Good commission reports offer something of value to a sales team. Sales managers can use them to gauge performance both on an individual level and for the team as a whole. Sales representatives rely on them every month to find out how much they’re getting paid. It helps them understand how their sales were calculated into commissions and how their performance impacts their payout.
When it comes to developing a good commission report, there are a lot of factors to take into account. Calculations need to be accurate, charts and graphs should be clear, and it should be easy to read at a glance for both managers and employees.
Here at Core, we’ve had our heads buried in commission reports for years. During that time, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to build a report — and how NOT to build a report. It’s our pleasure to share some of those learnings with you.
In the spirit of sharing, we’ve pulled together a list of do’s and don’ts to help guide you through building the best report you can.
- DO provide clear and transparent rules for how commissions will be calculated every single month. Make sure your graphs, charts, and tables are understandable and marked clearly.
- DO deliver a consistent reporting system so that employees know what to expect every single month. They’ll know when the report will arrive in their mailbox, what that report is based on, and how it will be calculated every time.
- DO offer access to interactive dashboards throughout the month. Employees can drop in to check on their progress at any point during the billing cycle. That access will give your team peace of mind and instill trust in the system.
- DO show targets against goals and overall progress during the time period. Reports should not only aim to communicate commissions payouts but to demonstrate how an employee is performing. This kind of detail can drive sales reps to work harder and reach their goals.
- DO enlist the sales team to be your second set of eyes. Let them know that their feedback is important. If they check the numbers and find a mistake, they should know who to talk to to get it fixed. Additionally, if something isn’t clear or just isn’t working in a report, they can share that with the commission administrator as well.
- DON’T make clerical mistakes. Imagine you have two employees with the same or similar names and thanks to a mistake, their reports get switched. That kind of error not only risks the employees’ trust in their monthly commissions, it can also be a huge pain to fix for your commission administrator.
- DON’T send the reports late. Your employees are relying on their commissions and those reports. Make sure they get done on time. Certainly the reports can be a lot of work and take hours to finish if you’re doing them the old fashioned way. Every time you send a late report, you’re jeopardizing your relationship with your team.
- DON’T oversimplify commission rules. Communicate clearly what is expected of your team to earn commissions but include the details. We know commission rules can be very complicated. Make sure you lay that out for your team and remind them from time to time so they don’t forget.
- DON’T change the rules at the last minute. Change happens of course. There are plenty of reasons why commission rules may need to adjust or shift. But plan ahead for that and make sure you give your team time to prepare for changes that will impact their income and, as a result, their livelihood.
Bottom line: craft reports well and on time and you will succeed in keeping a stellar and motivated sales team. If you’re struggling to get there, we can help.
Sign up for Core Reporter and we’ll help you build reports with the click of a button. One more click, and you’ll send individualized reports to every single person who gets a commission payout on your team. You’ll cut down on errors, save time and money, and gain the trust of your entire sales team. Not to mention: you’ll have sales reps working harder and more aggressively to meet their goals.
If you join us today, you’ll get three months of Core Reporter for FREE. Contact us today to get more information.