Npower sees better analytics sparking salesforce

Utility firm Npower will go live this June with Callidus sales performance management software, enabling it to automate compensation management for its thousands of UK sales and service personnel. It wants to reduce the loss of sales staff and customers that dogs the utility sector.

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Utility firm Npower will go live this June with Callidus sales performance management software, enabling it to automate compensation management for its thousands of UK sales and service personnel. It wants to reduce the loss of sales staff and customers that dogs the utility sector.

Npower reckons it is the first UK utility to put in place a system that automates the management of incentives and bonuses paid to all sales people, both internal and contract workers making door-to-door and telephone sales.

The company, which is the UK subsidiary of German utility group RWE, is beginning the implementation this month and will use the software to make possible more effective and flexible incentive schemes for sales staff. It also wants to avoid inaccurate payouts and time consuming manual processes to manage incentives or monitor performance.

Paul Williamson, head of insight and analysis at Npower, said: “At the moment there are myriad spreadsheets, and visibility is the difficulty. With better visibility we can use analytics to understand why we succeed or fail and improve our performance.”

According to the firm, there is “a lot of churn” in staff in the utilities industry, and it wants its compensation schemes to reduce this. It said it was important to motivate sales staff to do well, considering the high numbers of energy customers switching suppliers.

It will use the Callidus TrueComp manager module as a core calculator to add up the results of sales activity, taken from a bespoke contract management system used by Npower. A module called TrueInformation will report on individual and team performance.

But Williamson said the TrueAnalytics module was “the really exciting part” that would enable the company to set up virtual scenarios of changes to teams and sales methods, and see how results would be affected.

npower, which has SAP ERP and CRM systems at its IT core, has also completed moving its billing systems onto the bespoke software of Northern Electric, a company it owns. The move was important, Williamson said, as the company had been on the acquisition trail - Npower was formed in 2000 following the merger of various utilities and now comprises MEB, Calortex, MEB Powerline, National Power Energy Direct and Independent Energy, Yorkshire Electricity and Northern Electric & Gas.

Additionally, the company has recently updated a marketing database from a system used since 2000, to make it more accessible and easy to use.

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