5 Ways To Make SPM Solutions A Success In Your Organization

5 ways to make spm solution a success in your organization

Sales Performance Management (SPM) is a structured data-informed approach to plan, manage, and analyze sales performance. Let’s discover why it’s a vital tool for today’s organizations to improve their decision-making and sales agility to drive optimal performance. 

Reports suggest businesses that have implemented SPM solutions have outperformed sales teams in organizations that don’t. 

A lack of transparency was killing morale. No one had a clue how commissions were being calculated much less how to maximize take-home pay. Managers didn’t know how compensation would fall from one quarter to the next, and sales reps were in open rebellion. A third of the team left the company last year, and needless to say, sales dropped for a sixth consecutive quarter.

According to the latest, Dell Technologies’ Digital Transformation Index, “80 percent of organizations globally have fast-tracked some digital transformation programs” in response to the pandemic-led changes year. For many businesses there had been no choice but to go on an overnight plan to streamline and ramp the technology adoption. 

Contrarily, it is also seen from the Dell Technologies report that more than half of the companies already in the midst of a digital transformation have obvious fears of not moving fast enough. This makes us think deeply, so what can businesses do to help accelerate their adoption, or for those that haven’t yet started, where do they begin?

We now know there is a dire need to provide everyone visibility into commissions, and, being the industrious manager that you are, you did some research, asked around, and procured a Sales Performance Management (SPM) solution for your organization.

Virtually overnight, compensation analysts gained the ability to automate commission calculation, ensuring that everyone was getting paid what they expected. Sales reps were able to view detailed dashboards of their commissions in real-time, and managers could use continually updated data to tweak compensation packages on the fly to influence sales behavior.

Problem solved. Everyone wins. Right?

Well, not so fast. Implementing an SPM solution is the easy part. Getting people to change their behavior, embrace new processes and use the new technology how it is intended is a tad more difficult. It’s very easy for people to slide back into old habits of using spreadsheets to calculate commissions and emails to collaborate and communicate. If not rolled out properly, all that work and money spent on automating SPM will be wasted and the sales organization will fall back into chaos.

Here are five steps toward making SPM stick in your organization:

Education Campaign

Even before you begin implementation, it’s important to communicate with stakeholders about what you are doing. Remind them of the pain points they deal with every day and how the new SPM solution will resolve them. Focus on how you will be making their lives easier. Once you’re ready to migrate to the new platform, user buy-in will be much easier.


Everyone needs to know how to use the new SPM solution and what their role is in the new system—whether it’s the person pushing buttons on commission calculation, a sales manager, the CFO, or the sales team. Conduct training sessions. Again, focus on how the software will be easing their day-to-day and how it provides value to the business through automation and streamlined business processes.

Strategic Partner

It’s important that administrators know the system inside and out and can troubleshoot any issues quickly. You don’t want to have to rely on an IT integrator forever, so taking ownership is key. Be involved from the very beginning and follow through every step of the implementation process from planning to deployment to eventually roll out. So when it’s time to hand the keys over, you’ll know what you are doing.

Executive Support

Nothing sticks if the C-Suite isn’t on board. Executive buy-in can apply pressure from the top—ensuring users take new processes and their role in them seriously. Show executives how they can use the insights derived from SPM data and dashboards to set policies to amend compensation programs and plan product rollouts, special deals, and discounts.


Any implementation partner is going to hand off important documentation about how the solution is designed and engineered. However, make sure they also help you create how-to documentation that helps users learn the new system. This will be useful when first implemented as well as when new employees are onboarded. Stickiness, however, depends on how easy it is for users to come back and reference procedures. Instead of forcing someone to search through a 10-page document to find out how to do one task, create interactive cheat sheets for the most common features. You’ll find that the more these quick hitters are used, users will be more likely to use the software more deeply.

Implementing an SPM solution is a great first step in automating and streamlining sales compensation. But it needs to stick. It’s important that you educate users on what you are doing, train them properly, take ownership of the project, get executive buy-in and create documentation for easy reference. Otherwise, you’ll find that you just spent a large sum of money and months of your life for naught as the sales organization descends back into spreadsheet chaos.

Ready to learn more?
A5 is a systems implementer focused on creating Digital Transformations strategies. Our A5 methodology modernizes your lead to cash process and makes your supply chain lean by leveraging industry-leading packaged software, such as Salesforce, Oracle, Apttus, and Anaplan.

Contact us to schedule a consultation.

