OpenSymmetry Announces Results of 2013 Sales Performance and Technology Survey

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Results indicate sales organizations continue to struggle with the ongoing challenges of insufficient reporting, unreliable data and time-consuming manual processes.

Performance. Innovation. Whatever it Takes.

As these results show, sales organizations continue to struggle with the challenges of insufficient reporting, unreliable data and time-consuming manual processes.

OpenSymmetry, a global sales performance management (SPM) consulting firm, today announced the results of its 2013 Sales Performance and Technology Survey. Key findings reveal the need for greater accuracy and speed in sales compensation administration, as well as the need to maximize technology investments through improved data quality, reporting, analytics and the upfront vendor selection process. The annual survey received responses from participants in a range of industries about the processes, approaches and technologies used to design and administer incentive compensation programs.

The surveyed areas include Plan Design, Program Administration, Technologies Used, Reporting and Analytics, and New Technology Investments. Across all of these areas, organizations expressed the desire to develop formal, repeatable and well-documented processes. However, despite the need for increased process automation and accuracy, Microsoft Excel still remains the tool of choice in many areas, such as compensation management (72.7 percent), annual planning (80.8 percent), sales compensation reporting (72.3 percent), and sales compensation analytics (84 percent).

The biggest challenges discovered in administering sales compensation plans are frequent manual adjustments, a high degree of complexity of the sales compensation program, lack of data quality and inflexible technology. In addition, nearly a quarter (23.8 percent) of respondents said they could not calculate the ROI for their technology solutions, and indicated the need for well-defined business requirements before choosing a software vendor. Other key findings include:

  •     Reporting and Analytics: A large percentage of companies (39.4 percent) are providing one to two reports to each plan participant. Reports are usually provided on a monthly or quarterly basis. The challenge in providing timely performance reports is primarily caused by the time to generate reports and data quality issues.
  •     New Technology Investments: More than 25 percent of the respondents reported that they had not invested in a sales compensation infrastructure in the past 24 months.
  •     Program Administration: Only 18.5 percent of respondents reported accuracy over 99 percent, and only 53.4 percent reported accuracy between 95 and 99 percent. Respondents who measure the effectiveness of the sales compensation administration process are gauging their effectiveness based on incentive payouts to budget and accuracy rate.

“As these results show, sales organizations continue to struggle with the challenges of insufficient reporting, unreliable data and time-consuming manual processes,” said Iffat Mushtaq, senior director of Global Strategy Services at OpenSymmetry. “With 2014 sales planning on the horizon, our survey findings suggest organizations should invest in a complete infrastructure assessment now, and make critical adjustments to ensure their sales compensation strategy can deliver the intelligence needed to achieve their sales goals and maintain their market leadership.”

The complete survey report is available for download here.

About OpenSymmetry
OpenSymmetry is a global sales performance management (SPM) consulting firm delivering end-to-end performance management solutions consisting of both strategic and technical services that enable customers to transform their sales performance solutions into actionable results.

Founded in 2004, OpenSymmetry is headquartered in Austin, Texas with offices in London, Sydney, Johannesburg, Chennai and Kuala Lumpur. Clients range from SMB to Fortune 500 companies in the Communications, Financial, Health/Life Sciences, and IT/Distribution industries. For more information, please visit

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