Wednesday, May 21, 2008

PlanIt: Another On-Demand Sales Performance Solution

I received an e-mail some time ago from Matt Tyre, a Sales Compensation Consultant working at Sales Resource Group (SRG).
Sales Resource Group Inc. is an industry leading sales compensation professional services organization that provides world class software, consulting and outsourcing services, with expertise in sales incentive programs and sales force effectiveness.
I had heard about their president David Johnston before, from his articles in the Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) Contact magazine. David has over 20 years experience consulting for various organizations and teaches sales compensation for WorldatWork.

What distinguishes Sales Resource Group from many other small sales compensation management companies is that they offer their own sales compensation solution called "PlanIt".

PlanIt is an On-Demand Sales Performance Management solution offering the same functionalities as other applications in its category (incentive calculations, reporting, analytics, etc). In addition, PlanIt also has a module providing guidance to optimize compensation programs and align these programs to business needs, and allows to route relevant documentation to its users.

User Interface
Similar to other applications, PlanIt displays some high level compensation information to the payees when they login. From this screen they can easily review their current revenues, the top 10 performers and their ranking compared to their peers. What I particularly like about the main screen is the News /Announcements which occupies an important position at the top center of the screen. This ensures payees don't miss out on important news.


Reporting
The reporting section is also very important for the payees. Most of the reports are available "out-of-the-box" and illustrate all the information in different level of details. Payees can drill down to the order level, or see high level summary of their compensation and ranking. Custom reports can also be created easily.


Implementation
Overall the user interface was very nice, but the big question remaining was, how easy is it to implement and maintain solutions built with PlanIt. Not surprisingly the answer was, the implementation is user friendly. It is all done through a user interface and does not require any deep technical skills.

What I particularly liked about the Plan Design interface is its ability have approved plans and plans awaiting approval. I have not seen this functionality in other applications I am familiar with.
Mobility Feature
Only a week ago I discussed Varicent's mobility feature and I said I hadn't seen this anywhere else; PlanIt is actually available for use on PDA's including Blackberry handsets an Palm devices since April 18th. I haven't seen PlanIt mobile or Varicent mobile, but I wouldn't be surprised if most vendors followed with a similar feature.

Stevie Award for Sales Compensation Program of the Year
In 2006 and 2007, major clients of SRG won the prestigious Stevie Award for Sales Compensation Program of the Year.

Conclusion
In conclusion, I was a bit surprised I hadn't heard about Sales Resource Group before being contacted by Matt. However, with the level of maturity I noticed from their application, I would not be surprised if we started to hear more about them.

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Julien Dionne is a well-rounded consultant with global business management experience and outstanding technical, business and leadership skills. He earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Software Engineering from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and he is a member of the Canadian Professional Sales Association. The views posted within this blog do not reflect the views of Julien’s current or previous employers and clients. Julien can be reached at julien.dionne@gmail.com