SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

January 08, 2008 10:00 ET

Compensation Management Initiatives Result in Increased Sales Productivity

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - January 8, 2008) - As the pressure to increase market share continues to mount, companies are burdened by increasingly complex sales compensation plans developed out of the need to increase sales productivity. Often times, valuable selling and administrative time is lost in the endless calculations and questions that result from sales representatives struggling to predict their commissions and understand their pay statements. As a result of this downtime, Best-in-Class organizations are focusing resources on increasing sales productivity through improvements in compensation management. A recent study, "Sales Compensation Management: Coin-Operated Productivity," conducted by the Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), revealed that 100% of Best-in-Class companies have a compensation plan design initiative in place. The study reveals the measurable strategic value of developing compensation management plans and automating the calculation and reporting processes.

A survey of over 250 respondents revealed that the need to increase market share and the increased competition for talented workers are two of the top pressures causing companies to focus resources on compensation management initiatives, 42% and 38% respectively. Best-in-Class companies indicated that they currently utilize CRM/SFA systems (71%), legacy databases (65%), reporting tools (65%), and analytics tools (47%) as key components of their compensation management strategy. Furthermore, Best-in-Class companies are 2.2 times more likely than Laggards to replace spreadsheets with an automated solution, thereby reducing the amount of time spent on laborious manual processes.

"Sales compensation management is a cycle of planning, implementing, administering, and back to planning. Companies are never 'done' designing compensation plans, just as the sales force is never 'done' selling," explains Gretchen Duhaime, a research analyst at Aberdeen. "When tackling incentive compensation, all firms must remain flexible, understanding that today's top metric may be irrelevant tomorrow. By building on a strong foundation of formalized processes to ensure payment and report accuracy, Best-in-Class companies are achieving double-digit growth in key metrics."

The report demonstrates the value of blending key organizational capabilities, such as centralized information repositories and formalized compensation processes, with crucial technology enablers to provide a roadmap for successful compensation management plans.

The research educates readers on how to grow market share and increase sales productivity through technology implementation. The report also provides the results that Best-in-Class companies achieve across key sales metrics after implementing a compensation management plan and compares these results to the Industry Average and Laggards who have not yet pursued a similar strategy. A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Makana Solutions, Xactly Corporation, VUE Software (a division of Computer Solutions & Software, Inc.), and Centive. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4562.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2007 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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