Offering Better Sales Incentives
with Commission Tracking Software
Software developers now offer tools that give service centers a better way to track the commissions being offered as sales incentives.
The metals business can be volatile. Current economic conditions have hurt sales significantly. Many service centers are looking for new ways to motivate their sales teams and reward them accordingly. Often, sales managers attempt to manually track and calculate sales commissions via spreadsheets that require large amounts of manual data analysis and input. Understanding the current sales and market conditions and aligning those with internal sales goals and incentives is a critical task for sales management.
The best commission tracking programs available today capture all sales and cost data and present it in an easy-to-manage format for sales managers or human resources staff. Such programs allow service centers to base commissions on sales revenue or profit. If a service center is currently focused on moving inventory, for instance, it could set its commission structure to be based on revenue. If it is mostly concerned with increasing margin, the best choice would be to base commissions on profits.
When evaluating a commission tracking program, it is important that it offers flexibility for both current and future needs. For instance, Bayern’s program offers the ability to base commissions on total cost of an invoice, a specific inventory item or even a specific lot/tag. In addition, commissions can be paid to the outside sales person assigned to the customer, the inside account manager assigned to the customer or the inside sales person that handled the call and actually entered the sales order into the system. This flexibility gives the sales manager the opportunity to offer incentives to multiple salespeople, possibly paying multiple commissions to different salespeople for the same invoice.
It is also important to make sure that all inventory costs (including material, freight, labor, processing, machine, etc.) are captured when calculating commissions. Otherwise, the company may be paying out too much in commissions, further cutting into profits. The program should allow managers to filter invoices based on whether or not a customer has paid the invoice, so commissions are paid only after payment has been received. It should also track credits and reduce commissions accordingly, even if an initial commission was already paid.
When looking for the best and most complete software for your service center, make sure it includes a comprehensive commission tracking module that captures pertinent revenue and profit data so that you can offer a comprehensive incentive plan for your sales force.
Bayern Software, Phoenix, Ariz., offers STEEL PLUS enterprise management software, including the STEEL PLUS Commission Tracker, for metal service centers. For more information, visit http://www.bayernsoftware.com.