If there’s one thing that the big data phenomenon has made clear, it’s that there is more than one way to look at anything. Organizations and people continue to have success with programs that are informed by both data insights and human inferences. The trick to getting the most of performance evaluation and management tools, whether they’re for enterprise resource planning or sales compensation best practices, is to ensure that they are agile. If there is more than way to gauge success, why restrict analytics tools to a single measurement? Ultimately, the value of using business analytics software to make decisions is that organizations have many different ways to ask questions and seek answers.
In a recent piece about ERP for Forbes, contributor Louis Columbus declared that the days of “brute force” planning – an approach that attempts to jam a “square” solution into a “round” need – are over. Legacy, linear systems that funnel data into decisions are built for efficiency, not adaptability. However, a dashboard or analysis tool that prizes responsiveness over quality of insight can end up leaving a lot of juicy observations on the table. The same holds true for applications of sales compensation best practices. These legacy approaches do not benefit business leaders, employees or customers in the age of the consumer, because they enforce a “one size fits all” model for the objective, process and evaluation of engaging customers and sealing the deal.
Analytics tools help companies work with people, not problems
One of the downsides of a brute force planning philosophy is that it sees a problem and manufactures a set of steps to get there. These steps are probably informed by past experience rather than the data on hand. This could mean that an employee is working with a sales strategy that is effective for some consumers and not others. Or, a sales strategy that works well for one employee could thrust another out of his or her comfort zone to the point that it’s hampering their potential. It may be something of a paradox, but business analytics can help organizations better work with people instead of focusing solely on objectives, according to Baseline Magazine.
Sales compensation best practices benefit from increased agility. There does not need to be one road map or one set of rigid standards to success. Using data to a granular degree, even on the level of a single employee or customer, can help organizations brainstorm more adaptive practices. Data analysis tools can help illuminate and predict the extent to which a strategy will be effective. With more agility, there are more possibilities for sales success.