With a number of variables including customer, product, territory, and currency, sales professionals are always looking for an easier way to process everything so they can focus on what they get paid to do: make sales. Bearing this in mind, Centive's Winter 2008 release of Compel, an on-demand sales compensation and sales performance management tool, features an interactive dashboard that melds these different statistics into one digestible package by graphically presenting multi-dimensional, interactive earnings and performance data in one fell swoop--or screenshot.
All current Centive customers received the Winter 2008 release of Compel upon its Monday introduction. All new features delivered in the release are included as part of the core Compel solution at no additional charge. There are no additional modules to purchase.
Michael Torto, president and CEO of Centive, explains the new interactive dashboard analytics will help sales professionals better monitor and measure individual and team performance. "The key benefit of the new dashboard analytics is the ability to instantly analyze performance over time through a graphical chart," Torto says. "Our customers have always been provided with the data needed to understand performance, but this feature takes it to a new level by providing them with the ability to really drill down through to underlying data so they can quickly spot important trends.
"The dashboard analytic feature has been on Centive's product roadmap from the beginning," Torto continues. "It was an obvious next step for us to be able to present information in an interactive graphical format to help customers quickly analyze trends and drill down to underlying information to uncover the source for the trends."
In addition to Compel's dashboard analytics, there are several other features debuting in Compel's Winter 2008 release, including:
- enhanced reporting;
- enhanced document distribution and acceptance workflow;
- personal multi-currency management; and
- deeper API-level integration with Salesforce.com.
Denis Pombriant, managing principle at Beagle Research Group, notes one of the biggest challenges for sales managers and sales representatives is getting fast and easy access to sales performance statistics so they can improve their job performance--and the interactive dashboard is a step in the right direction. "(Sales) managers are trying to use money or SPIFs to influence behaviors and they need instant and frequent information about whether or not their strategies are working," Pombriant says. "It's not enough for managers to know that revenue is coming; they need to know the type and profitability of it."
Pombriant also notes dashboards are becoming a necessity in today's business world and companies will have to ride its coattails to success. "Dashboards are a means to an end--better management, greater accuracy, finding a problem while there's time to fix it," Pombriant says. "Many companies in the SFA space use dashboards as a way to speed read the business or an aspect of the business. I think any compensation company will need dashboards to be competitive."
For sales representatives, Pombriant believes the dashboard will prove the maxim that a picture is worth a thousand words. "Salespeople don't spend the day watching their commissions come in--if they did, they wouldn't have jobs," he says. "If you can look at a dashboard and note the color for many situations that's enough."
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