Are you using Excel or Google Sheets to manage your commission calculations and realizing how difficult it’s getting to scale as your company grows? If so, you’re not alone. Manually managing sales compensation plans in Excel or Google Sheets can get overwhelming very fast, especially as your sales team and company grows. And on top of that, any manual process is prone to human error. In fact, 80% of Excel spreadsheets contain errors (source). That’s a lot of frustration, wasted time, and financial loss for the entire company.
A sales commission platform can help your organization eliminate the risk for human error, provide real-time visibility to reps so they can focus on selling instead of worrying that their commission calculations are wrong, and save your finance department a lot of time. If you’re in the market for sales commission software, we’ve outlined seven important things to look for in more detail below.
1. Real-time integration with existing tools.
Your finance and sales teams are most likely pulling reports from existing platforms, such as Salesforce (or whichever CRM your organization uses), your ERP system, and your payment system. It’s critical to make sure that the sales commission platform you choose integrates, in real-time, with the current tools you already have in place. Otherwise, it’s going to be a very manual and timely process to run a report or perform data analysis. The integration with existing tools also gives organizations the ability to give their sales reps real-time feedback about how they’re doing and help identify areas for improvement.
2. Flexibility to customize plans.
Commission plans change often, especially as the business grows and changes. Look for a sales commission platform that allows you to make the necessary changes internally instead of one that offers a turnkey solution. A turnkey platform will most likely be costly to update, and these updates won’t be instant. You’ll need to work with your external vendor to make the changes if you’re working with a solution that’s not flexible, which takes time. Doing this in-house will save you time and money at the end of the day. Bonus points if you find a low-code solution that allows you to build, design, and manage your compensation plans without having to rely on complex formulas or code.
3. Access to critical data and insights.
Sales commission platforms don’t just calculate commissions. Once implemented, some solutions will collect data and insights into your sales team and their process. The platform you choose should give you real-time visibility into this data and help you visualize trends across plans, teams, and your entire organization. Having access to the data and insights will lead your organization to make better-informed decisions, continue to optimize, and identify opportunities for improvement and growth.
4. Customized, audit-ready reporting. (ASC 606, IFRS 15).
Though sales commission platforms are mostly used by sales and finance teams on a daily basis, it’s essential to have a customized reporting functionality. This comes in handy when other departments request reports, such as the legal team or CFO. Your CFO will want to see a different report than your head of legal. Finance and sales managers will want to see different reports than the VP of finance or VP of sales. You get the idea.
Another reason customized reporting is so important is that when it comes time for auditing (ASC 606, IFRS 15), finance teams will no longer have to spend countless hours dredging through complicated commission sheets. With just a couple of clicks, relevant reports are populated instantly.
5. Personalized dashboards for sales reps.
Sure, you can easily share a Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet, but do you really want your sales reps seeing everything in the spreadsheet? Our guess is probably not. To solve this issue without a sales commission platform, you’d have to build complex permissioning logic. And what if you need a manager to be able to see the calculations for their teams? You guessed it! More permissioning logic.
Don’t forget about those technical sales reps. We’re guessing you probably don’t want them seeing the full commissions of sales reps they worked with on deals they helped close. This would require even more permissioning logic.
With the right sales commission platform, personalized dashboards for sales reps allow them to see calculations and plans related to them and nothing else. This keeps them on track and also doesn’t expose information to them that you don’t want them seeing.
6. Houses all communication.
Raise your hand if you hate wasting time clicking from tab to tab, then back to your email, and back to your browser again. Now imagine having a solution where you can automate your commission process and keep all of your communications related to the process within the same platform. Does a sales rep have a dispute? They can handle it right within the platform. And if they have a question, same thing, they can handle it right within the platform. If maximizing your time is important, then be sure you choose a tool that can house all communications.
7. Ability to scale.
Your sales commission software should be able to scale with growth. The way many organizations scale commissions when they don’t have software is to create a new tab for each sales rep. That may work if you have 5-10 reps, but when you start to grow, that becomes unmanageable. Imagine having 200 sales reps and having a tab for each one? It would be impossible to make things real-time, personalized, auditable, and testable.
Choose Spiff, the leading sales commission platform.
Spiff is a leading sales commission platform that automates commission calculations and motivates teams to drive top-line growth. With a combination of an intuitive UI, real-time visibility, and seamless integrations into current systems, Spiff is the first choice among high-growth businesses. The platform enables finance and sales operations teams to self-manage complex incentive compensation plans and provides transparency for sales teams. See Spiff in action! Schedule your demo today.