When selecting and implementing a Sales Performance Management system there are many critical steps in the process. In this blog I will cover what is the most essential step: the stakeholder buy-in. Why is this most important step you ask? Well, without the interest of this group the project is destined to fail. I remember sitting in a hall of over 100 people, all on a particular project in a large financial institution, listening to the key stakeholder discuss the successes (small ones) and the failures (not so small ones). At this meeting it was obvious that the people directing the project simply weren’t in tune with the people who were funding it.
How do you get in tune with the stakeholder? The key to a successful Sales Performance Management system is having not only stakeholder buy in, but also understanding every piece of interest the stakeholders have. Did any of the stakeholders have a recent or well-known failure? Did any of them have any experience in recent software selections? If so, what was valuable to them? These are just the tip of the questions you should be asking of this group. Think of it as a requirements gathering interview as it is most likely the most important requirements you have.
Once you have successfully understood what this group is looking for, it is important to communicate that information back. This is in the form of steering committee meetings that should be held at a minimum of once a month, depending on length and size of project. Specific topics of interest for sales performance management systems will be:
- Commission accuracy
- Report distribution
- Dashboard and analytics to management and operations
- Work flow and process management
- Territory and quota management
It’s likely that one of the above bullets is why you are rolling out a Sales Performance Management system in the first place. Also, in the meetings, any decision changes should be noted as they pertain to large impact changes. Organizationally these things can be called different names, we call them decision documents. These documents will outline decisions that will be executed on and their impact to the project. I bring this up because it is critical in making sure that you note for this group, with thorough process, any reason a project impacting decision was made. Also, helps to have this documented when people want to go back and change the decision.
The last part of the entire process will be final sign off of user acceptance testing. While this does not imply any key stakeholders will be part of the process, it is the gate in which they will be most interested in. This is where success gets communicated to the entire stakeholder team and they can organizationally reveal that the decision they made and the money invested was worth all the pain and long hours.
Often Sales Performance Management systems are communicated to shareholders as key strategic technology spends and they do get an extreme amount of attention. Because of this, understanding your stakeholder requirements is an absolute must when choosing and implementing a Sales Performance Management system.
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- On April 10, 2015