Welcome to the second part of our blog, “What to Look for in a Sales Incentive Compensation Solution?” We briefly introduced you to the concept of sales incentive compensation solutions and some of the various components to look for in the Part 1 blog.
In today’s post, we will unveil the 7 key characteristics you should be looking for when reviewing potential solutions.
Key points/things to look for in sales compensation solution:
Integration with the company’s internal system, the CRM system, other systems
When you choose sales incentive software, integration is a must. It must integrate with your company’s internal system, the CRM system, and your other systems — payroll, shipping, accounting and so on. If your business uses Salesforce.com, for example, make sure your chosen software has that integration built in. Or else, you’ll have to do a lot of customization, which takes time and is prone to errors. Your sales incentive software should integrate well with your company’s different systems. It should automatically sync with your company’s CRM and accounting software, for example, and it should automatically import customer and order data. And then there’s the payroll integration. Make sure your software can export incentive information to your payroll system, and sync with your company’s HRIS system if it has one. And whatever systems your salespeople use, the integration must work with all of them.
Robust sales crediting
Don't just settle for any sales incentive software. Choose one that has a robust sales crediting feature. Robust sales crediting should be a very important point to consider while choosing a sales incentive software, because you will need to provide your sales incentive managers (or anyone handling your sales incentive program) with the ability to quickly and easily credit sales for any incentive plan that they've created. Robust sales crediting should allow you to control who receives sales credit when sales credit can be awarded, and for what dollar amount. If your sales incentive software cannot control these factors, then it just cannot possibly be a robust sales incentive software. Robust sales crediting should be the "must-have" feature of your sales incentive software. And, of course, a robust sales crediting feature should also be able to track the sales credit histories and issue warnings when sales credit is being over-awarded or being missed out. Here are some of the features to look for in sales incentive software:
- Automatic sales crediting:- The sales crediting feature should be automatic. The sales incentive software should automatically adjust your points based on the sales volume. If the software doesn't automatically calculate your sales crediting, then all your employees have to do is enter your sales volume manually.
- Manual sales crediting:- The sales crediting feature should let you manually adjust the points earned for sales.
- Adjustments:- The sales incentive software should allow you to make manual adjustments.
Incentive forecasting and budgeting
Incentive budgeting and forecasting are tools that help businesses forecast sales more accurately and manage budgets more efficiently. The more accurate forecasting, the better you can plan your sales incentive program, which analysts agree improves sales. Incentive forecasting and budgeting tools typically involve assigning individual sales targets (based on the available budget) to each person within a sales organization, then tying together the sales targets with incentive compensation plans. The software then crunches the numbers, calculating how much money is available, then allocates those funds to the salespeople based on individual sales targets. A successful incentive forecasting and budgeting plan help businesses save money, maximize their incentive payouts, and motivate employees. Although incentive forecasting and budgeting software can help businesses realize savings, it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. The software tools can be complex and expensive, so businesses need to evaluate their incentive program, then decide which software is right for them.
"Query management" refers to the process in which companies manage different queries generated from their sales incentive software. With so many queries coming from a single software system, companies need to manage these queries in an efficient manner. Manual query management can be very costly and time-consuming, and companies need to optimize this query management process in order to reduce cost, improve efficiency and ensure the availability of critical business information.
Reporting tools flexibility:- Dashboard, visibility according to sales hierarchy, analytics
In today’s fast-paced business environment, sales managers need to access reports on multiple channels, in different languages, and multiple times a day. They need to track their performance and the know-how they stack up against competitors and peers. With the right solution, the entire sales process involves a few simple clicks. Sales managers can track sales data in real-time with detailed dashboards. And they can customize their reports and share them with anyone in the organization, from regional leaders to sales personnel. But tracking and reporting are only part of the journey. Sales managers also need to share their knowledge with team members, so they can learn from each other and make predictions about future sales. They need sales incentive software that allows them to do this, so they can improve sales performance and surpass targets. Sales managers also need to be able to present a unified view of sales data that goes beyond individual sales performance. The right sales incentive software also lets managers view sales performance in relation to sales goals, territory, and product. Managers can use the dashboard to view entire territories and compare their performance against regional, national, or global targets. They can also compare their territories against peers and competitors. Besides dashboards, reporting tools should also be very flexible. They should let managers track sales data in real-time and share information with team members. They should let managers compare their performance against targets. And they should allow managers to customize their reports and share them with anyone in the organization. Reporting tools should allow managers to track sales data in real-time and share information with team members. They should let managers compare their performance against targets. And they should allow managers to customize their reports and share them with anyone in the organization. Finally, reporting tools must be easy for sales managers to use. They shouldn't have to be trained in complex software
The last thing you want to do is get stuck with a solution that can grow with you as you expand. If you’re planning to grow, scalability is crucial. Most sales compensation solutions support a limited number of users, projects and plans, but some can grow as your revenue grows.
The 21st century is quickly becoming the century of gamification. Gamification is the idea of turning traditional business processes, such as sales incentives, into games that people want to play. Some incentive programs offer gamification features, including Incentive Compensation Management, which allow you to create virtual leaderboards for your users, awarding them badges each time they achieve goals. Some incentive programs also offer nudge features, which basically allows users to play along by earning small rewards for completing specific tasks. For example, if employees are required to make a certain number of sales in a month, managers can set the Nudge feature to reward them for achieving their goals, such as sending them a free coffee. Gamification leaderboards are similar, except that instead of offering rewards for meeting goals, they allow users to compete against one another.
How can gamification leaderboards boost sales?
According to research by Talent LMS’s 2019:-
- Employees say gamification makes them feel more productive (89%) and happier (88%) at work.
- 83% of those who receive gamified training feel motivated, while 61% of those who receive non-gamified training feel bored and unproductive (Yikes!).
- Gamification in the workplace still has a significant impact on employee engagement, motivation, and psychology.
This not only leads to increased sales but boosts overall employee morale, too
The sales compensation solution that you choose depends on many factors, but at the end of the day, you simply need a system that is easy to operate and provides data that is meaningful to your organization. The exact features are less important than how well the system fits with your company’s goals. If you need additional assistance understanding all of your options, I recommend reaching out to the skilled consultants at Sales Compensation Solution. And, Kennect is right here to assist you in selecting the finest software.