Sales Incentive Software Set to See More Sales

The market for sales incentive compensation solutions is ripe for advancement, as companies across the board -- looking to accelerate their corporate performance -- turn to the applications to synchronize selling strategies with execution, according to a newly released report from market analysis firm IDC. Even as the sector continues to expand, the field of sales compensation has become ever more complex and more important to a company's growth and success, says Judy Hodges, research manager at of Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, and author of the report "Worldwide Sales Incentive Compensation Management Applications 2007." Expect in the next few years to see many small and midsize businesses move from their paper-based or in-house incentive compensation management (ICM) systems to these specialized software applications, which can do the job better, she adds. "Companies now know they need to put a higher value on compensating sales people appropriately," Hodges says. "They'll be replacing their homegrown systems with these solutions as they realize the measurable valuable of flexible and strategic solutions." In fact, companies had often overlooked or postponed deployment of ICM applications in deference to more pressing automation requirements, says Mary Wardley, research vice president of CRM Applications at IDC. That's changing as these companies begin to see the potential upside of automation. "As organizations' enterprise applications environments evolve and become more sophisticated, automating specific processes such as sales incentive compensation creates the vital link between an organization's internal processes and those of its front-office employees," Wardley says. The new emphasis on ICM is driven by the realization that compensating salespeople efficiently and accurately reaps benefits not just for each member of the sales force, but for the entire company. In fact, many companies make the mistake of thinking sales compensation software drives only sales, Hodges says. "These systems are really about business performance overall," she says. "Sales compensation has become complex and critical to a company, so these new systems increase accuracy and consistency and help businesses better manage change within the incentive management process." Expect to see small and midsize companies turn to on-demand solutions when bringing this new software on board, Hodges says. Companies of that size will find the software-as-a-service delivery method particularly appealing as they seek implementation time-to-market advantage, she adds. And with the overall growth of the market -- particularly the on-demand offerings -- expect greater competition (and likely consolidation) among vendors. "Established vendors will have to fend off encroaching market entrants by offering new products, expanding their service offerings, and offering new partnerships," Hodges says. "Mobile-enabled applications will become more prevalent to give sales managers and senior executives a way to access critical information."

Related articles: Feature: Pay Day You track your sales team's numbers -- and so does each member of the team. Here's what you need to know about the business of sales compensation, and how you can make it work for all of you. Feature: Dangling the Carrot: Drive Your Sales Force to Profitability Selecting and implementing the proper sales compensation tool to drive and motivate your sales force is more important than ever. Feature: Is Your Compensation Plan Undermining Your CRM Initiative? How to create incentive plans that are in line with your corporate strategy. ADP Hopes To See Deal with Centive Pay Off The benefits-administration company looks to increase sales performance through Centive's incentive compensation management. Sales Credit Assignment Gets Compelling Sales compensation vendor Centive tries to make its Compel on-demand product as attractive for sales as for finance. Money Matters New incentive management solutions deliver top-flight tracking and compensation information to companies and reps alike. More Than Just the Money Money is a prime motivator when it comes to compensating a sales force, but a new study finds that there are incentives -- and barriers -- other than Uncle Sam. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Sales Compensation Styles Centive unveils the latest release of its on-demand sales compensation management system, featuring custom reporting and operational enhancements. Sales Compensation is Back, Baby! The market is experiencing growth for the first time in years as vendors introduce new delivery models and applications to drive strategic value. Homegrown Sales Compensation Systems Fail to Fly Purpose-built sales management apps could solve problems, but smaller businesses haven't caught on yet. Viewpoint: Incentives in an On-Demand World When it comes to software-as-a-service, automated incentives are their own reward. Viewpoint: Leveraging Compensation to Drive Performance Strategic sales compensation management goes well beyond simply calculating commissions. Viewpoint: Bringing Sales Compensation Management into the 21st Century Automate sales compensation management--doing so adds significant value to the entire sales process. Viewpoint: Sales Compensation Best Practices: Executive Analytics Sales managers must beat the clock when it comes to executing compensation analytics, by Centive's CMO. Viewpoint: Sales Compensation Best Practices: Plan Design Designing new plans, by Centive's CMO. Viewpoint: Sales Compensation Best Practices: Modeling Plan modeling and forecasting, by Centive's CMO.
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