Sales Performance Management

IBM highly ranked in Gartner Critical Capabilities for SPM 2019 Report

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Evaluating and selecting a Sales Performance Management (SPM) solution can seem like a daunting task when you have not been part of this process for other enterprise solutions in the past. Typically, when an organization is evaluating and selecting a new CRM, ERP, HRIS or other enterprise solutions, the task is assigned to the IT or systems group. However, it’s not uncommon for sales, HR or compensation leaders to be the functional team members that are identified as the best team for selecting an SPM solution. After all, it’s these functional teams that are the end users and also understand the business requirements the best.

But how do you get started? Many organizations turn to the analyst reports to review the research conducted on SPM, including Gartner.

Who is Gartner?

Gartner is one of the world’s leading information technology research and advisory firms providing technology-related insights necessary for organizations to make the best decisions in evaluating and selecting technology solutions that are critical to run their businesses.

How does Gartner define Sales Performance Management?

Gartner defines SPM as follows:

“Sales performance management (SPM) is a suite of operational and analytical functions that automate and unite back-office operational sales incentive processes. Front-end capabilities exposed to sales are supported, making SPM unique. It marries both back and front end to satisfy operational needs. At the same time, SPM provides an easy-to-navigate tool that gives insights to the sales force. SPM is implemented to improve both sales execution efficiency and operational effectiveness.”

The functions of an SPM solution can include the following:

  • Sales incentive compensation management
  • Quota management and planning
  • Territory management and planning
  • Advanced analytics — predictive and prescriptive, benchmarking insights, and machine learning (ML)/artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Objectives management
  • Gamification

Gartner publishes these two annual reports:

These two reports are commonly referenced by those learning about the various SPM vendors in the market and the products and services each vendor offers.

Consider these two reports together:

These two reports should be considered together. Although the Gartner Magic Quadrant for SPM provides some great insight into the various SPM vendors in the market, the methodology used to develop the Gartner Critical Capabilities for SPM report provides deeper insight into the SPM vendors product and services offerings by extending the Magic Quadrant analysis. It’s important that you have a comprehensive view of the analysis and the product and services rankings based on key capabilities and differentiating uses cases. This will help you gain a holistic view of the SPM vendors in the market and help support your strategic decision in evaluating and selecting the most suitable SPM solution for your business. Read my blog here explaining how IBM is positioned as one of the leaders in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for SPM 2019.

A focus of the Gartner Critical Capabilities for SPM 2019 report

As stated in the summary of the Gartner Critical Capabilities for SPM 2019 report:

“SPM solutions continue to evolve, and Gartner has evaluated the products of 11 vendors across four use cases and 11 critical capabilities. Application leaders supporting sales technology should use this research to help differentiate the capabilities of SPM vendors in their own evaluations.

IBM Sales Performance Management highly ranked

IBM continues to rank at or near the top for SPM. In the full report, you can learn:

  • Gain deeper insights into the SPM vendor product and service offerings
  • Understand which products and services are a best fit for common usage scenarios
  • Conduct strategic planning and help you develop your RFP with the input of a comparative analysis of the SPM vendors, technology service offerings

The four use cases Gartner ranked are:

  • Incentive compensation
  • Quota management and planning
  • Territory management and planning
  • Objectives management

If you are in the process of evaluating and selecting the right vendor, then, we recommend you check out our SPM Buyers Guide to make an informed decision.

Senior Product Portfolio Manager, Sales Performance Management

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