ADP Hopes To See Deal with Centive Pay Off

Payroll, benefits administration, and human-services services provider ADP Data Processing announced this week that it's teamed with Centive to offer the vendor's incentive compensation management (ICM) application to ADP's largest customers. Burlington, Mass.-based Centive's on-demand application is immediately available to ADP's National Accounts Services customers, those with 1,000 employees or more. When speaking of the agreement, Centive and ADP executives focused on the potential to increase sales performance and manage sales commission via the application. What ADP's move may really signify, however, is the growing importance organizations are beginning to place on tracking and understanding performance-based pay, says Denis Pombriant, managing principal at CRM consultancy Beagle Research Group, . "When I look at this, it probably has a great impact for the future of work in general," Pombriant says. "One of the problems with providing incentive compensation is it's always been hard to track and manage; products like Centive's make it more easy." Furthermore, he adds, the deal opens up the possibility of incentive opportunities within job positions that traditionally may not have been built to accommodate them. Such software could also allow larger companies to offer and track goal-setting initiatives on a more frequent basis than the annual reviews many now routinely offer. Such changes, though, may be a ways off, Pombriant admits. ADP signed off on the agreement because its executives saw a market opportunity to provide services that complement its other general payroll offerings, says Mike Torto, Centive's chief executive officer. "Offering our technology to their customers sounds simple," Torto says. "But managing sales commission is a very complex process and this software will simplify that by making sure ADP customers are using the right sales plans and compensating their salespeople appropriately." There's little doubt that ADP now views automated ICM as a natural extension of its business. "We're confident this solution will be embraced by the market as a way to effectively increase sales performance and enhance the bottom line," said Regina Lee, president of ADP's National Account Services, in a statement. Expect other companies to deploy software-as-a-service applications like Centive's for much the same reasons ADP highlights, says Michael Dunne, research vice president at Gartner Group of Stamford, Conn. Many organizations -- of all sizes and industries -- are already looking at software similar to Centive's, he says. "Sales ICM applications should help organizations gain efficiencies, insights, and versatility in creating, deploying, and administering compensation plans meant to guide and motivate direct and indirect sales personnel," Dunne says. The sector's growth reflects his thinking. The ICM software market grew by around 15 percent last year -- to $250 million in revenue worldwide -- and is expected to grow at a similar rate in 2007, Dunne says.

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. Sales Incentive Software Set to See More Sales The market for incentive compensation management continues to expand, as more companies recognize its ability to drive growth. 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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