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Incentive Compensation ManagementSales Performance Management

Data can take your sales team to the next level

By January 25, 2018January 16th, 2023No Comments

Salespeople are often characterized as emotional and impulsive, and some managers are reticent to expose their sellers to data that might affect their sales strategy. It’s rapidly becoming clear, however, that sales teams who integrate data into their selling strategy are more successful and efficient than the organizations that fail to utilize this data to its full potential.

One type of data that is critical to improving sales team performance is accurate sales forecasting. A sales forecast that anticipates realistic numbers allows a company to better plan its fiscal year, and makes it easier for sales managers to set attainable sales goals for employees.

Encouraging smart sales forecasts
Accurate sales forecasts are the result of employees who make intelligent predictions based on their previous sales experience with certain regions or clients. Businesses need to encourage this type of smart decision making, and can make sales forecasting a part of an employee’s overall compensation plans.

“Compensation can encourage smart decision making.”

This is currently a strategy at some of the top-performing companies, according to Aberdeen, a research group. While companies are not abandoning the traditional salary-plus bonuses and commission model used by sales teams over the years, they are tweaking this system with an eye toward accurate sales forecasting. Under the new systems, employees who correctly forecast their sales are able to earn a higher percentage of their bonus than workers who fail to accurately predict performance.

Aberdeen notes that more than 80 percent of companies currently use commission-based compensation structures, and that the most successful of these organizations have introduced compensation systems that modify commissions as a result of forecasting.

The need for compensation management
A compensation system that incorporates bonuses for sales forecast accuracy will be complex, and may be difficult to track using traditional methods. In a piece for the Harvard Business Review, Mark Roberge, a former HubSpot employee articulated the value of a transparent sales plan, saying it improved employee motivation because salespeople knew where they stood in relation to overall goals. If forecast accuracy is incorporated into a compensation strategy, salespeople must be able to easily identify how their forecast will affect their pay.

Iconixx makes it simple for a sales manager to introduce and track complex compensation strategies, and gives employees the ability to see their progress toward overall sales goals. This allows business to implement effective compensation plans and provides the tools needed to manage these strategies.

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Ballast Point Ventures

Ballast Point Ventures is a later-stage venture capital fund established to provide expansion capital for rapidly growing, privately owned companies in diverse industries, with a particular emphasis on companies located in Florida, the Southeast, and Texas. The BPV partners have more than 70 years of combined experience investing in and building high-growth companies in a number of industries, including healthcare, business services, communications, technology, financial services, and consumer goods. BPV has $200 million under management and seeks to make equity investments ranging from $3 million to $10 million.

Harbert Management Corporation

Harbert Management Corporation seeks to generate superior returns for their investors by identifying and investing in the most promising early growth stage companies in the Southeastern U.S. HMC seeks to capitalize on what it believes are compelling regional dynamics, such as a strong and fast-growing economy, significant research and development activities, and an established entrepreneurial community. The HMC team combines substantial investment, advisory, and operating experience with capital and networking contacts to support great entrepreneurial teams in successfully executing their growth plans. With offices in Birmingham, Alabama; Richmond, Virginia; and Gainesville, Florida, it’s well positioned to partner with entrepreneurs throughout the Southeast.

KBH Ventures

KBH Ventures was an early investor in Iconixx Software. KBH's investment philosophy plays a significant role in the firm's successful track record. KBH believes in running businesses to be cashflow positive and profitable every month. Startups and companies in a startup mode, such as one that has been purchased in distress, are expected to generate revenue within the first six months and reach profitability within the first 12 to 18 months. KBH also only invests in or acquires companies that are in the startup phase or have less than $20 million in revenues. KBH targets technology companies that offer business-to-business services.

S3 Ventures

S3 Ventures is an early expansion and growth stage venture firm with $200 million under management. It’s focused on information technology solutions that solve large business problems. S3 also invests in medical devices that improve the human condition. S3 invests in category-defining opportunities. It partners with the team and help focus methodically on what it takes to build a successful company. S3 today helps talented entrepreneurs take their technology and market knowledge and form valuable businesses in a repeatable fashion. Investment sizes start at several million or more for Series A, B, and C financing.