Get the latest articles right in your inbox

Explore our posts

Brion Schweers, Board Observer

Brion Schweers is a Senior Vice President of Product Management at Salesforce, currently managing the Revenue Cloud Solution Excellence team. During the past 30 years, Brion has assisted enterprises around the world in transforming their business by focusing on their Product-to-Cash processes. Prior to joining Salesforce Brion was VP & GM, CPQ at Apttus, VP, Sales & Success at A5 Consulting, served on the OAUG ConfigSIG Board and spent 15 years at Oracle in various roles related to their CX and CPQ products. Brion is also the executive Sponsor of Vetforce – Carolinas and is actively involved in the Salesforce Military program where he mentors Veterans and their spouses with actionable, personalized career advice.

Joseph Truhe, Board Member

Joseph Truhe has over 20 years of investing experience. Prior to joining Jefferson Capital in 2013 Joseph was a Portfolio Manager with Whitney Bank in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he oversaw the company’s Trust accounts and served as the Energy sector analyst for the Hancock Horizon Funds. Prior to Whitney, Joseph worked as an analyst and member of the investment committee at HFR Asset Management, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund platform in Chicago, Illinois. There, Joseph reviewed and maintained investment discretion over the firm’s Event Driven and Asia-focused hedge fund allocations. He was also responsible for the expansion of the firm’s Asia-focused fund offerings.  Joseph holds a BA in Economics from Yale University.

Steve Swartzman, Board Member

Steve Swartzman is a Principal and co-founder of CPC. Previously, as a co-founder of C3 Capital, he helped originate and manage over 35 investments, including national brands such as American Apparel, Traeger Grills, and Grunt Style. Steve’s chief focus remains consumer brands and e-commerce enablement businesses, and he currently serves on the boards of Grunt Style, Accel Clinical Research, Spoke Custom Products, Warne Scope Mounts, and New World Natural Brands.

Prior to C3, Steve structured and managed subordinated debt investments at KC Venture Group, and he spent 7 years as a Vice President with Citibank in New York, managing client relationships for emerging markets clients and structuring over $1 billion in complex trade financings. He is a past President of the Midwest chapter of the Small Business Investment Alliance, and he serves on the board of the International Center for Music at Park University in Kansas City.

Steve received a MBA from Columbia Business School and an AB in History and Literature from Harvard College.

He resides in Kansas City, where he was raised, with his wife Evelina and two sons, Harrison and Zandy. When he’s not working, his favorite activities are fishing, golfing, and eating.

Charles Scripps, Board Member

Chad has over ten years of experience investing in dynamic, growing businesses in diverse industries and geographies. His private equity experience includes HIG Capital, which has over $12B in capital under management, and AEA Investors, which manages over $3B of invested and committed capital. While at HIG and AEA, Chad led diligence, structuring, and financial analysis of potential and existing investments, and completed transactions in the industrial products and consumer services industries. Chad also has experience investing in the public equity markets, most notably as a Managing Director at Fox Point Capital, a $1B fund seeded by Julian Robertson of Tiger Management. He invested across a number of industries, including industrials, financials, technology, and consumer products, and led Fox Point’s international research. Prior to focusing his career on investing, Chad was a management consultant at McKinsey and Company, solving strategic problems for the world’s leading companies. Chad earned an MBA with Honors in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS with Distinction in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lester F. Alexander II, Board Member

Les Alexander is a partner with Jefferson Capital Partners where he provides mezzanine and equity capital for growth and buyout transactions. Mr. Alexander is a member of the firm’s investment committee and serves on the board of directors of several portfolio companies where he is actively involved in strategic planning and corporate governance. Prior to joining Jefferson Capital, he worked at Advantage Capital Partners where he completed several portfolio company investments and served on the investment committee. Before becoming a private equity investor, Mr. Alexander served as president of Ferrara Fire Apparatus, Inc., a leading fire truck and emergency vehicle manufacturer. At Ferrara, he was responsible for managing a workforce of 450 employees producing over 300 vehicles annually for its domestic and international customers. As an investment banker for 15 years with such firms as Howard Weil, Southcoast Capital, and J.C. Bradford & Co., Mr. Alexander completed over 50 public offerings of debt and equity securities, private placements, and merger and acquisition transactions totaling more than $7 billion for public and private companies in a variety of industries. Mr. Alexander is an adjunct professor at Tulane University and Loyola University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in investment banking, private equity & venture capital, advanced financial management, investments, and entrepreneurship. He is also the board president for Benjamin Franklin High School, a public charter school in New Orleans. Mr. Alexander is the former Chairman Finance of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and served on the global Board of Directors. He is a founder of the Louisiana chapter of ACG and was a recipient of the ACG global Meritorious Service Award and the Louisiana chapter’s Outstanding Service Award. Mr. Alexander received his bachelor of science in Commerce from the University of Virginia in 1989 and his MBA from the University of North Carolina in 1993.

