Synygy recently released a new Referrals Management Solution to the portfolio of applications linked to its enterprise incentive management (EIM) and performance management solutions. The innovation has functionality that enables organizations to capture, manage, track, and fulfill on cross-selling referral opportunities, including incentives payable for referring those incremental revenue opportunities to the right resource. Marrying incentives control and payment management with customer interaction monitoring and sales process control, Synygy has created an application that should appeal to operations managers, the CFO, and the COO, as well as those with a cross-selling and up-selling responsibility. Ventana Research recommends that organizations evaluate this offering as they assess their requirements for tracking and managing customer referrals and processing associated incentives.
Synygy’s Referrals Management Solution is a 100% web-based application that brings together performance management elements of sales process, customer retention, cross-sell and up-sell, customer intelligence integration, data quality control, promotion effectiveness, performance reporting, and, of course, incentive compensation management. It was designed specifically to address the challenges of recording and tracking not only the sales follow-up and outcomes of customer referrals within an organization, but also fulfillment on incentive compensation plans and analysis of the impact of promotion programs on referral activities for driving revenue growth.
Synygy has introduced the application as part of the overall enterprise incentive management (EIM) solution with a spotlight on incentives payable for internal referrals across departments or divisions of a single organization. Starting with a configurable referral entry form, the application executes built-in customer matching and validation checks and persistently tracks the referral through to sale (or not) with automated customer id matching. Process management and audit trail features are spot-on in today’s climate of governance and compliance, particularly in vertical industries that “enjoy” the scrutiny of well-established governmental oversight including and beyond the more recent, ubiquitously referenced Sarbanes-Oxley.
In that vein, the diversified financial services (banking, insurance, mortgage) vertical is featured in materials Synygy shared with Ventana Research, with an eye toward high-ticket retail and life sciences/medical verticals in the future. Across these and similar verticals, its effective use can range from use by all customer-facing and back-office employees to more restricted use by only those with relevant certification and built-in incentives. The objective of its use could also be simply recording interactions and relating to the customer more effectively. Ventana Research further sees great potential for its application in a broader partner relationship management framework.
In the opinion of Ventana Research, Synygy faces challenges in creating market demand and gaining new business traction with this offering. Customer intelligence infrastructure is assumed to exist, as well as the underlying Synygy EIM solution. Its capability to integrate with existing systems works in its favor, and certainly plays into Synygy’s strengths. Financial services are targeted with good reason, as this solution adds solid incremental value to the EIM suite in that vertical.
This solution extends the incentive compensation platform, typically ensconced in sales or human resources, into the contact center and other customer-facing arenas. Crossing the divide between customer interactions the operational realm of CRM and incentive compensation most often a more specialized sales and HR function touches a variety of vendors in both sectors. Siebel Systems, Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP all have offerings that compete across the board, although they are best known as vendors of CRM suites. The relatively small size of the market will limit the impact on them, but they will take note should they lose a deal or two to Synygy on the basis of the Referrals functionality. Siebel’s acquisition of Motiva in late 2003 makes it most likely to eventually compete directly should they decide to focus on this application arena.
Callidus is the one other incentive compensation management vendor with significant market presence in incentive compensation, but it offers no application directly competing with Synygy’s Referrals. Its recent top management transition issues, coupled with less-than-stellar financial results, might work against any inclination it may have to respond directly.
Ventana Research suggests that existing Synygy EIM customers with inter-departmental and/or business partner referral programs with tracking and reporting issues have every reason to look into the new Referrals Management Solution. Non-Synygy customers with the same or similar referral tracking and fulfillment issues are now well advised to also re-visit their broader incentives management requirements. If your organization is already deployed on another vendor’s CRM or incentive compensation foundation, you will need to determine whether the value of this rather unique new option is sufficient to include Synygy among the consideration set.
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