Human Capital Management vs. Workforce Management: Similar terms with different meanings

By Corey Clacher, Kronos SaaShr Marketing Specialist

As a service provider, you’ve likely heard the term “Human Capital Management” (HCM) being used more frequently in the industry. With the continual advancement of technology and the evolution of the typical service organization into a one-stop-shop for all of their clients’ workforce needs, the term “Workforce Management” (WFM) is losing its foothold and becoming industry jargon of the past. If you’re still using the term “WFM” when referring to the solutions you offer your clients, you may want to consider transitioning your marketing to focus on HCM in order to better represent what you’re offering your clients.

You may be asking yourself if there’s really a difference in meaning between the two terms or if they can be used synonymously to mean the same thing. Fortunately, I’ve come with answers to your burning HCM questions. In short, yes the terms are different and no, you shouldn’t use them interchangeably when referring to your automated platform. I’ll tell you why below.

To put it simply, look at WFM as a subset of HCM. WFM solutions cover areas such as clients’ time and attendance, scheduling, and absence/ACA management needs but don’t necessarily incorporate other areas of workforce needs like HR and payroll. However, a proper HCM solution handles ALL of your clients’ needs, encompassing areas of HR management like benefits administration, recruitment/talent acquisition, and compensation management in addition to payroll management such as tax filing, check printing, and gross-to-net calculations. If you’re a full suite Kronos SaaShr licensee, hopefully you’re leveraging your technology offering as a complete, all-in-one HCM solution.


Of course, not all HCM solutions are created equal. And while some vendors claim to offer complete and integrated HCM solutions, under the surface they simply aren’t. At its core, integration between time management, scheduling, HR, and payroll modules are essential to be classified as a true HCM platform. Of course, the Kronos SaaShr HCM solution takes it a step further by offering one single unified platform for the entire workforce. That means a single employee record, a single source of truth, and a single user interface between all modules.

A unified platform means a single login to access all system capabilities and a common user interface, database, reporting engine, and security point. These capabilities allow users to view key data in real time and help to eliminate error-prone duplicate data entries and reduce reporting complexities that lead to noncompliance risks.

When offering one unified HCM platform to your clients, you should have a fully comprehensive solution that can address the needs of their entire workforce, empower their employees with self-service tools, and enforce their policies accurately and consistently. Providing your clients with an automated HCM solution to streamline their administrative tasks allows them to attract and retain top talent, successfully manage the employee lifecycle, engage their workforce, and most importantly, allows them more time to focus on people, not processes.

So the next time you’re demonstrating the features and benefits of your HCM offering to a prospect, don’t sell yourself short. If you’re a Kronos SaaShr licensee, you’re at the forefront of HCM technology. You no longer offer just a WFM tool, you provide your clients with a unified HCM solution backed by your expertise and support to handle all of your clients’ workforce challenges.

Like All Sales Professionals, Service Providers Need Their Network

By Rob Tiernan

Today’s post is the third and final in our mini-series by Rob Tiernan from LincWare. Click here to read the second post, which provides great tips on how the right strategy and technology can make a huge impact on the follow up conversations you have with prospects. LincWare, based in upstate NY, offers solutions to make the end of the sales process easier for payroll companies.

We’ve now covered some techniques for both starting the conversation with new prospects, as well as a variety of tools you can utilize when attempting to follow back up and reengage those prospects. Hopefully you were able to test out and see positive results in your pipeline from some of those tips.

Even before a prospect engages with you, it’s imperative that you position yourself well in order to be the person they reach out to when they need a service that you offer. You’re likely not the only person offering services in the marketplace, and both national players as well as other local providers are out there looking to do the same. So how do you make yourself stand out from the other people trying to be the expert in the same network as you? It can be tough, but our latest video in the series discusses proven techniques for leveraging LinkedIn, a tool many use, but few use as effectively as possible. It then goes on to share a great technique for tracking your relationship with the leads in your pipeline.

Your LinkedIn Profile

It all starts with your profile, the basic run-down of what you do and who you are. However, you don’t have to make it another version of your resume. By following some of the tips in the video, you’ll be able to populate your LinkedIn profile in a unique way that can generate a good deal of attention.

Networking on LinkedIn

Just like working a room at an industry event, LinkedIn is all about meeting people and building relationships. Reach out and be assertive. Remember, you’re all there for the same reason. But perhaps the most important message to keep in mind here is to “Give before you ask for”. Using a simple formula touted by LinkedIn as the most effective method for earning more connections, the video explains how this simple tactic has proven to bolster his sphere of influence and reputation in the service provider community.

