Incentive Compensation plans are as diverse as they can get! Tailor-made with caution to perfectly fit the organization’s goals, designing an IC plan can be a real challenge. Even for the best in the business. Therefore, most sales leaders grapple with these questions- What tips the scale? What is the difference between an IC plan that works and a plan that doesn’t?
The answer- Communication!
Your salespeople are the pivot around which the future of your company revolves. Are you still asking yourself why it is important to build an efficient channel of communication with them? The answer is actually quite simple. People like to be acknowledged and rewarded for their hard work.
It is easy for sales managers to assume that their reps are satisfied with their compensation. But here is a cold hard fact - 78 percent of workers responded to a Globoforce survey by saying that they would work harder if they felt that their efforts were better recognized and appreciated.
This is an eye-opener for most sales leaders. A staggering percentage like this should compel leaders to answer these two pressing questions-
- Do your reps know how much they will be paid in real-time?
- Is your IC plan capable of communicating to the reps what they need to do and how to do it?
The truth is this: Even if you design the best of IC plans, it is bound to fail if your reps don’t understand it. For this reason alone, IC dashboards surpass their reputation of being just a ‘reporting tool’. When used correctly, an IC dashboard can provide stakeholders with real-time data with enough breathing time to adjust their strategies and course correct.
Think of the dashboard as a sales GPS of sorts! You’ll know exactly where you are, exactly how far you need to go and where you need to take a different route.
A dashboard, like any other automated tool is an alternative to legacy systems like spreadsheets. If your sales comp team is still spending hours entering data points manually into a spreadsheet that is likely to be error-prone more than 80 per cent of the time, tools like a dashboard can truly be life-changing for you!
Essentially, a dashboard provides a visual representation of your chosen performance metrics. It gives you an accurate and a concise view of results-based data like lead-conversion rate, deal timelines among others.
Dashboards can be the one stop solution for your sales reps, and have the potential to arm your reps with all the data they need to up their performance.
If you have decided to automate your ICM, here’s a short checklist that you can refer to when looking at dashboards-
Does the dashboard provide visibility to your sales reps?
- Is the dashboard transparent in communicating to your reps how the plan mechanics work? In order to optimize performance, reps need to know about the metrics that drive their pay. They also need to know how all the deals they close contribute to their overall compensation.
- How much time does it take for the reward to be reflected in the rep’s pay? Is it immediately after they close a deal or does it take time? The closer you can tie incentive to behavior, the more powerful the reward mechanism is.
Utility for the win!
- An intelligent dashboard should be easily customizable and susceptible to change. Your dashboard should be a reflection of how dynamic your organization is. So ask if the dashboard is built for growth? Can the KPIs be changed and re-changed?
- How will other incentives like bonuses, spiffs, MBOs and prizes be represented in the dashboard? Most spiffs are calculated outside the core sales comp software, simply because the software is not agile enough to make quick changes in the middle of the year.
This is the reason why many spiffs underperform. Either reps don’t understand them or they can’t figure out how much it’s worth or they just forget about it.
Is the dashboard responsive and user friendly?
- Is it easy for your reps to interact with the dashboard to track their performance? Is there a mechanism in place for them to address their queries? How can the reps submit support and troubleshooting requests? Is the support team equipped to provide quick support?
- Can the reps navigate the dashboard? Is it easy for them to look up data and KPIs?
Your sales comp plans should not be limited to what can be communicated with your reps! A customizable dashboard from an ICM software provider can provide you with the visibility and value that drives growth.
Kennect’s interactive dashboard provides your reps with real-time visibility to boost performance. Book a demo to know more!