Centive Blind Survey Reveals 80% of Respondents View Sales Compensation as a Strategic Sales Performance Management Function


Share on LinkedIn

Centive, the leader in on-demand sales performance management (SPM), today released the results of an online, “blind” survey recently completed by over 100 US mid-market sales and finance executives. The survey reveals that while 80% of the executives view sales compensation management as a “strategic” function, fewer than 25% claim their current sales compensation system provides measurable strategic value. The survey results validate previous analyses by industry analysts and thought leaders which indicate that for many companies, a significant gap exists between expectation and reality with respect to sales compensation programs and their effect on sales performance.

Centive attributes this gap to a longstanding industry-wide reliance upon home-grown spreadsheet-based commission calculation systems. In fact, 92% of the survey respondents indicated they currently use in-house spreadsheet-based sales compensation systems, and within that group, 68% indicated their level of satisfaction at a “1” or “2” on a 5-point scale (5 being very satisfied).

“The bad news is that too many companies continue to try to get by with spreadsheet-based sales compensation systems, and they therefore fail to realize the full potential of their sales compensation investments, said Michael Torto, president and CEO, Centive. “But there is good news. Sales compensation, and its role in sale performance management, is a hot topic. There have been an increasing number of analyst reports, webinars and in-depth articles in on-line and print media alerting executives to the sales performance benefits of automated solutions, particularly on-demand solutions like Centive Compel®. Each month, more companies are evaluating, subscribing to and deploying Compel to automate sales compensation management and drive sales performance.”

Additional data points from the survey include the following:

• 77% claim their current system provides no access to performance data until after the close of a period
• 62% claim their current system does not easily support plan modeling or commission expense forecasting
• 54% claim that commission disputes result in lost sales focus
• 42% claim their current system does not support Sarbanes-Oxley compliance

With respect to evaluating a new solution:

• 86% view ease-of-use as the most important attribute
• 78% view reporting and analytics as an essential feature
• 72% view real-time visibility as a critical element for driving sales performance

“The results of this survey validate what we see time and time again, particularly in small and mid-market companies,” said David J. Fritz, president, Growth Solutions, a management consulting firm specializing in sales performance optimization. “Ultimately, sales compensation is one of the best means of communicating to the sales force what is important to accomplish; be it revenue growth, new customer acquisition, customer loyalty, the placement of strategic products, etc. However, this communication cannot end with plan roll-out, rather, it must be reinforced monthly, weekly, and even daily. We’ve found that automated systems like Compel enable companies to better manage this day in and day out communication with the sales force, consistently motivate the right behavior, and thus enable a company to realize the strategic value of a soundly designed program.”

About Centive
Centive, headquartered in Burlington, MA, is the recognized leader in on-demand sales performance management (SPM). Companies use Centive Compel, hailed by CIO Magazine as the “most widely used choice for sales compensation management,” to accurately model and forecast commission costs, calculate commission and bonus earnings and gain real-time visibility into sales performance metrics. Compel, a Salesforce.com AppExchange certified solution, is a winner of the CODiE award for “Best Financial Software,” the CRM Excellence award from Customer Inter@ction Solutions, and the CRM WizKids Award from Beagle Research. To learn more about Centive, please visit www.centive.com or call 1-877-CENTIVE.

News Editor
CustomerThink offers a free news posting service for press releases relevant to our community. To submit your press release to our news editor, send an email to [email protected] with the press release headline and main content in the email subject line and body, respectively. That's it! Approved press releases will appear in our news category within one business day of submission.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here