Territory Assignment and SPM systems – Neighbors Or Strangers?
After struggling for months you finally have an SPM package deployed in your organization. All of your commission related business processes are finally automated…or may be not!
One area of commission processing that SPM packages fail to fully automate is – Territory Assignment (TA). The process of assigning the sales order to an appropriate territory or sales rep(s) often ends up being done outside of SPM packages. The scope of manual work varies across companies and industries.
WHO needs Territory Assignment?
Companies which have one or more of the following characteristics
- A large Field Sales Operations
- Network of channel partners, VARs, Distis, Resellers, Retailers etc.
- Heavy Order Volume
- Complex Territories based upon Named Accounts, Products, Zipcodes, Partner Name etc.
Hi Tech and Pharmaceutical industries are some of the very common industries that fit the above profile.
WHY Don’t SPM vendors have a solution for TA?
Most SPM packages offer a vanilla version of Territory Assignment but not a full blown solution. A lot of customers, especially in the Hi-Tech worls, are still using spreadsheets. Some of the reasons that come to mind as to why SPM vendors do not offer an integrated Territory Solution :
- Their main focus in the commissions engine and they do not want to get into the nitty-gritties of Territory Management and Assignment.
- They should ideally be receiving data from a TA system and want to keep it that way.
- TA is a back office operations problem, that is solved (to some extent) by xcel spreadsheets and human bodies.
- Just a few industries (hi-tech, pharma etc) probably have the need for a dedicated and robust TA engine. For SPM vendors, the ROI may not be tangible.
- A smart TA engine has to deal with data cleansing and de-duplication for Account Names, Addresses and other such data. It is best solved by leveraging the services of specialized third party vendors (like D&B and Infonow) and adds to the overall complexity of the solution.
Where does Territory Assignment fit in the BIG PICTURE?
So, what do you think? Does it make sense to integrate Territory Assignment within an SPM system or is it better left stand alone?