Lead Scorecard

While the mantra of a sales team is usually “Do whatever it takes to make the sale”, you have to make sure you stay in control of the sales process. By this, we mean that the sales process should really be a give and take between you and your prospect. For instance, when a prospect asks for a demo, you should ask that their key decision makers be on the call in order to ensure the most effective use of your time. One technique to test out in your sales process is the use of a scorecard. This simple tool allows your sales team to gauge if the prospect you’re trying to close is good business, both from your perspective and that of the prospect’s, and that both sides are contributing throughout the process.

What are some tips and techniques you’ve found to be effective when utilizing LinkedIn? Please share your comments below.

About Rob Tiernan:

Rob joined LincWare in late 2013 to lead business development for LincDoc’s growing applications in outsourced business services. He brings a formidable background in account management, owning a unique touch for training, product development, and marketing. Having spent well over a decade with Paychex, Rob accumulated an impressive collection of recognitions in sales and account management, namely several Circle and Conference Qualifications and more than 1,000 clients sold. His approach to servicing and contributing to growing companies is what sets him apart and will allow him to flourish while educating the market on the many benefits of software-driven business decisions.

Tools and Technology Service Providers Can Use Today to Execute the Sales Process

By Rob Tiernan

Today’s post is the second in our mini-series by Rob Tiernan from LincWare. Click here to read the first, which provides great tips on how changing your initial conversations with prospects can help open the door to further conversation around the value of your services. LincWare, based in upstate NY, offers solutions to make the end of the sales process easier for payroll companies.

Hopefully you’ve tested the SEL method from the previous video, and that it has had a positive impact on your results with prospects. Now, let’s discuss how you can improve your effectiveness in the next steps in your sales process, and the tools and technology used to execute on it.

Even after an initial conversation with a prospect who seems interested in what you have to offer, getting their attention again isn’t always easy, especially given that you’re typically dealing with hectic business owners focused on running their business. It certainly won’t be regained with small talk, even if their local sports team just won a championship or they’ve been experiencing nice weather. However, that’s what your competitors are doing, so by changing your approach you should be able to catch their attention more easily. Sure, the competitor may be able to speak with a prospect via that approach every once in a while, but the reason that prospect hasn’t switched is because he/she hasn’t heard a message worth their limited time.

So let’s discuss some strategies for regaining the attention of a prospect.

Voicemail and Email

Let me guess, this is something you’re already using a lot when following up with prospects, right? But the way in which you utilize voicemail and email can make a drastic difference in the results you see from it. Remember, spammers also use these methods, so the key is using them in a different way that actually captures the prospect’s attention. After watching this week’s video, try incorporating the methods you learn about into your sales process. You may even be surprised at the power of your new voicemail and email follow up strategy, especially when they are put to work in unison to communicate the value you can provide.


Odds are you’re a technology solution provider, so you already know that technology can bring tremendous value. Beyond the basic voicemail/email approach and processes related to them, this video discusses some technology solutions that can be used to make your messages stand out. By utilizing technology, you’re better able to present yourself as consultant who is concerned more about that prospect’s business than your own sales expertise. Remember, make your message about them, not what you can do for them. Think about that.

I encourage you to grab some lunch or coffee and hit play. It’s our goal for you to learn at least one thing from each of these videos, and this one has a lot of things to learn. Also, feel free to use the comment box below for sharing your experiences and strategies in regards to prospect follow up.

About Rob Tiernan:

Rob joined LincWare in late 2013 to lead business development for LincDoc’s growing applications in outsourced business services. He brings a formidable background in account management, owning a unique touch for training, product development and marketing. Having spent well over a decade with Paychex, Rob accumulated an impressive collection of recognitions in sales and account management, namely several Circle and Conference Qualifications and more than 1,000 clients sold. His approach to servicing and contributing to growing companies is what sets him apart and will allow him to flourish while educating the market on the many benefits of software-driven business decisions.

Payroll Sales Are Challenging – How Can You Excel?

By Rob Tiernan

Today’s post is a guest post by Rob Tiernan from LincWare. LincWare sells solutions to make the end of the sales process easier for payroll companies. So, of course, it’s in their best interest to help their clients sell more deals, and that’s exactly Rob’s hope in the first part of this video and blog series. Enjoy! -Josh

Traditional methods of selling payroll are being rendered ineffective by a spike in more competition, bigger budgets by the national players, and a change in the way consumers buy products and services. So we want to help independent payroll providers develop a new message, a new way to bolster your bottom line.

We’ve developed this video blog series aimed directly at helping independent payroll providers earn more business without having to sacrifice your price or level of service.

