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Sales compensation management: are you driven to succeed?

Sales compensation should be one of the most powerful tools sales managers use to drive performance and revenue growth.

Well-designed and well-managed compensation plans serve to align sales representatives with the goals of the company, clearly identify the metrics by which each representative will be measured and rewarded, and motivate the sales team to meet and exceed quota targets.

But most companies use spreadsheets to manage sales compensation. These systems generate more pain than they do performance. Compensation plans are difficult to develop and manage, the commission calculation and approval process can take weeks and as a result commission payment and reporting and analysis is delayed. Add to that the real and perceived errors associated with these systems, and you can understand why survey results show that over 65% of sales executives believe their sales compensation systems do little to drive performance or affect behavior.

In fact, according to industry analysts, sales performance and productivity can actually suffer when sales compensation is managed on spreadsheets. Sales representatives lose trust in the accuracy of their commission payments, so they waste valuable selling time "shadow accounting"--maintaining their own spreadsheets to reconcile with their commission statement. Payment disputes become commonplace, morale is diminished and employee retention issues arise.

The "pain" associated with managing sales commissions and driving sales performance was an issue that Lillian Paratore, senior financial analyst at Psion Teklogix, was experiencing, and one she was determined to fix. As a leading provider of rugged mobile computing systems serving over 80 countries, Psion Teklogix has commissionable sales people spread all over the globe. The complexity associated with their sales compensation plans required a separate spreadsheet for each and every commissionable employee. According to Paratore, "it took us three weeks to calculate results and produce and distribute statements to the sales staff and to the accounting department for payment. Using spreadsheets to calculate compensation payments was only about eighty percent accurate."

Psion Teklogix put together an evaluation team and used the internet to research sales compensation management solutions. They found Centive, downloaded a white paper, and attended a web-based demonstration of Centive's award-winning on-demand sales compensation solution, Compel[R]. After evaluating a number of vendor solutions, Paratore's team selected Compel as the best solution to meet their current requirements and planned growth. Compel was selected for several reasons:

* AS AN ON-DEMAND SOLUTION, COMPEL REQUIRES NO HARDWARE OR SOFTWARE PURCHASE, NO LARGE UP FRONT LICENSE FEES, AND NO MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT FEES. INSTEAD, PSION TEKLOGIX WOULD PAY AN AFFORDABLE MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION FEE.

* COMPEL'S DASHBOARDS WOULD PROVIDE PSION TEKLOGIX'S SALES MANAGERS AND REPRESENTATIVES "UNPARALLELED" ACCESS TO REAL-TIME EARNINGS AND PERFORMANCE DATA.

* LILLIAN'S TEAM COULD CREATE, MODIFY, AND PUBLISH CUSTOM REPORTS WITHOUT ANY ASSISTANCE FROM THEIR IT DEPARTMENT.

* COMPEL'S EASE OF USE AND SUPPORT FOR AUTOMATING AND MANAGING COMPLEX PLAN RULES WOULD ENABLE ACCURACY TO SOAR TO 100%.

Psion Teklogix discovered that Compel is more than just a commission calculation tool; it's a strategic platform for modeling, managing, and optimizing sales compensation. Compel enables companies to leverage compensation as a true sales performance tool. Psion also learned that Compel integrates with CRM systems such as salesforce.com. This integration provides sales representatives and managers real-time visibility into not only actual earnings on their secure dashboards, but also potential earnings based on opportunities in each representative's pipeline. By automating this entire process--"From Prospect to Paycheck"--Compel keeps sales representatives focused, aligned, and motivated.

After the selection process, Psion Teklogix was up and running in parallel with its old system in a matter of weeks. After completing the parallel test (and realizing the accuracy rate of about 80% with their old process), Psion Teklogix went live with Compel. They are now achieving 100% accuracy and providing real-time visibility into key sales performance metrics for their sales team. The sales incentive process is fully automated, easy to manage, and supports their requirement for rigorous financial controls. Paratore found that, while Compel is a very robust sales compensation management solution, it is easy to learn and use and requires very little training to become self sufficient.

Compel, winner of the 2006 CODiE award for Best Financial Application, the 2007 Beagle Research CRM WizKids award, and the 2007 CRM Excellence award, can help you eliminate the pain associated with spreadsheet-based sales compensation management. To learn how Compel can help turn sales compensation into a sales performance took, visit www.centive.com or call 877-CENTIVE today. Sign up for a free webinar and see what Compel can do for you!
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Title Annotation:Centive
Publication:CRM Magazine
Date:Jun 1, 2007
Words:750
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