Incentive compensation management (ICM) serves a variety of purposes – it can help sales organizations set goals, manage a variety of territories, monitor sales activity, improve performance, simplify and expedite compensation calculation and otherwise bolster workflow. ICM, when combined with sales performance management (SPM) and customer relationship management (CRM) can be a very powerful tool for making sales departments run more efficiently.

As a result, companies around the world are investigating options for ICM. No longer are these tools made just for the largest corporations – businesses of all sizes can fit ICM in their budgets, thanks in part to recent technological advances. Moreover, these tools are becoming even easier to use as vendors focus on improving aspects such as accessibility.

CallidusCloud, a vendor of ICM software, is one of the many options that businesses have when integrating these tools. For example, Innovative Insurance Partners recently decided to incorporate the company's ICM solution for the insurance industry, with a contract signed during the fourth quarter of 2012.

"Our focus is to spend resources on technology and other infrastructure methods to ensure we are ahead of the game," said Andrea Baumer, president and CEO at Innovative Insurance Partners. "CallidusCloud was a natural choice for us as our commission software vendor. We realize that we are providing the agent's 'paycheck,' so we need to be accurate, timely and efficient."

For many businesses, timeliness has become a crucial aspect of compensation plans – agents want to be paid on time and with little to no hassle or confusion. Unfortunately, when companies use antiquated software solutions – such as Microsoft Excel or other basic spreadsheet programs – the payment process can become convoluted and obtuse.

These basic tools aren't built to handle complex processes such as ICM. As a result, using them frequently leads to late payments that are even sometimes incorrect. Additionally, they aren't easily accessible to sales teams, who may then create their own way of tracking compensation, which further impacts their productivity. This is one of the many issues that can be solved by ICM, and is one of the primary reasons businesses such as Innovative Insurance Partners opt for these tools.