Drive sales performance at IBM Vision 2015

Director, Sales Performance Management, IBM

We are less than a week away from IBM Vision 2015, our biggest event of the year for Sales Performance Management. We have a lot planned for you over those four days, so I thought I would take a moment to share with you some of the things I am most excited about.

Inspiring guest speakers

Our General Session team has lined up some amazing guest speakers this year in addition to our IBM speakers.

On Day 1, you will hear from Ben Casnocha, an award-winning entrepreneur, Silicon Valley executive and co-author of the New York Times best-selling career strategy book, The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career. Check out this inspiring video to get a glimpse of what Ben will talk about.

You will also hear from one of our IBM Sales Performance Management customers on the main stage. Elizabeth Evans, Sales Compensation Manager at United Rentals, will share how her company designed and deployed its sales compensation program and how it overcame various challenges, such as a merger and apparent organizational differences.

For you cycling enthusiasts, we have a really exciting speaker lined up on Day 2. David Haase, four-time Race Across America competitor and three-time top American Finisher, will discuss how he uses analytics to help improve his performance. If you’re unfamiliar with the Race Across America, it is considered to be the single toughest race in the world. It eclipses the mileage ridden in the Grand Tours of Cycling, including the Tour de France (3,000+ miles), all in a compressed time frame. Here’s a video that gives an indication of what these riders are up against. You will also get to see David train in the expo hall, where IBM Watson Analytics will be used to monitor his performance (for example, heart rate, core temperature, speed, cadence and so on) in real time.

Also on Day 2, we have Jordan Ellenberg, professor and New York Times best-selling author of How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking. Jordan will discuss how big data and mathematics can be used to inform common sense, enable better decision making, and improve logic and understanding within the organization.

The Sales Performance Management track

We have a jam-packed SPM track this year with a total of 34 breakout sessions, including elective sessions, workshops, design studios and labs. Here are seven sessions I recommend checking out:

1052: Getting the Reports You Always Wanted – Taking Reporting to the Next Level

Monday, May 18, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.               

Many organizations spend so much time on the initial implementation—getting the payout numbers to calculate correctly and creating the reports they need—that they don’t take the time to get the reports they always wanted. In this presentation, you will learn how advanced reporting functionality and using charts, graphs, icons, dynamic tables and other features can take your reporting aesthetics and functionality to the next level. Join us to see how you can go above and beyond basic incentive compensation reporting and use the data in your system for your company’s strategic benefit.

1048: What's New and "In the Labs" for IBM Incentive Compensation Management

Monday, May 18, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Tuesday, May 19, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The IBM Incentive Compensation Management solution is used by hundreds of organizations worldwide, helping them calculate compensation for millions of payees. In this session, you’ll see the many new features and enhancements of the latest release and hear about work being done “in the labs.” You’ll hear about the customer use cases that contributed to the development of these new capabilities, and about advances being developed to take us to the next step in the product road map.

1190: Key Concepts and Best Practices for Building Better Sales Compensation Plans

Monday, May 18, 4:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

This interactive workshop will provide you with a solid foundation in the concepts and best practices of sales compensation plans and communication. You will gain a better understanding of fundamental topics such as target total compensation, base to incentive pay mix, upside opportunities and plan acceleration, plan measures, plan mechanics and effective practices for successful plan rollout. The pros and cons of various plan designs and features will be highlighted to provide you with the working knowledge you need to help your company assess and design more effective plans and avoid common mistakes in sales compensation plan design. The presenters will invite questions from the attendees.

1132: How VMware Views IBM Watson Analytics for Augmenting IBM Incentive Compensation Management Deployments

Tuesday, May 19, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Attend this session to hear how other IBM customers are investigating IBM Watson Analytics and how they plan to utilize this powerful solution within their organizations. The session features a real-world example from VMware, a top provider of cloud and virtualization software and services. You will hear about the different types of use cases that VMware is pursuing, what roles within the organization are involved and what they expect their implementation of the technology to look like.

1222: How Stryker Became More Efficient at Quota Planning

Tuesday, May 19, 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

The quota planning process at many organizations is often inefficient and frustrating for the managers involved. In this session, learn how Stryker, a leading medical technology company, transformed its quota planning process for hundreds of managers and completed the cycle within weeks using IBM Incentive Compensation Management. You will walk through Stryker's transition from managing the process through Web Forms to Editable Presenter Reports. You will hear how the company redesigned its quota planning input tool, incorporated a process dashboard—including a new manager population for more efficient and accurate quota planning—and increased oversight into the status of individual territories and management.

1173: Insights Beyond Variable Compensation Through Data Integration and Reporting at Fidelity

Wednesday, May 20, 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Fidelity has evolved beyond calculating and reporting on variable compensation. IBM Incentive Compensation Management brings new insights to stakeholders at Fidelity by marrying data with variable compensation results, calculating KPIs and enabling high-impact reports. These IBM tools and out-of-the-box capabilities make rapid development possible. Using this implementation with rich data sets integrated in multiple analytical reporting models, Fidelity’s compensation team can answer questions for salespeople, as well as relationship managers and executives. This session will demonstrate the use of combining data sources and visual reporting as part of a successful new company strategy using IBM Incentive Compensation Management.

1223: Glimpsing the Future – Incentive Plan Modeling in IBM Incentive Compensation Management

Wednesday, May 20, 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Attend this session to hear Chris Wales, President of Intangent, a leading sales performance management consultancy, describe how IBM Incentive Compensation Management can be used to forecast and model incentive plan changes to better predict the effectiveness and financial impact of proposed revisions to your incentive plan. You’ll learn how to interpret sales plan effectiveness and financials using Presenter Reports and how to use core product functionality to model the impact of plan changes. You’ll also see how customers have extended their IBM Incentive Compensation Management models to support scenario modeling, and learn about advanced modeling options using IBM Cognos TM1 and IBM Watson Analytics.

If you haven’t done so already, you can use the Agenda Builder tool to build your conference schedule.

We will also have four birds-of-a-feather tables in our track this year organized by industry. Join your peers and IBM experts at lunchtime for an informal discussion about your experience with IBM Sales Performance Management. See the schedule below:

Monday, May 18, 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

  • Sales Performance Management in Insurance, Monday, May 18, 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Sales Performance Management in High-Tech, Monday, May 18, 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 19, 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

  • Sales Performance Management in Banking, Tuesday, May 19, 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Sales Performance Management in Life Sciences, Tuesday, May 19, 12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

The Sales Performance Management keynote: A new way to drive sales performance

I am particularly excited for our SPM keynote this year. I will be presenting along with Mark Jeffries, our host; Marc Altshuller, co-founder of Varicent and current VP of IBM Watson Analytics; and Paul Peters, Senior Product Manager for IBM Sales Performance Management. We will also have three customers on stage from MetLife, YP and VMware who will share how they have leveraged our technology.

In this keynote, you will learn:

  • How the business of sales is changing and how evolving sales models, new ways of working and performance demands have increased the need for us to look at Sales Performance Management differently
  • About our SPM product road map and other supporting investments
  • Ways to use IBM Watson Analytics for Sales Performance Management

The SPM keynote will be held on Monday, May 19, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Finally, for those of you not attending Vision (and even if you are), I highly recommend you check out VisionGO. This is an interactive digital platform where you can get content from the conference sent straight to your laptop or mobile device. You will find live broadcasts of the general sessions, our SPM keynote, interviews, product demos and much more.

Register for IBM Vision 2015 today. I look forward to seeing you all in Orlando!

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