The Sales Performance Management (SPM) market has grown a great deal over the last few years, with the appearance of many new vendors and the frequent introduction of new software features. All these choices can lead to confusion and frustration in the selection process of a new SPM tool. Some common dilemmas companies face include choosing:
- Cloud vs. On-premise
- Subscription vs. License based
- Pure play SPM vs. extended capabilities
- Ease of Integration with legacy systems
- Security and regulatory conformance
So, while the current scenario has widened the options available, it has also made the task of selecting an SPM vendor that much more difficult. As a result, many organizations struggle in their selection process, often ending up with a system that is either too complex or wholly insufficient in meeting their needs.
The wrong choice can cost your organization dearly
A Sales Performance Management (SPM) system is the centrepiece of an organization’s business strategy. It serves to systematically drive desired behaviour in order to achieve set goals. Selecting the wrong system could result in one or more of the following situations:
- Inability to provide timely and accurate payments to the sales teams
- Inadequate reporting and analytics
- Costly, time intensive implementation and maintenance
- An Inflexible system that struggles to keep up with competitors and dynamic regulations
Clearly, it is critical to choose an SPM system that is best suited to your organization’s need. So how do you ensure that you are making the right choice?. Do you have a formal procedure in place for the selection process or are you merely relying on your instincts and a little bit of luck to find the right vendor? If you are relying on instinct and luck vs. a well-planned and informed choice, based on the benefit of experienced counsel, then you are setting your organization up for failure even before you start the implementation process. Without the right counsel, it is easy for an organization to become enthralled with the bells and whistles of the technology and not focus on the solution that best fits their business needs.
When in doubt, ask an expert
Many companies believe that going directly to an SPM software vendor is the best way to get exactly what they are looking for. Unfortunately, the reality is that no matter how good a vendor is, they don’t know your company’s needs or your business model. They are not familiar enough with your business to point out flaws in their software that could negatively impact your organization.
Rather than relying on the biased opinion of a vendor, consider utilizing the services of a third-party such as a software consulting firm. These consulting firms have the knowledge and experience to help sort through all the options and find the solution that is best suited to specific business needs. Here’s what an experienced consulting firm can help you with:
Speed – A seasoned consultant will quickly analyse the current pain points and long-term goals of an organization. Leveraging industry knowledge, he/she can quickly recommend the top 3 or 4 vendors worth including in the RFP process. This itself can speed up the project by many weeks.
Objectivity – Vendor selection by decision makers in the organization should not be based on instinct or emotion. Decisions should be backed by a scientifically built evaluation matrix. Because a consulting company knows the ins-and-outs of the industry, they are able to assess your needs and advise you on the best suited software solutions.
Holistic Evaluation Process – Instead of a single department/individual driving the decision, a consultant ensures that all stakeholders are heard and that there is cross-functional collaboration. They safeguard organizational needs ahead of individual preferences! They also provide you with an in-depth analysis of the pros and cons of each of your options, along with their prediction of which software platform will stay at the “top of the heap”, based on current software trends.
Savings and RoI – Although no third-party company can guarantee you the best rate, being industry insiders, the consultants have a fair idea of the best price each vendor can offer. They can also ensure a glitch free roll out and help you avoid serious issues that companies face when implementing a new software package.
Documentation – A consultant will document the current landscape, pain points and business requirements. This documentation serves as the foundation for the BRD when the implementation project starts. In addition to helping you identify the right software, a software consulting company can also help you obtain a fair contract. They have the necessary industry experience to know which contract terms to insist upon and which ones to avoid.
So, when considering a new SPM software implementation, you must ask yourself this: do you want a systems integrator who will merely implement a software tool, or would you rather engage an SMP consultant who can turn your implementation into a successful and positive experience for your salesforce? The choice is simple, isn’t it? You may have all the ingredients on hand to make a meal, but to make that ‘perfect dish’ you need the expertise of a chef to guide you through the process of cooking that flawless dish.
Spectrum Technologies has strategic partnerships with leading SPM vendors including IBM, Callidus and Xactly, and we have worked with dozens of clients to help choose and design the right solution. We can help you too. You just need to call us at +1.408.418.4996 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.