Client Stories

Colt races towards better sales performance with IBM

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Motivating sales teams with commission payments is central to many organizations’ success, and at Colt Technology Services we’re no different. In today’s unpredictable marketplace, it’s more important than ever to be able to adjust sales compensation programs in line with changes in strategy.

However, as we grew, it became more difficult to scale up and adapt our bespoke compensation system – hampering the way we incentivized our sales teams.

To prevent us getting overtaken by more agile and energized competitors, we began looking for a more flexible and transparent solution. We wanted a tool that we could change without external support, and that was cloud-based, so we didn’t have to purchase and maintain the underlying infrastructure.

On two occasions, we chose IBM Sales Performance Management. First, a few years ago, because it provided the optimal blend of reliability, functionality and intuitive use. And again, during our most recent tender, because it equaled the capabilities of the next-best option but at a significantly lower deployment cost.

IBM Sales Performance Management supports commission payments for 650 of our sales reps, and 200 agents. It allowed us to move to a top-down approach to setting targets to correspond with budget and business priorities, driving up efficiency and accuracy. Sales reps and managers benefit from more comprehensive reporting and every update to the solution introduces improvements to the look and feel of the system.

What’s more, with a more powerful sales commission system, a relatively lean team can service our needs as we expand. To illustrate, we added 150 reps to our commission plans when the company made an acquisition in Asia with no extra manpower, equating to a large cost saving.

Naturally, sales reps carefully check their compensation payments for each deal. As they are now 100 percent confident in the accuracy of our commissions system, any unexpectedly low payments point to an error elsewhere – for example, we can spot anomalies in our billing calculations.

The solution also provides a more detailed audit trail for our essential target-setting program, so we can easily identify the root of most problems. It sheds light on how much effort managers put into adjusting targets each year, so we can be sure that a crucial process is getting due attention.

Today, Colt’s sales compensation team can spend far less time on administration and focus instead on the bigger picture: strategy. Innovations such as new incentives can be put into action much faster, on a global scale. Already, we have introduced league tables to highlight our best performers; including some gamification. With IBM Sales Performance Management, we have the time and control to be imaginative when it comes to getting the best out of our sales force.

Read the case study for more details about Colt Technology Services.

Learn More about IBM Sales Performance Management.

Sales Compensation Director at Colt Technology Services

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