A Dashboard Spy reader found a paper detailing specific problems when applying business intelligence solutions to sales force field performance management. First, let’s cut to the chase by showing what they feel makes for a good solution. Take a look at these two dashboard screenshots:
Now, here’s what they say many people make in terms of mistakes:
Timely and accurate sales performance information provides necessary feedback to help sales managers manage and reps stay focused. Unfortunately, many companies struggle to provide clear and meaningful information to their field sales organization and/or distributors. When this occurs, compensation plans lose their punch and reps waste time building their own tracking reports.
The typical sales operations group will have a set of technologies and reporting tools that are fairly sophisticated in providing information for their field. Why then, is the state of reporting and analytics considered less than optimal at so many companies today? Some of the symptoms that are commonly observed when information is less than adequate are the following:
- Sales reps are complaining about the lack of information, and question the integrity of their information they do receive.
- Reports are often not more advanced than a simple set of statements, none of which are working in conjunction with one another.
- Information must be consumed through a web portal, which requires an additional login.
- Management has access to simple dashboards, but advanced analytics have not been set up for business users, so speedometers, temperature gauges, and other tools are very simplistic.
- Management has been set up with a state of the art business intelligence solution, but the promise of “self-service” has not been realized because the tool is not designed to meet the needs of the business users.