One of the biggest challenges of managing a fast-moving sales department is keeping up the pace set by all-star agents. Rather than using antiquated and rudimentary spreadsheets or computer software that is slow and sluggish, many businesses are turning to incentive compensation management (ICM) programs designed specifically to keep up with the fast-paced nature of sales.

Bankers Life and Casualty, a leading life and health insurance provider, is the latest company to make use of ICM as a way to expedite and streamline sales-related processes. The business recently signed a deal with Varicent to integrate its ICM solution.

"Varicent was the best alternative for an integrated system to replace our legacy marketing systems," said Chris Campbell, vice president of marketing and business development for Bankers Life and Casualty. "The system will facilitate increased productivity and greater flexibility, and provide us with increased scalability and forecasting capabilities, enabling us to better meet our goals."

In particular, Bankers Life and Casualty plans to use Varicent as a means to implement and execute newly customized compensation plans, expedite the speed-to-market of new products, services and compensation plans, provide better and more detailed business analytics, manage and improve internal controls and integrate various self-service options for sales representatives.

Varicent was quick to point out that many insurance organizations use its ICM solution as a way to address slow sales processes. A number of companies in this sector, such as Bankers Life and Casualty, have traditionally used antiquated legacy systems that may hinder workflow. By upgrading to software tailor-made to address sales, companies can improve productivity while minimizing redundant or wasteful tasks.

"Many companies are recognizing that replacing legacy systems with an automated incentive compensation management solution provides flexibility, speed and accuracy allowing them to significantly reduce administrative and IT effort, while providing more timely, complete and accurate information to their agents," added Mark Girvan, vice president of Americas field operations at Varicent.

While traditional spreadsheet programs remain the most popular sales management tools among companies, dissatisfaction with them is growing. A separate report from Varicent notes that companies with dedicated ICM and sales performance management (SPM) platforms were the most satisfied with their sales management processes.