What makes your software company qualified to offer such wisdom? Actually, you do.

LincWare has been working with independent payroll companies for the last several years. And prior to that, I specifically worked for 13 years at a “national payroll company” before stepping in to lead our Partner Development program here.

This first installment covers our approach to SELling. That is, Survival, Emotion, Logic.

This unique tactic overlaps very well with selling payroll services because it succinctly addresses the key concepts the most common payroll industry prospects react to when approached with a product or service. Its goal is to set you apart from so many other payroll companies, and most importantly, the well-funded national players.

SELling isn’t some hokey mantra or fodder for motivational posters; it’s simply a reminder to touch on a few fundamental concepts when you call on a prospect. Simple stuff, but very often neglected.

Do you currently try to grow your business through referral partnerships with CPA firms? This tactic is also very beneficial when approaching these CPAs. Ask them about their industry, and how they compete with the national players in their world. That’s the point about SELling, it’s widely applicable.

We hope you take the few minutes to watch this video, the first of three in a payroll tips and tactics series in conjunction with the fine readers here at Workforce Management Channel.

All that being said, you know better than anyone what works, what’s changing, and where things are headed. So please, offer suggestions in the comment section. Let’s build a solid community of shared ideas and payroll sales skills.

About Rob Tiernan:

Rob joined LincWare in late 2013 to lead business development for LincDoc’s growing applications in outsourced business services. He brings a formidable background in account management, owning a unique touch for training, product development, and marketing. Having spent well over a decade with Paychex, Rob accumulated an impressive collection of recognitions in sales and account management, namely several Circle and Conference Qualifications and more than 1,000 clients sold. His approach to servicing and contributing to growing companies is what sets him apart and will allow him to flourish while educating the market on the many benefits of software-driven business decisions.

2015 Payroll and Workforce Management Sales Goal Planning

By Josh Davis

It’s that magical time of the year again for strategy and planning. As I speak to a lot of our reseller partners who are doing exactly that, I’ve been asked a lot of questions around typical net new customer sales metrics that their companies should be incorporating as goals. There are consistent problems across many payroll companies though, that are causing these companies to loosely estimate their goals based on increases from previous years’ sales.

So, how should payroll and workforce management providers be planning for 2015 sales goals?

Ensure Your Marketing Funnel is Laid Out – The core aspect of planning your goals comes down to process, and many service organizations do not have a clear cut path from the time a company is identified as a prospect to that prospect either becoming a customer or being rejected because they are not an ideal customer. Sirius Decisions has a demand waterfall model that’s easy for businesses to replicate. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Inquiries – Inquiries refer to companies that are coming to you for more information about your services (such as downloading a whitepaper from an email, filling out a form on your website, calling you directly, etc.), or they are companies that you find (whether online or offline) as potential prospects.

Marketing Qualified Leads – These leads meet the parameters of what you are looking for from an ideal customer perspective. So marketing and sales must agree on exactly what these leads “look” like. Additionally, we try to follow a model where our sales team is only following up with “hot”, prequalified leads, so consider this a telemarketing level. We have lead development representatives calling and verbally qualifying these leads to ensure there’s interest in payroll, time and attendance, or some other aspect of our workforce management platform. This way, sales can spend time on actual revenue opportunities.

Sales Accepted Leads – Once pre-qualified, the sales person can evaluate the lead and essentially confirm that there is an opportunity here, and that they’re going to attempt to qualify it from a sales perspective with a discovery call.

Sales Qualified Leads – After their discovery call, the sales person can add this lead to their pipeline because they’ve confirmed that this company is not only an ideal prospect, but also has a need for the solution that they’re actually selling. Otherwise, as with each other step, they reject it.

Closed/Won Business – If you need help identifying this one, you’ve got bigger problems than planning for next year. But quite simply, this step entails that there is a signed contract in place, and the new customer has been passed to an implementation / new customer team.

Determine Your Conversion Rates – Once your company can lay out this process, or if you’ve done so already, you can see the total number of leads coming through your business, and how many are making it to each step within your funnel. You can compare your conversion rates to the industry standard conversion rates from Sirius Decisions to see if you have any serious problems that need to be addressed in your funnel. And note that if you are one of our reseller partners, and receiving Marketing Qualified Leads from us, you’re likely closing these leads at a much higher rate than the rest of your leads, so it may skew your numbers quite a bit if they’re included in your calculations. Starting with 1,000 inquiries over the year, here’s what you can expect as each type of sales/marketing organization:
Average: ~3 Deals (.3 percent overall conversion rate)
Strong: ~6 Deals (.6 percent overall conversion rate)
Best-in-Class: ~13 Deals (1.3 percent overall conversion rate)

As some perspective, you may be able to go much higher. Through our leads program, we see approximately 27 Deals – a 2.7 percent overall conversion rate – which is double the best-in-class standard.

