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Driving profitable sales growth at all cost

Insights from sales leaders reveal growth is now trumping cost reduction as the driving force behind sales plans. As this shift occurs sales leaders should consider three priority actions.


Insights from sales leaders reveal their top focus has shifted from optimizing sales spend to driving sales growth at all costs.

To achieve this goal, it’s vital to accurately forecast the economic impact of incentives, but just one-third analyze return on compensation spend and nearly one-quarter struggle to define compensation’s impact on selling behaviors.

It is clear major changes are needed in how compensation and incentives are designed and implemented.

So, now the big question, how do they fix this?



Sales Growth at all Cost

New insights reveal the old selling model is dead and change is required. Despite these challenges, Chief Sales Officers are increasingly focused on driving sales growth at all cost.

Sales leaders are struggling to forecast the impact of compensation plans


cite forecasting economics as the biggest challenge to rolling out compensation plans

 10 points

Return on sales investment is unknown


of high techs spend up to


of revenue on sales compensation compared to




remain unclear on amount spent on sales compensation

Only 33%

analyze ROI on sales compensation spending

 24 points compared to x-industry average

Intention and execution are disconnected

56% of reps were expected to make quota, yet only
48% did

 7 points

expected to make quota vs
55% x-industry

 5 points

are unsure of the impact of sales plan on selling behavior

As the war for talent intensifies, focus on rep satisfaction is urgent

voluntary turnover

 3 points

combined voluntary and involuntary turnover

 5 points

over x- industry average

Only 25%
use rep retention as a measure of plan effectiveness

 3 points

need improvement in helping reps feel quotas are fair and achievable
Source: Accenture 2014 Sales Compensation Performance Management Analysis of Technology Companies with >USD1B revenue


Align incentive plans to strategic intent

Clearly link sales and corporate business objectives and drive the right behaviors through clearly communicated, easily understood incentives.

Invest in prescriptive analytics

Accelerate from simply telling sales organizations where they are, to showing them where they’re going to help make outcomes more certain and help develop a sales culture that delivers faster growth.

Invest in top sales performers

Analyze their performance and behaviors so key lessons can be extracted and applied across the salesforce.


For more information on how Accenture Sales and Channel Services can help you achieve profitable sales growth visit Grow your Business and join in the conversation on Twitter @AccentureHiTech.


The data used for this analysis were gathered as part of CSO Insights’ 7th annual Sales Compensation and Performance Management (SCPM) study. As part of this research effort, we surveyed over 250 companies worldwide collecting information on upwards of seventy sales compensation and performance management related metrics.

The CSO Insight report represents the summary findings of annual survey of challenges impacting sales performance today. The report is designed to help executives clearly understand the current world of sales from two perspectives. The first is the "what" of selling where the focus is on assessing the objectives sales organizations are trying to achieve and second is the "how" of selling where the focus is on analyzing the strategies and tactics Chief Sales Officers (CSO) are implementing to achieve their goals.