There are some basics that you need to make sure characterizes your data—accuracy, integration, and security, for example. That’s why spreadsheets are yesterday’s garbage for incentive compensation, and automation is the future.
But is data your company’s secret sauce to creating a competitive environment where salespeople thrive and departments not only get along, but collaborate? Here are five ways we’ve seen this work:
1) Deliver real-time results with individualized reports
There’s a reason you get on the scale every morning when you’re on a diet. You know you won’t have lost much weight since yesterday, but you still want to measure for progress. Somehow, it helps you say no to junk food later that day. In the same way, when salespeople have access to their up-to-the-minute progress toward quota, they’ll be motivated to work harder to reach that next accelerator or bonus—especially if it’s in a location where they spend a lot of time already, like Salesforce.
2) Post results in a public place—and publicly recognize your top performers.
Think about why it’s so exciting to go to a professional sports game. You’re in the action as it happens. You see the score as it changes every second. You see what happens to each player. And when it’s all over, somebody gets a trophy.
Like athletes, sales people are naturally very competitive people. The more you publicly recognize your winners, the harder your team will work to win. For example:
- Send out a simple results dashboard to your team every day via email, like Cascade does—you’ll probably see the same incredible results.
- Display contest results on TV screens near your sales cubicles or offices. We do this at our San Jose office, so we know how hard everyone works to be at the top of the list.
- Post news of closed deals on Chatter. It’s like giving a virtual trophy.
3) Customize reports to view results by product, service and SPIF
Dive deep into your analytics to better understand what you’re doing well and what you can do better. Analyze data across multiple periods—months, quarters, years—and by product, territory, role function or even internal contest.
4) Use your data as a tool to train people.
Data means nothing if it doesn’t give you insight. Find out what your best performers do differently than the rest; then share these best practices in team meetings. Look at each rep’s performance individually, and use that insight to improve your sales coaching.
5) Give Sales + Finance what they both want.
Finance wants controllable costs. Sales wants to earn a huge bonus. With the right incentive rules, you can make both departments happy. Virtually test new incentive plans to make sure you’ll meet forecasts—while offering motivating rewards to your top reps.
You’ve worked to get your data. Now it’s time to make it work for you.