Allow me to first set the stage by sharing some information your CFO may have already shared with you. In 2007, CFO magazine conducted a survey that revealed rather astounding results. It reported that of all companies large enough to justify installing an automated Sales Compensation Management (SCM) solution, over ninety-five percent still relied on spreadsheets. Companies deploying thousands of sales representatives were still trying to track sales transaction details and calculating commissions using complicated, difficult to manage, unauditable spreadsheet formulas to pay incentives totaling millions of dollars.
Chances are, you are experiencing this situation first hand; and you face choosing from one of three scenarios: you need to automate your processes to meet regulatory or stock holder requirements; you have already adopted a solution that was “expected” to address this challenge; or, you have a home-grown solution that takes a great number of resources to keep it current. Interestingly, Glocent’s first client resulted from Time Warner Cable’s (TWC) New York IT department contacting us because they had been trying to build an in-house solution for three years, without much success. Its challenge: sales and marketing were constantly requesting ad-hoc modifications to the system to accommodate promotions, campaigns and sales plan changes. As a result, it could never make much progress building a new system capable of supporting the functionality it was being asked to provide. Does that sound familiar?
Most CIO’s today face making an inevitable decision regarding their SCM processes: Do you move away from the obvious limitations of spreadsheets and build something specifically designed to support your business; or, do you trust that another vendor can support your business requirements? One reason many companies have lived with the limitations and errors of spreadsheets is that they know the risks that come with doing either.
Some companies elect to deploy their own IT resources to build custom solutions, only to realize that they became cumbersome to manage and maintain. Others fall prey to solutions portraying themselves as incentive management applications only to discover that they didn’t meet fundamental SCM requirements. Because of the bad experiences of other companies, most IT managers decide to just remain with spreadsheets because of the wake of disaster some of these solutions left behind.
While it is common for people to assume that incentive management is a “sales” responsibility, we would like to ask you, as the leader of your IT team, if anyone has thought to ask you how outdated, error prone, manually cumbersome solutions impact not only your direct responsibilities, but the profitability of your company? If they haven’t, we have provided a few items to consider. To learn more select from the links below: