Sales compensation incentives are a primary driver and motivator for many company’s sales figures. However, many companies really struggle with calculating, tracking and checking the incentive programs’ profitability. Here are some suggestions to consider when seeking the best compensation incentives management software for your company.
With most automated sales compensation software being very expensive, many of the traditional and well known programs are available only to the companies with the largest sales divisions. Rather than find alternative software, many companies are left to fend for themselves and incentives are set and tracked manager by manager. They ultimately find themselves over- simplifying or over- complicating the process, all in a vain attempt to provide meaningful, equal incentives that bring real value to their organization.
Before even looking for software, you must first repair the process within your own organization. As a manager, it will be up to you to find ways to prevent artificial fluctuations in the sales numbers. Anyone who has worked in sales for even just a few months can attest to numbers spiking in months or quarters with particularly good sales incentives, only to see those numbers run right back down the following month. Remember when creating your incentives that the goal is to change behaviors, which takes far longer than one month to accomplish. Develop compensation incentives that encourage long term and productive behaviors as these will be the things that make the true improvements for your business.
Additionally, many managers report that often in months when sales figures spike parallel to the incentive, client behavior does the opposite of what would be expected. This noticeable disconnect is often indicative of using the wrong types of incentives or the artificial inflation of numbers. This should be avoided primarily by setting up the right kind of incentives- those that promote long term growth and gains which changing employee behaviors to better serve the company and the customers.
Finally, before choosing a way to manage incentives compensation, retrain yourself to think about the situation differently. Most managers are in the mindset that only a certain type or amount of sales incentive can be offered in a certain sales cycle because of the cost to the company. By focusing instead on the benefits the incentives will have on the profitability of the operation, you begin to see the incentive as more of an investment, which carries with it longer term thinking.
Your sales team is the life blood of your company and keeping them motivated, happy and productive is best for all. Choosing appropriate incentives compensation management software is important, but not nearly as important as communicating the right values and goals to sales staff.