Whenever advice is given about designing sales compensation plans, there’s one refrain that always gets repeated: create incentives that align strategically with your company’s broader business objectives. We say it all the time, because it’s true. But what does alignment mean, really?
Most importantly, it means integrating the objectives of other departments in your incentive plan. To do this, each department—Sales, Human Resources, Finance, IT, etc.—must understand what their colleagues are trying to achieve, the role that they can play in supporting the others, and the particular challenges that each one faces.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Sales managers tasked with updating their sales compensation plan know all too well that collaborators from other departments often lack a deep understanding of sales processes, such as customer markets, service offerings, sales management tools, and sales channels. Likewise, other departments can become frustrated by gaps in understanding with Sales, or worse, differences in data and reporting. The clear solution is to offer more visibility to executives from each department. By automating and harmonizing their business processes in a centralized hub, management from Sales, Finance, and HR can help each other carry out their business goals.
For Financial Operations, cross-department visibility helps managers understand the cost of the plan and effectively establish expense-to-revenue ratio. In general, their administration will be more efficient and accurate, making it less likely that you’ll end up with a different set of numbers, and more likely that you’ll be on the same page when it comes time to do strategic analysis and planning.
Cross-department visibility helps HR do their job better too. HR makes a great ally, because they’re invested in giving sales reps a great compensation plan, the better to keep the company’s best performers. For sales operations leaders, HR can help determine the competitiveness of sales compensation plans, and put it all in the the broader HR context of recruiting and employee development.
To see how your organization can achieve cross-department visibility, try a free demo of Obero SPM.