably the ones facing the greatest challenge in this period of recession. With reduced opportunities for top-line revenue growth, they now require effective measures to align and automate sales execution with organizational goals. This process requires a holistic approach that includes compensation management, process optimization, and data analysis.
, a Harte-Hanks
company providing research and market intelligence, notes that managing sales performance is a top three priority for a majority of companies.
Their recent study, “Optimizing Sales Performance Management through Data Integration and Analytics
,” demonstrates the value of collectively leveraging organizational practices in process, performance measurement, knowledge management, and technology to provide a foundation for sales success.
According to Ian Michiels, research director of Aberdeen's (News
) Customer Management Technologies Group, sales performance management (SPM) is not just about technology, but is about using the technology to support performance management practices and processes which tie operational execution to business objectives.
By leveraging the capabilities of technologies such as customer relationship management (CRM)/ Sales force automation (
SFA) solutions and incentive compensation management tools, best-in-class organizations are able to improve bid-to-win ratios and annual growth.
The study notes that a lack of automation can result in cumbersome and costlier processes. In order to facilitate a quick selling process, sales must be compensated with realistic incentives that are in line with the business strategy, and not wasting time on shadow accounting or selling the wrong products.
A holistic SPM approach, according to Aberdeen Group, uses elements of information classification and management
(ICM), process optimization, and business goals to identify exactly what products or services to sell, how to sell them, how to ‘incentivize’ the sales force to maximize the opportunity in the market.
Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi