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Sales Performance Management is one of those fuzzy, newly popular terms that are difficult to pin down. Is it about software? Is it about people? Is it about processes? Yes and no. Sales Performance Management comprises technology, people, AND organizational norms. Sales Performance Management is not a piece of software for sale. It’s not a single training methodology. It’s not a set of rules. No more than “customer relationship management” is only about your software system or “human capital management” is only about how you hire people.

Here’s the quick answer:


Sales Performance Management is the framework—the house—for all of the activities that go into optimizing sales success.

Think of Sales Performance Management (SPM) as a house with three rooms, organized by what SAP’s Ariane Lindblom calls “The 3 Cs of Sales Performance Management: Coverage, Carrots, and Coaching.” According to Lindblom, the Coverage room of your SPM house holds your sales objectives, your hiring and onboarding processes, and your territory alignment plans—all of the infrastructure that ensures you’ve got the right resources in the right places. The Carrots room of the house is where you formalize and execute on your incentive and compensation plans. The Coaching room is where you enable your sales people to perform at their best. This is where you optimize your training program, identify and disseminate best practices, and turn B players into A players with coaching and collaboration. With all three rooms of your SPM house set up, your organization should be able to optimize sales productivity, accelerate sales cycles, and improve win rates.

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Amy Moore writes about how marketing, sales, and customer service professionals can use storytelling techniques to better engage their customers. Her house, for the record, does not have a Carrots room. What’s SAP’s customer engagement story? Learn more here.

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