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The modern digital age has brought about some truly remarkable advancements. The way that we as a global society now connect with and interact with each other is nothing short of miraculous. In fact, it’s hard to believe that it has only been a few short years that we have witnessed so many incredible advances in healthcare, communications, consumer goods, and more—all of which have revolutionized our lives. Yet, for so many people, these advancements just haven’t reached their own workspace.

In fact, it never ceases to amaze me how many people continue to suffer through needless manual processes—something that could easily be prevented. In our case, as a company that specializes in both Corporate and Sales Performance Management, the numerous times we have witnessed the challenges inherent in manual processes is disturbing.

Now, please know I’m not trying to accuse any one of a lack of due diligence—it’s quite the opposite. For most companies, it’s their historical timeline that has painted them into this corner.

When looking at the technology curve, available platforms, advanced process mapping, and so on, this is for the most part something that has only come into its own in the past decade. It’s this timeline that has then led companies to simply live with older methods due to two distinct factors: habit and ease-of-use (though maybe not the most effective), and the perceived complexity of implementing new systems and tools as a new way of doing things.

For instance, Sales Performance Management (SPM) is not something for the faint of heart to tackle as an internal project. The sheer number of departments and systems that SPM touches is far beyond what most expect when beginning the initial exploratory phase. Therefore, sticking with what is known is sometimes perceived as the safest course of action. Unfortunately, sticking with the more archaic methods, such as Excel spreadsheets or inefficient and cumbersome homegrown applications, comes with its own set of negative impacts.

For one, productivity suffers because of time-consuming, error-prone siloed processes that stall corporate objectives and demand excessive full-time equivalent (FTE) staffing. More so, the inordinate time and effort invested in manual processes adversely impacts corporate objectives and the bottom line.

As previously mentioned, the greatest challenge for most is knowing how to implement a far more modern approach through workflow automation—a skillset often absent in most companies. No company hires experts internally as the cost versus outcome would be wrongfully skewed. The years of experience needed to build the processes that fit a company’s unique structure and that ensure greater accuracy and reliability to result in reduced costs would be too great for an internal team.

However, that doesn’t change the need to eliminate manual, error-prone processes and to increase efficiencies by redeploying scarce resources internally through automation. But how does one get there?

In the end, it’s about translating one-on-one interactions within your company into a practical plan and recognizing that any SPM solution should be about people—not software. Building and maintaining process in the age of digital transformation is about people-centric interaction. The need for ease-of-use and practicality should always outweigh the technology itself—choosing the right technology for the people and their jobs is what leads to success. Imagine the time on legacy and home-grown systems that could be reduced from hours to minutes—all resulting from a solution of your choice configured just for you and your unique business needs.

So, what’s the best course of action? Find the right partner who has the skillset and history of implementing SPM solutions—ones that can effectively manipulate your data, automate it, and put it into a system that works best for you and your processes. Simpler days are ahead: you just need to take the first step to digital transformation to make it happen.