Sales Performance Management

Case study: Driving effective sales performance with today’s SPM solutions

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Organizations are fast realizing the value sales performance management (SPM) solutions are bringing to the table in terms of increased sales performance and operational efficiencies. However, today’s SPM  software should not only improve sales performance and operational efficiencies with better incentive compensation plans, but should also help align sales with corporate goals. Ideally, sales leaders can manage and maximize performance, while sales people can concentrate on the most important opportunities. They should also be able to get fast insights with advanced analytics from across multiple internal systems. The end user experience should provide simplicity, self-service, automation and transparency.

Complex sales incentive system built for another era

An exact case in point is Austrian media company HEROLD Business Data GmbH, which struggled with a complex sales incentive system built for another era. A lack of transparency, labor-intensive manual processes and inflexible systems slowed sales planning and stymied efforts to sell digital products.

Sales reps were discouraged and disincentivized by outmoded commission structures. Sales leaders were unable to easily identify and appropriately reward performance. Without help from IT, it was time-consuming to update key performance indicators (KPIs) and to introduce new plans during a sales cycle.

HEROLD turned to IBM Business Partner BIConcepts IT Consulting GmbH, headquartered in Vienna, Austria. With BIConcepts, HEROLD ran a short pilot program and quickly integrated two IBM solutions – Incentive Compensation Management (ICM), and Planning Analytics – into their IT environment.

With highly precise, automated planning and commissions tools, HEROLD reenergized both its sales planning and its sales force.

With the two new solutions deployed, HEROLD cut planning time by up to 95% and boosted daily sales of subscription online services orders by 25%. They also saw 70% fewer complaints from sales people. (Read the entire case study here).

HEROLD turned to IBM Business Partner BIConcepts IT Consulting GmbH, headquartered in Vienna, Austria. With BIConcepts, HEROLD ran a short pilot program and quickly integrated two IBM solutions – Incentive Compensation Management (ICM), and Planning Analytics – into their IT environment.

HEROLD’s new system automatically imports data from the company’s ERP, HR and CRM systems, rapidly and accurately calculating commissions. It delivers much-appreciated transparency through user-friendly, individualized dashboards.

Sales campaign planning times cut from days to an hour
With ICM and Planning Analytics, sales campaign planning times have been cut from several days to about one hour. New sales plans can be created and implemented quickly in response to market situations and corporate direction. The ICM solution has a high-powered calculation engine that HEROLD uses to make faster, more precise computations.

The new system also helps HEROLD foster more digital sales, which allows them to better predict revenues and streamline sales teams. The company has taken the opportunity to align sales incentives with corporate goals and to examine individual sales rep performance – which in turn helps the firm focus on performers with strong KPIs.

Better sales performance management
With a recent reallocation of resources in the sales force, the company focused on building a lean and efficient team. Overall, HEROLD is able to drive more effective sales performance with sales performance management solutions that deliver greater accuracy, transparency, agility and speed.

About IBM ICM
IBM Incentive Compensation Management helps organizations improve sales performance and gain operational efficiencies with better management of incentive compensation plans, and smarter administration of sales territories and quotas.

Senior Product Portfolio Manager, Sales Performance Management

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