Which SPM solution is right for you?
CNBC estimates that there are more than 15 million people in the sales industry in the United States—five percent of the population. From sales engineers to stockbrokers, they provide the cash flow, if not the lifeblood, for companies dealing in everything from software to footwear.
How well and accurately companies compensate their salespeople goes a long way in keeping them happy and productive. This is why a great many companies, sooner or later, turn to sales performance management (SPM) software to keep track of commissions accurately.
The need for sales performance management
The reasons companies large and small turn to SPM software are many. It could be that managing commission reporting with old school spreadsheets produces too many errors—and similar complaints from the sales staff. It could be that as incentive plans have become more complex and calculations are taking longer, requiring more staff to do them.
Whatever the reason, companies reliant on sales seek to automate their commission reporting process. The question is, which approach works best?
3 SPM solutions to choose from
There are three types of SPM solutions: out of the box, customizable, and configurable. Not surprisingly, the one that’s best for you depends upon your particular set of circumstances. Here’s a quick profile of the three options:
Out-of-the-box: As this term suggests, the solution will be ready to use immediately. There’s nothing extra you need to do; there’s no need to add special features. Your calculation and reporting needs are such that they fit well within the capabilities of the software. In short, you plug and play, calculate, and report. The downside is you end up adjusting the sales commission plan based on the limitations of a system, not on your business’ goals.
Customizable: In this case, your commission calculations and incentive plans are so complex and ever-changing that an off-the-shelf system would not work; you need a solution that scales! It would be best if you had enterprise-grade software with robust features. There are ample software companies that can come in and design a one-of-a-kind solution specifically for your plans and reporting. You’ll get exactly what you want but at a price.
Not to mention the ongoing costs, any changes or additions made to incentive compensation plans require the vendor to reconfigure your system to incorporate your changes. Depending upon your resources and how often you make changes, this can be quite costly and time-consuming.
Configurable: With this type of system, you’re getting software designed with a specific task in mind; incentive compensation management. These systems are easy to scale once implemented. Configurable systems help sales compensation managers self-service; create new reports, adjust plans, forecast, send out approvals, and, most importantly, calculate commission on time.
A Google search will reveal a variety of vendors to pick from, ranging from small businesses to large enterprises.
Performio: the best of both worlds
If you’re looking for a configurable solution, consider Performio sales commission software. Its sales performance, incentive compensation, and data management tools accurately calculate and report sales commissions, no matter how complicated the compensation plan.
Your salespeople receive timely, easy-to-read reports and leader-board rankings. Management quickly learns what incentives are working and which are not, as well as how salespeople are performing.
Miscalculations are mitigated, performance is elevated. A SaaS-based system, Performio has saved more than 500,000 administrative hours and calculated more than a billion dollars in commissions.