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IBM - Sales Distinction of the Year


Gold Stevie Award Winner 2019, Click to Enter The 2020 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Company: IBM, Armonk, NY
Company Description: IBM is a values-based enterprise of individuals who create & apply technology to make the world work better. Today, more than 400,000 IBM employees around the world invent and integrate hardware, software and services to help forward-thinking enterprises, institutions and people succeed on a smarter planet.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Distinction Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Sales Distinction of the Year - Services

Nomination Title: Sales Resource Deployment Management System

Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since the beginning of July 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

At IBM, like any other company with a sales force, it is critical to ensure that sellers are properly motivated to deliver revenue in a timely manner. This is not possible to manage for a sales force of 28,000+ sellers without a sound management system. For many years IBM sales managers and support teams spent far too much time chasing data to know if we had completed all of the incentive cycle start up requirements to enable sellers to focus on what they do best-sell.

In 2016, utilizing IBM Watson Analytics, a series of operational dashboards was deployed to provide the executive management team with all of the necessary information to effectively manage the incentives cycle deployment. The Holistic Incentive Plan Letter Deployment Management System was recognized with a Gold Stevie Award last year.

In an effort to continuously improve and embrace new ways of working, the Sales Resource Deployment Management System launched in 2018 to become our year-round system to oversee the deployment of our sales resource at IBM. The new and improved management system improved and built upon what was put into place over a year ago.

The executive reporting has been further enhanced with the integration of multiple deployment tools. This has allowed our Global Senior Sales Leaders, Operations Team, and Sales Incentives Design & Support Team to have an even more focused process to ensure sellers are on plans and quotas with assigned territories as soon as possible in the cycle.

In addition to the enhanced executive process and reporting, a new Sales Manager Territory Optimization Dashboard was implemented. This dashboard provides the sales managers with all of the details required to set up high value territories for the sellers using IBM’s Pure Data Analytics and Cognos Analytics technologies. This dashboard utilizes over 16M rows of data in an efficient manner to provide sales managers with historical performance of clients, year over year growth, and future opportunities. Sales managers are able to quickly make informed decisions about how they set up and distribute territories for their sellers. They can easily compare targets against the future opportunities in a particular territory and validate the territory alignment for their sellers against the business objectives.

Improvements in our management system include:

  • One global SSO (Single Sign On) link replaced seven separate geography links to executive reporting dashboard
  • Integrated 21 separate instances of dashboards into one tool with multiple views
  • Single data source powers data behind views so every suite has consistent data
  • Robust security matrix allows visibility to data based on rules for roles permissions
  • Offline viewing is an ideal solution for remote users
  • Export capabilities of reports to either Excel, PDF, or CSV
  • Sales managers now have the ability to get immediate answers when aligning sellers to clients to create high value territories with sound targets

The key benefits include:

  • A new best-ever benchmark was set for having sellers on their plans with quota and territories in place early in the cycle
  • 98% of sellers were on plan with quotas and assigned territories within 25 days of the start of the cycle for 2H 2018 which was one month better than ever before
  • Early deployment drives sellers to be focused on selling and delivering revenue sooner than ever before
  • There is a 3X improvement in the frequency of updates for the data input
  • Faster interface for dashboards improves load times from 25 seconds to 10 seconds
  • With easy access and views of critical data, sales managers are able to align territories to sellers that will best motivate them and help drive revenue to IBM
  • 80K+ hours saved (valued at $4M+) with implementation of the new Sales Manager Territory Optimization Dashboard

IBM’s Global Sales Incentives organization has been on a mission to transform the end-to-end resource deployment process. This management system and the results are indicative of the great strides that have been made with even better results expected going forward.