Over the past few months that statement and similar sentiments have been aired by at least four companies. All were using Gartner defined Sales Performance Management (SPM) “Leaders,” yet all believed their SPM system was failing them. The companies complained about the lack of flexibility to adapt to their changes and some were moving to manual processes to get commissions calculated.
Speaking further with these companies highlighted the same core issue at each firm, finding it had very little to do with their SPM technology and everything to do with their staffing decisions. For instance, one of these companies had been successfully operating their sales compensation system for over three years. Three years of success and then the only trained person to maintain and operate the system left the company and, much to its surprise, everything came to a screeching halt.
The company blamed the software for not being flexible enough and has since sought and purchased a new system. While it’s easier to blame a vendor than to accept responsibility, this company was operating with the naïve assumption that anyone could step in at any time and keep the system running.
IC systems are complex and require the proper staffing, training, and maintenance to keep them operating smoothly. Single points of failure are never safe—would you fly with only one pilot?
Maybe it was the original sales pitch that told them how easy things would be that led them to this point? Maybe it was a short-term situation that turned into a long-term situation? Regardless, if you want to minimize your risk of a service disruption and make proper use of an SPM solution, take the following steps.