Gartner publishes Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management 2017: IBM identified as a Leader

Senior Product Portfolio Manager, Sales Performance Management, IBM

I’m excited and thrilled to announce that Gartner has positioned IBM in the ‘Leaders Quadrant’ of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management  2017 for the fourth consecutive year. Gartner publishes this report annually, and many organizations that are looking to deploy a Sales Performance Management (SPM) solution will first want to review this report to learn about the various capabilities each of the SPM vendors offer.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management 2017

Evaluating and selecting a SPM vendor can seem overwhelming and it is important to narrow your search and evaluate vendors that best meet your business requirements. Not all SPM solutions offer the same capabilities, or have a well-defined product strategy and vision that align with your organization’s processes and growth initiatives.

For example, today many organizations are seeking a SPM solution that provides advanced sales analytics. Gartner predicts that “by 2020, 25% of organizations using a sales performance management (SPM) solution will optimize the design and maintenance of their sales compensation plans using advanced analytics solutions provided by their SPM vendor.” 


IBM positioned in the ‘Leader’ quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for SPM 2017

With a comprehensive set of analytics and capabilities for sales planning and management, IBM has a strong product vision and strategy to meet your SPM needs today and in the future. As Gartner notes in the 2017 report: “Leaders in this space demonstrate a market-defining vision of how technology can help top business executives achieve business objectives."

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management 2017 is an excellent place for you to start your SPM journey, as you consider the vendor and solution that is the right fit for your organization.


SPM Today: Incentive Compensation, Territory Management, Quota Management and beyond

For many years, Sales Performance Management (SPM) was seen as mostly about incentive compensation –- gathering transactional and sales data, calculating commissions/bonuses, handling inquiries from the sales team and making sure the sales people are paid accurately and on time. Gartner considers these areas—incentive compensation management, territory management and quota management—as the “core functionalities that are required for SPM.”


The 2017 report, however, notes the use of “a different market definition than the one Gartner used in the previous two versions of the Magic Quadrant.” The difference, Gartner notes, is that in today’s market:

“These core functions also link to ‘near-core’ complementary processes, such as quota and territory planning, objective management, and advanced analytics, providing a single operational system.”

Today, the core and near-core capabilities continue to expand the scope and capabilities of SPM, leading Finance, HR and other business units to recognize the value in SPM solutions as well—with SPM becoming a critical solution within the Corporate Performance Management (CPM) ecosystem. 


IBM Sales Performance Management, with its latest ICM release built on a SaaS infrastructure, is not only investing in enhancing the “core functionalities” of SPM, but is also building out its capabilities in these “near core” areas with a range of advanced analytics options such as Planning Analytics and Watson Analytics. 


SPM offers value across the organization: From Sales to Finance and HR

Sales Performance Management (SPM) can indeed improve sales performance and operational efficiencies with better management of incentive compensation plans, and smarter administration of sales territories and quotas for organizations. However, with the inclusion of “near core” capabilities, today’s SPM provides so much more value to an entire organization beyond just managing incentive compensation, territory coverage and quota distribution. 


The organization-wide value of SPM can be seen in this year's report, where Gartner considers SPM capabilities today as including:

a suite of operational and analytical functions that automate and unite back-office operational sales processes. Capabilities include sales incentive compensation management (ICM), objective management, quota management and planning, territory management and planning, advanced analytics (benchmarking, predictive and cognitive) and gamification.”

Similarly, IBM Sales Performance Management has evolved. Today, IBM’s SPM solution is attracting the attention of sales, finance, and HR executives looking to meet diverse needs, including: 

  • better sales intelligence and resource alignment,
  • innovative ways to increase sales revenue and margins,
  • protecting the organization from compliance nightmares,
  • enabling more competitive advantage,
  • reduce attrition/loss among top sales performers,
  • minimize costs associated with sales recruitment, hiring, coaching and on-boarding. 


Get the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management 2017: Learn why IBM has been positioned in the 'Leaders' quadrant

Download the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management 2017 report, and learn more about why IBM is a Leader.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management 2017

The above graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from IBM (link above). Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Source: Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Sales Performance Management, Melissa Hilbert, Analyst Director, SPM - March 2017.