CEOs, Help Your Growing Business with a Q1 Check-In

Erik W. Charles
Erik W. Charles
In Finance, Sales
Erik Charles is the Vice President, Product Marketing, at Xactly Corporation where he is responsible for driving the product strategy, defining the product vision, and developing a strong team of product owners and designers.

Congratulations, Q1 has just finished and you’re ready to release results to your stakeholders. How did you fare? As the CEO of a growing business, lots of work went into trying to achieve your goals. Now may seem like a good time to put down the heavy weights you’ve been lifting and shake out your muscles before you pick up Q2…

But not so fast.

If you want your business to gain strength, you have to finish your reps (and we don’t mean sales reps in this case!). Before you take a breather, go beyond profit and loss. Make time for a Q1 check-in to see what’s working, and what’s not.

Sure, the thought of manually gathering information from dozens of sources is daunting, and you have other fires to put out. We get it. It’s already a challenge to meet goals with a less than optimal headcount and a smaller organizational structure. Fortunately, innovative compensation management software lightens your load by providing up-to-the-minute data for accurate research, analysis, and insight — all in one place.

Here’s how to use data for your Q1 check-in:

  • Gauge the success of the organization. How do this year’s results compare to last year’s, and did you meet your goals? In a nutshell, your data will help you adjust the strategic plan that guides the direction of the business, allowing you to make better decisions about everything from hiring to spending.
  • Evaluate your C-Suite. See how other executive leaders and their teams and divisions are performing, including your president, vice presidents, managers, and directors. Use the data to determine who is meeting goals, and who isn’t. Strategies to fix problem areas may include adjusting compensation and incentives or making changes to your staff.
  • Analyze activity surrounding products and services. Reports from your compensation management software can give you insight on customer demand and opportunities for expansion. Use the information for forward-thinking development and implementation of organizational strategy.
  • Assess your people plan. Do you have the right people in the right jobs to meet company goals? Data will highlight any gaps and can also tell you if current staff aligns with future projections. Accurate visibility makes it easier to hire the right talent right now — when you’re still in good shape — not when you might be struggling to keep it together in the fourth quarter.
  • Keep tabs on risk. Run reports that provide insight on potential credit risks, project or service failures, competitive behavior, and shaky markets to help you make decisions that mitigate risk moving forward.

If you wait until the fourth quarter to tackle these issues, the load could be too heavy to bear. Use your compensation management software to perform a Q1 check-up now, so you have enough muscle power left at the end of the year to raise a celebratory drink to your organization’s success.

For more information on how an end of first quarter analysis can benefit your company, read Q1 Sales Compensation Plan Check Up — See What’s Working.

—Erik Charles is Xactly’s Principal Incentives Strategist.


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CEOs, Help Your Growing Business with a Q1 Check-In

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