One Click Commissions Sales Commission Software


Why Abandon Your Favorite Tools to Create Sales Commission Statements?

If you’re responsible for the sales commission function in your company you have probably encountered or heard others complain about the complexity and time-consuming nature of getting commissions done correctly for the sales team and management. While understanding your company’s commission plan and how it is calculated may seem like rocket science, another aspect of sales commissions exists that is just as time consuming and painful; getting sales commissions statements out to everyone on your sales team accurately and on-time.

Here is a customer example to highlight this problem. The controller for a telecomm reseller in the Midwest has created a master spreadsheet with pivot tables to track new orders, recurring billings and payments, gross margin and commission rates on every deal for the month. Her assistant updates this spreadsheet daily. At the end of the month, the controller has to spend a full day manually creating individual spreadsheets for each sales representative in the company. This mundane task requires creating a new spreadsheet and copying and pasting each representative’s results into this new spreadsheet. She creates twenty individual spreadsheets each month just to track commissions for the sales representatives. Next, she has to individually create an email for each sales representative and attach the spreadsheet to the email and send them. What makes the work more tedious and time consuming is the controller also has to create (again using manual copy and paste) statements for upper management including sales managers, VPs and the CEO.

Looking at this process it begs the question, “Isn’t there a solution to this time consuming process”? The short answer is “yes” and the solutions range in price and complexity. Being in the high tech industry I can point to a number of companies that want to solve the problems encountered with managing a company’s sale commission process. However, from a technology perspective there is another big hurdle that customers are asked to jump over to use these new solutions.

I admit that I really like cool and new technologies. In fact, I remember trying out an online service to refinance my house back in 1998. I thought how cool it would be to avoid the piles of paper and refinance my house online with the click of my mouse. Actually it wasn’t all that great since I filled out forms online only to have to do it again on paper. From a pragmatic business point of view, I’m constantly asking myself why am I required to abandon the tools I’ve come to love to use new technology. There are lots of good reasons high tech companies state to change and I’ve been a proponent of switching tools since I began in high tech, however more often than not switching costs are too high.

Such is the case with managing sales commissions. Earlier we stated commission statements are very time consuming and a mundane task every company has to perform if they pay out commissions. The other headache I pointed out is the calculating of sales commissions. Calculating sales commissions is not a new problem to solve. Companies have gone to great lengths to build very complex spreadsheets mapping their company’s sale commission plan. Many hours are spent by finance and/or operations managers along with the sales organization to properly calculate commissions. Again, given the complexity and time necessary to manage this process, customers have asked for better tools.

Several technology vendors have tackled this problem with tools they claim reduce the time to calculate commissions and support complex commission plans. Here’s the rub though, current technology vendors in the sales commission management sector ask customers to completely abandon their spreadsheets (and calculation formulas) and shift to products and/or services that have a unique commission calculation engine. The switching costs are just too high to go from a proven method of commission calculations using spreadsheets to other products. I often hear from companies that they know their spreadsheets inside and out, can make modifications and change formulas quickly and can find spreadsheet “jockeys” to help them when they are stuck. In other words, most companies love their spreadsheets and don’t want to abandon them. Thus, in order to provide cool and new technology to business users you can’t ask them to abandon what they love.

About the Author

Tom Brubaker is the Vice President of Sales at Nirvaha Corporation, the creator of OneClick Commissions. OneClick Commissions is the easy to use, any time, and any place sales commission statement creator that takes your Excel commission template and turns it into a beautiful commission statement you can print or email to one or hundreds of sales representatives in minutes. Don’t give up the tools you know and use every day, make them easier and faster to use with Nirvaha’s OneClick Commissions.