Patrick F. Healy, Board Member

Based in Kansas City, Mr. Healy is a co-founder of C3 Capital. He has been an active private equity investor since 1985 and was a co-founder of C3 Holdings in 1994. Prior to this time, he sponsored and structured equity investments in real estate. He gained extensive workout and restructuring experience as chair of the creditor’s committee of a $1 billion bankruptcy and from being called upon to rescue a publicly-traded company from a major fraud. Mr. Healy was a senior tax partner at Mayer Hoffman McCann, a regional CPA firm, for eleven years. He received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Kansas.

Chris Waters, VP of Strategic Sales

As Vice President of Strategic Sales, Chris guides and influences all strategic sales activities at A5 , starting in presales activities, successful sales methodology, sales process, and continued revenue generation and expansion opportunities. Furthermore, he will provide oversight in strategic sales function for the company and develop strategic sales plans that will promote growth in sales and customer satisfaction. Chris has proven his commitment to sales leadership and organizational success through field leadership as National Sales Manager at Deluxe Corporation, Field Sales Manager within the Social / Analytics Cloud at Oracle, US Regional Manager for CPQ Major Accounts at Oracle and now as Vice President on Sr. Leadership Team at A5.

Keith Fox, GM Salesforce Canada

Keith Fox is a software and consulting veteran for the past 34 years. Keith started his career at EDS which was followed by 4-year stint offshore in Bermuda. Keith then returned to Canada where he held a number of progressive sales and technical positions with software companies such as Sybase, BEA, and Oracle. After his stint with Oracle, Keith founded Cloudware Connections, a premier Salesforce consulting partner. 11 years down the line, Cloudware was acquired by A5, and Keith joined as GM for Canada.

Tarun Sharma, Vice President Delivery

Tarun Sharma is Vice President Delivery at A5 and is responsible for customer success, project operations, recruitment, resource utilization, and sales operations functions for Oracle practice. As a business and technology leader Tarun helps businesses develop solution strategies to streamline the sales process and improve customer relations to drive revenues, profits, and build brand loyalty. Tarun has led customers through digital transformation journeys. He has commanded strategic and tactical initiatives to shorten sales cycles, increase deal values and productivity, improve brand awareness and help organizations become easier to do business with. He has helped customers modernize their sales enablement tools and present a single source of information to support an omni-channel sales approach. This includes global roll-out for multiple business units included multi-currency and multi-language. Tarun graduated from Texas A&M University with a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering.

Adam Rosenfield, VP of Salesforce Practice

As Vice President of A5’s consulting practice – Adam is responsible for both strategic alliances with partners and expanded sales growth through the entire portfolio of A5 services. With over 20 years of Sr. level management consulting expertise – Adam has worn multiple hats in his career including practice development, sales, and client advisory. He has sold & delivered countless enterprise transformational initiatives creating a measurable competitive advantage for his customers. In addition to various technical software certifications, Adam holds an undergraduate and master’s degree in Accounting & Information Technology from the University of Texas at Austin and resides in El Paso Texas with his wife and 3 children.

PJ Alfrejd, CFO

As the CFO, PJ is responsible for all things financial at A5. With over 20 years of experience in financial leadership positions, PJ has worn all the hats required of a growing tech business. His extensive knowledge of the consulting industry, experience with M&A, and strength in operational finance is another catalyst to take A5 to the next level in its growth trajectory. PJ is a CPA with a BS in Accounting from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has held various finance leadership positions at Exodus/Savvis (acquired by Centurylink), Neohapsis (acquired by Cisco), and mFoundry (acquired by FIS).

Vinay Kruttiventi, President & CEO / Chairman of the Board

As the CEO of A5, Vinay plays an active role in all aspects of day-to-day business operations. He is also actively involved in establishing a strategy and vision for the company. As a true customer advocate with Salesforce and Oracle product development, Vinay is actively engaged in various industry user/special interest groups. Since founding the company in 2004, Vinay has grown the business into a leading Salesforce, and Oracle partner focused on multi-cloud transformations.

Vinay has successfully implemented and architected CPQ solutions and multi-cloud complex transformation projects for various Fortune 500 companies since 1996. He has a strong authority over industry, process, and technology in Configure-Price-Quote and ERP applications. Vinay graduated from Osmania University with a Bachelor of Engineering degree and JNTU (Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University) with a Master in Technology degree.