What Data Do You Need When You Evaluate An Incentive System Designed For The Sales Force?

Let’s take a look at the concept of business. Practically, idea pans out differently when put into practice. This is as expected anyway, because as the famous saying goes, “it is easier said than done.” A good idea is one that is appropriately assessed to satisfy customers, the company, and its shareholders. Without this, a dead-end to the business is looming.

This is also applicable when it comes to incentive programs, as the company takes time to craft and actualize a reward system that is beneficial and unharmful to all parties. The fantastic effort of a professional team takes to design an incentive scheme shows what a great process it is. The sales team takes it up from there and oversees the implementation, one which comes with lots of scrutiny as well. As these are all needed to bring efficiency, one could wonder what would have happened if no such assessment is done in the first place. Safe to say, it could have jeopardized the whole effort.  It is, therefore, essential to assess the system. To achieve this, it is vital to find answers to questions, such as; How does one know if the system is effective? What does effective mean in the first place? How does each company measure effectiveness, and how is it different between different companies? 

When shall we assess it?

Timing is essential in assessing an incentive scheme. To determine and analyze the results, it needs to be some time, whence one could be arriving at a wrong conclusion. Majorly, it all depends on the changes that occur in the system. The evaluation may be done if such changes were effective in 2-3 months, with a further six months required to see the significant changes in the system to manifest. The nature of products, services, and the sales cycle are the primary determinant in this case. 

A dedicated team dedicated to assessing the system?

Admittedly, system assessment is a technical job; it is the reason why it has to be handled by professionals. We are not only measuring efficiency; the study requires a deep understanding of the concept of motivation scheme, which requires the technical know-how of the system. 

In light of this, it is expected of the team to be skilful enough to gather data and analyze the efficiency of the system. A strong analytical background and database management should be the fortress of the team.

What kind set of data one needs to use for the job

In this present age, data is such a powerful tool, and its usefulness cuts across virtually all aspects of the modern world. Proper utilization of data gives fantastic results. The two major types of data, which are qualitative and quantitative, are required in the concept of motivation scheme. A typical example is a qualitative data being a useful tool in assessing peoples’ satisfaction concerning the system.  

Qualitative data can be gathered through two methods, which are primary and secondary. Let’s have a quick look at primary quantitative data;

  • Revenues- It is essential to have the data on the revenue by the type of customer based on either being new or existing, the sales channel that produced it, etc.
  • Measures production- This is a comparative assessment of the activities of the salespeople to the result in the system. If, for example, you asked them to cross-sell to specific accounts, then you need to be able to get data on the cross-sale activity.
  • Numbers by period- You need to have data per period as the historical analysis is needed to see how much development is mad over time. 
  • Sales overcast- As it is essential to compare the actual figures to the quota assigned, one needs to get the quota per salesperson and team by period.
  • Budget and cost- It could be argued if it is needed in the first place to pay people incentives. To justify this notion, one needs to get the financial data and the cost of salespeople (total compensation and not just the incentives paid), so cost analysis can be run.
  • HR data- It is important also to get data from HR about the seniority and the turnover data for the sales department.

Talking about the qualitative side, one needs to get

  • Feedback- The salespeople need to give their opinion on the system. Whether or not all is going well, they need to give in their opinion.
  • Incentive system history- Needs to have an in-depth look at the previous three versions of the system and weigh in the differences
  • Sales roles- One needs to understand the role of salespeople, along with their responsibilities and their involvement in the sales process. How many people are supporting them and how much the marketing department is involved in the sales process.
  • Sales as a department- One needs to understand also the organizational chart, the hierarchies, the reporting lines
  • Market and competition- They need to make a presentation that shows the market, industry, competition, and where the company stands in as a position as well as the market saturation.

The usage of the data

In subsequent articles, we shall be looking into the usages of these data- how one can put it into practice. To end this article, we will briefly consider the factors that need to be put in place on how to use these data. The Key Performance Indices (KPIs) is the first parameter that one needs to decide. They are used to get a good result as regards the efficiency of the system; this is because they are quantitative indicators that are based on data gathered to derive results.  It is not enough to derive the indicators, but also to decide which indicators are right to be produced. Such indicators can be used as a yardstick to tell many things about the system and of course, reveal how efficient it is.

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