Sales Performance Management

It takes two: People and performance analytics for sales compensation

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Sales compensation dashboards are common, but they usually tell only half of the story. Two sides to your dashboard are available that can lead to growth: productivity metrics and people metrics, and looking at only one side gives you only half the picture.

Many organizations determine if their sales compensation plans are working by gathering ad hoc information and doing spot analytics. As I know in my work at SalesGlobe helping companies with strategy, sales innovation and incentive compensation, choosing among a multitude of possible metrics can be very challenging. Which ones are the right metrics to look at? Which will have the deepest impact on growth? And which provide the full sales organization performance picture—not just a surface-level evaluation?

For example, looking at quota distribution might indicate you have a quota allocation problem. However, a closer analysis can reveal that you actually have a productivity problem. This new interpretation can take you in a totally different direction in terms of plan design. When looking at a sales compensation program, look for what these five key productivity metrics can tell you:

  • Pay and performance alignment
  • Composition of pay
  • High-performer differentiation
  • Performance distribution
  • Year over year trends and patterns

The other side of the dashboard, the people side, is utilized less often, but it is the only way to complete the picture. This side tells you how the people in your organization are motivated by the plan, how it affects their behavior and the possible organization risks with the plan. You can also analyze the following five people metrics to see what they tell you:

  • Understanding of the strategy
  • Job role priorities
  • Perceived plan competitiveness
  • Perceived plan alignment
  • Motivational power

Combining both the productivity and the people side of the dashboard can tell you whether your team is performing as expected, whether its behaviors are driving the strategy of the organization and whether or not it is motivated to act in those strategic directions.

How do you select the right metrics? How do you interpret the data? How do you take action based on your data and lead your team to growth?

Founder and Managing Partner, SalesGlobe

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