Don’t Put Your SPM Project in Jeopardy

With market pressure and competition at an all time high, modernizing your sales processes has never been more critical. One of the key elements is likely going to be bringing in an automated sales performance management system, of which commissions/compensation is a core piece, along with territory and quota, and coaching.

Don’t Put Your SPM Project in Jeopardy

The ROI that SAP Sales Cloud customers have recorded has been pretty dramatic and clear cut. Many of our customers in fact, have reduced errors significantly, and slashed the time to calculate and payout the sales team from weeks to minutes. Sales reps, meanwhile. can view their expected commissions, which serves as a great motivator that your company can use.

So you’re on the right path.

However, one element that you need to consider is how you’re going to implement the solution.

First and foremost, your company should be evaluating a cloud-based solution. This cuts down on the IT costs: the hardware sizing, the testing, the load balancing, and all the other maintenance elements.

You also need to evaluate a solution with an eye toward how easy or hard it is to configure. A solution, even a cloud-based solution, can still be a drain on IT if it involves a team of developers to configure. Is it a warmed-over development tool? Or is it more of a tool that business users can configure on their own? Or is it some combination of these?

Have key stakeholders try out the software and perform some common functions to get a feel.

At SAP Sales Cloud, our governing philosophy is to empower business users to deliver value without reliance on IT.

Beyond configuration, success requires the right plan in place for implementing SPM, so you don’t put your investment in jeopardy.

According to a new Gartner report, “Three Best Practices to Achieve a Successful Sales Performance Management Implementation,” (January 2018) there are some best practices companies should follow.

Some may even surprise you.

For one, companies need to spend as much time choosing a SPM implementation partner as they do a SPM software vendor.

“After the exhaustive process of searching for a software vendor and negotiating a license, the professional services required to implement the project are often not reviewed in the same depth due to the rush to begin the project,”* Gartner says in its report.

“In some cases, price is the sole factor in choosing a vendor for implementation. Cutting scope by removing groups or pieces of functionality in order to achieve a better cost may remove items, which will result in failed adoption or the need for manual interventions,”* the report says. “This will cause the project to fail or will reduce the benefits that can be obtained from implementing an SPM solution.”*

Gartner lays out six key success areas organizations need to consider when evaluating SPM implementation vendors, starting with understanding your business process and needs:*

  1. Understanding your business process and needs
  2. Domain expertise
  3. Cultural fit
  4. Team member quality (skills and experience)
  5. Methodology
  6. Cost

If you put in the necessary time and effort on implementation, you’ll see results quickly. The day-to-day experience of your sales reps will improve by having a complete view of the customers, tools that accelerate the sales cycle, and trust in their sales compensation. In turn, your customers will benefit from a smoother buying process.

Make sure to create benchmarks during the SPM implementation process to ensure that the team can get a full view of the results and the ROI. Also keep executive leadership apprised of the progress.

If you’re serious about improving your sales operations, Gartner’s report is invaluable. Download the complimentary report and ensure the success of your SPM rollout.

*Gartner, Three Best Practices to Achieve a Successful Sales Performance Management Implementation, Melissa Hilbert, 24 January 2018.
By Grant Smith | September 5th, 2018 | Sales Performance Management (SPM)

About the Author: Grant Smith

Grant Smith

Grant Smith is a business-minded technology enthusiast and product-marketing expert specializing in customer-experience technology. At SAP, his role centers around sales performance management, thought leadership, and CX market analysis. When he isn’t glued to a computer screen, he spends time finding new adventures and places to explore with his daughters.