Top Reporting Hacks for Sales Compensation Professionals

Every company strives to create a high-performance sales culture in their organization. Developing such dynamic learning improves performance, increases payouts to sales representatives, makes clients happy and promotes the growth of a profitable and healthy company.

If you’re looking to create this kind of dynamic, high-performance sales culture in your company, research has shown you need to use seven critical attributes as building blocks.

  1. High-performance teams have a culture of accountability.
  2. An atmosphere of healthy competition exists within the company.
  3. The company employs data in essential and appropriate ways.
  4. The company promotes a sales process for individual employees to champion.
  5. Coaching is an essential part of what your sales managers do.
  6. High-performance teams use technology appropriately to grow sales.
  7. Finally, the sales force is a shared goal, and each member of the team is aware of their role and what they are working toward.

Clear sales compensation reporting creates an environment in which these seven attributes can develop. When a company empowers sales compensation reporting using a program like Performio, it creates an almost immediate payoff when you get your reporting right.

Your best salespeople deserve to be paid accurately and on time, and want information on how they are doing regarding compensation and sales. And your management team leaders and executives deserve reports that give them timely and concise overviews of the direction the company is taking, so they can respond quickly to any issue.

An Important Hack: Don’t Overdo It

Programs like Performio can help you create the reports that underpin a high-performance sales culture. But your company should be wary of a common mistake many companies make: overuse of technology. Companies tend to create so many reports that it gets confusing and hard to understand.

This mindset is somewhat similar to the thought that grips many people when they write a whitepaper or a business development plan: “If it has a lot of words, it will sound more professional, right?”

Software For Sales Compensation Professionals Needs To Keep Reporting Simple
The opposite is true. Too much information overwhelms people, just like excessive jargon confuses the meaning of a whitepaper.

What you need is a culture of “less is more.” You don’t need a ton of reports. Why put all your time and effort into a document almost no one will read? It’s a better use of your time to create a smaller number of high-quality, comprehensive reports for your key stakeholder groups, then explain why they need the information to help your business grow.

Using a program like Performio allows you to create the sales compensation reports you need. One of the first things to do before you build those reports is to identify those key stakeholder groups. In most companies, you can break these down into four important groups:

  • Sales stakeholders who want clarity on how they are getting paid and how they are performing in key areas
  • Executive stakeholders who want to know how the sales program they put into place is working
  • Compliance stakeholders who want to know the sales program is working correctly and that you are paying attention to critical areas
  • Administrators who use sales compensation reporting to support the sales process in place

Let’s look at some examples of ways to create specific reports for each of these four groups that will give them the information they need without overwhelming them. As we noted above, too many companies produce vast numbers of reports nobody will read, thus failing to convey essential details.

Remember: Simplify. Look at the critical information for your shareholders in each area. Don’t give them what they don’t need.

1. Reporting Hacks for the Salesperson

Performio puts a strong focus on the salesperson and giving them the information they need. But most salespeople don’t have time to go over lengthy reports every day. And, let’s face it, you don’t want them to spend a lot of time reviewing reports. You want your salespeople doing what they do best — selling.

Salespeople need quick, easily understood access to valuable information. Instead of lengthy details, create easy-to-digest reports they can view on any device at a moment’s notice.

Salespeople focus on information that impacts them directly every day. They wonder about their earnings. They want to be able to look at their actual revenue versus their targeted revenue. What are their sales over time? How are they doing on their monthly quotas? Are they ahead, or behind? Being able to access this vital information helps salespeople know where they need to focus their energies to improve their performance.

Sales compensation reporting software needs to make sure it takes into account salespeople's personas

But don’t forget the sales reps who want to make a deep-dive. For them, you can create more detailed sales reports to help them improve their confidence in what they’re doing. Allow them to drill into your sales commission report and see all the nuts and bolts. Performio also offers them the opportunity to be able to download these reports as PDFs.

Finally, create reports that encourage competition. Salespeople are, by and large, a competitive bunch. They want to compare their performance with their peers. Research has shown healthy competition among salespeople is positive.

Develop a leaderboard or “top sales circle” to recognize exceptional performance, motivate your sales team to stretch their limits and promote a healthy sales culture within your company.

2. Sales Report Hacks for Executives

Unlike salespeople, who are more focused on the daily grind, executives want that 30,000-foot view. They want to know what’s happening each month with all their employees. A critical report for this group shows them factors like the amount paid out to salespeople in the company. It also gives them a look at the percentage change over the entire year and how it differs from month to month. It’s also an excellent test for checking numbers to see if there are anomalies and outliers in commission payments.

Executives quickly learn who the movers and shakers are and who seems to be struggling, which allows them to think about ways they can assist those with challenges and offer them appropriate coaching.

One common executive responsibility is signing off on critical pieces of data and information. Too often, this involves figuratively drowning the executive in paperwork, which is more than a little overwhelming. People are not specific enough about what they want or need from executives.

Here, we can revisit the “less-is-more” concept. Create a report that focuses on the specific pieces of data they need to approve and don’t give them anything they don’t need — it will save you and them time and money.

Sales compensation software needs to have the appropriate analytics to help sales executives manage their salespeople

Executives can also benefit from analytics-based reports. By looking at different slices of data and seeing how they compare, they can develop ways to improve the sales process and highlight strengths or find weaknesses in essential areas.

For example, within Performio, you can put together a report that creates information on payable trends so your executives can see these trends in particular areas and over time. Performio also allows them to view reports on any mobile device, and thus have that information whenever they need it.

3. Sales Report Hacks for Finance and Compliance

Finance and compliance people can be worrywarts and nervous Nellies. But would you want them to be any other way? Create reports that draw their attention to any exceptions that may have developed during the reporting period, and that give them clear flags about the commission table.

These critical reports ensure your financing compliance team can catch any mistakes or anomalies before they develop into more significant problems. For example, if essential sales reps are getting over- or underpaid, the company needs to know.

4. Sales Report Hacks for Administrators

Administrators wear a lot of different hats and tackle a variety of duties. They have their fingers in a lot of pies, and that means they need to be able to look at a lot of different reports. Performio allows you to build a checklist of user stories you need to help them manage the monthly process.

These reports, whether they be analytics or sales figures, are built into the checklist, enabling you to see everything you need in one place.

Administrators also like to do checks on source data such as total payables for the month or average commission rates between months. Once you’ve established these numbers, it is easy to reconcile them back to the source data table and ensure you have entered the data correctly. If you notice a significant discrepancy in numbers, you can resolve it before going all the way down the monthly checklist of reports.

Sales Compensation Reports Help Build Your Organization’s Sales Culture

The purpose of all these reporting hacks is to help you build up accountability across your organization in meaningful ways. Remember to keep it simple, and don’t build up redundant data. You want reports that will allow you to show your key stakeholders the information they need. Don’t stop developing reports entirely — strip the reporting down to only the most valuable data.

Sales performance software must be used to measure only the most important sales performance data in reporting

Meaningful and thorough sales commission reporting can help your organization achieve the seven goals mentioned above, and Performio can provide you with all these report-building options.

Think about the four different groups of people within your organization who need these tools to help create a healthy sales culture within your company. Then, use the hacks mentioned above for each group to create the perfect report that will save them time in decision-making, yet give them the information they need to make the right decisions.

Let us show you how Performio can help drive your company’s performance and automate sales commission processes with a 14-day trial.

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