Using Analytics to Drive Sales Performance

HR Times Video Blog: Insights from IBM Vision 2013

Vision 2013

Posted by Rob Dicks and Merritt Alberti August 13, 2013

Analytics is playing an increasing role in helping organizations improve the way they manage sales and their sales force. Do they have the right salespeople in the right places? Are they selling the right products to the right clients at the right price? Is the compensation program effective, competitive, and understandable? These are the questions analytics is helping them answer, using automated technology like IBM Cognos ICM to replace what is often a home-grown solution. It’s an effort that typically involves not only the sales group, but also HR, Finance, and of course, IT.

Listen in as Rob Dicks and Merritt Alberti talk to HR Times about their experiences helping companies implement sales performance analytics and how it’s helping them grow, manage commissions and other aspects of sales operations more effectively, and keep tabs on regulatory requirements.

Video Transcript: Hear the buzz from #IBMVision 2013

Analytics for Sales Performance Management

We did a presentation yesterday at Vision talking about where customers are using analytics. We talked about the different ways that they are advancing through the journey of using analytics to drive their sales objectives.

How are organizations using analytics to drive sales performance?

Our clients are looking for a way to use sales compensation and sales performance management technology to support their growth objectives, and that comes in a number of facets. As they look for ways to get their sales organization right sized, face off against the right clients, selling the right products, and driving the right margin on those projects, technology like IBM Cognos ICM supports them in making those decisions.

Analytics in Action

We worked with the client a year or so ago that was having significant trouble and there was a lot of noise in the sales force, they weren’t able to understand their compensation plans and their incentives and what they were supposed to do on a day-to-day basis.

This caused a lot of confusion in the sales force, this caused a lot of confusion with marketing team, it caused a lot of confusion with their sales operations team, finance, and even HR. And it caused a lot of distrust within the sales force.

When our clients are looking at buying Varicent and deploying a technology to drive sales incentives and sales behavior. There are a number of different groups that are involved. In most cases, sales operations and sales leadership are involved because they are making the decisions about how to motivate and organize their field force. Very frequently, HR gets involved, especially around pay competitiveness, pay benchmarking, and making sure that the compensation and pay for the sales organization – sales organization — is in line with other parts of the business, is in line with competitive pay in the market, and competitive pay across the organization. Finance gets involved because frequently there are conversations about compensation cost of sales.

And then, finally the IT organization is almost and always involved in these conversations as they – as they talk about how to deploy and use the software within the organization and how it fits in with the other technology that they have already committed to.

Bottom Line Benefits

Our solutions are able to streamline that and give sales reps transparency and visibility into their daily performance, helped them stay focused on things that are important to them, and things that are important to their sales leaders and obviously their executives.

The ability to address all of those in a single product has been important for many of our clients and it has been driving the decision to go from frequently a homegrown solution to an automated solution like IBM Cognos ICM .


Rob Dicks Rob Dicks is a principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Sales Effectiveness practice and the leader of the firm’s Financial Services Human Capital team. He works with organizations to achieve their business goals through the use of innovative human capital and sales force effectiveness programs.
Merritt Alberti Merritt Alberti is a Director on Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Sales Force Effectiveness (SFE) team. He has over 20 years of sales, marketing, and technology management experience, with the last 15 years spent in consulting and professional services, helping companies in the areas of sales operations, sales strategy, and sales compensation.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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