Magazine article CRM Magazine

Sales Reps Are Falling Short of Their Goals: Short-Term Strategies and a Lack of Automation Could Be Culprits

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Sales Reps Are Falling Short of Their Goals: Short-Term Strategies and a Lack of Automation Could Be Culprits

Article excerpt

Despite dramatic changes to their compensation packages, many firms are finding that their salespeople are still underperforming, according to new research from Deloitte Consulting.

More than 60 percent of sales leaders responding to Deloitte's 2013 Sales Compensation Survey have changed their compensation plans, including adjustments to incentives, quotas, and rewards for top performers, within the past two years. But despite this trend, 45 percent of survey respondents said their sales teams are still falling short of their sales goals.

"What [firms] should be doing is taking a more strategic look at why the sales force is either unmotivated or incapable of achieving desired behaviors and results and investing in a more holistic program," says Samuel Tepper, senior manager at Deloitte.

This includes increasing training and development of the skills and behaviors that lead to success, increasing the ability to plan and prioritize opportunities and account activities, and investing in technology and infrastructure that reduces administrative burdens and manual processes, he says.

Many companies still use spreadsheets to administer their comp plans, leading to inefficiencies that can be far more costly than deploying automated solutions from companies like Xactly or Varicent, says Jim Dickie, managing partner at CSO Insights, a research firm benchmarking sales effectiveness initiatives.

"People are taking a look at plans and saying, 'Do they make sense?' but really, the number one thing we say is, 'What determines how people get paid?'" Dickie says.

Digging deeper requires a new level of sophistication, which isn't something a simple spreadsheet is designed to do, he argues. Conversely, aligning sales efforts with larger corporate goals, like increasing margins, zeroing in on cross-sell and upsell opportunities, and increasing existing customer penetration, is made more attainable through automation. …

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