Uncover Your Average Deal Size – This is something you should already have a handle on, but what is the average contract value (ACV) of each new customer that comes through your door? This will give you an idea of how much business was actually booked (i.e. bookings) during the year. If don’t already have a handle on this, you need to attain a customer relationship management (CRM) solution to easily understand this. Otherwise, you’ll have to dive through the data within your account or billing software.

Work Backwards and Understand What’s Possible – Now you want to work backwards and understand what are achievable goals for your business:

  • Revenue Goal Theory: Let’s say you’re targeting $500,000 in new business for the coming year because you know you booked $400,000 this year, and you want to grow 25 percent year over year (YoY).
  • Average Deal Size: You take a look at your ACV and find that each new customer is $10,000.
  • New Customer Target: You now understand that you need to generate 50 new customers to hit that goal.
  • Inquiries Needed for Customer Target: Now you can figure out based on your particular conversion rate, how many inquiries your marketing efforts need to generate to meet that new customer goal. Keep in mind that some types of inquiries will convert better than others (customer referrals or existing customer upselling for instance). So, your marketing team will want to create a healthy mix of quantitative and qualitative inquiries that can be qualified and passed to the sales team. An organization with a strong conversion rate, as defined above, would need marketing to generate roughly 8,333 additional leads in order to add 50 new customers.

This allows you to ensure that if every function of your sales and marketing team has goals that you can monitor, you can understand whether or not the company will be able to hit the sales goals you put in place – allowing you to turn success into more of a science.

What’s your approach to determining goals?

About Josh Davis:

Josh is the Channel Marketing Manager at Kronos SaaShr, and is responsible for driving the marketing strategy and plan aimed at increasing the growth of existing channel partners in addition to the recruitment of new channel partners.

The Opportunistic World Beyond Payroll – Strategically Expanding for Long-term Growth

By Josh Davisopportunistic

As the annual conference for the Independent Payroll Providers’ Association nears and I prepare to present one of the general sessions “The Opportunistic World Beyond Payroll”, I think about how so many vendors vie for the attention and business of payroll service bureaus. For payroll companies like yours, it’s easy to lose focus on the importance of developing a long term strategy or plan for continued success due to the constant onslaught of shiny objects being dangled in front of them.

In reality, service bureaus have the power because they hold the payroll-related data for hundreds or thousands of clients – it’s the employee record that is absolutely, positively required with any company that has employees. Yet, payroll companies will have trouble surviving in the next five years by only providing payroll and a few ancillary, disconnected services. This is especially true when you look at companies like ZenPayroll and Zenefits turning the traditional payroll model on its head. Payroll companies need to react before it’s too late and these newcomers start eating their proverbial lunch.

By strategically expanding into human capital management within areas like workforce management, recruitment, core HR, learning, performance, and compensation, the payroll service bureau industry as a whole can position itself for long-term success and growth.

However, service bureaus don’t just want to hop on the bandwagon, there’s more to this shiny object then you may initially think. Here are seven considerations the traditional payroll company will want to think about when evaluating how they’ll build their product and service offering of the future.

Target Market
What is the impact these new products or services will have on the market they target, and is it something they’re already asking for or something the payroll company will have to educate them about? How can the ROI or business impact of the product or service you’re looking to expand with be proved, and how is that positioned to your target market?

Employee Skill Sets
The skillsets that service bureaus hired their employees for or trained them in after they were hired are not necessarily the skillsets needed for the products or services being expanded to. A more diverse set of skills based on HR and human capital management solutions will need to be learned by existing employees or attained through new employees.

The Service Bureau Network
If a service bureau doesn’t have the bandwidth or expertise to cover these services internally, and there aren’t resources available to expand, a strong network needs to be put in place with companies that specialize in these various types of services. And for those services that are taken on, a strong referral network can be instrumental in getting these services to market.

Client Relations
Service bureaus have a network of engaged listeners – their existing clients. Revenue can be generated from them a LOT easier than completely new clients. In fact, the probability of upselling an existing customer is 60-70 percent when compared to a new prospect which is only 5-20 percent. Yet, very few service bureaus have any dedicated account managers or sales people that focus on account management… or even have a compensation plan for upselling clients.

When we look at studies by firms like NelsonHall, there is a continuing trend downward in the average price charged by payroll companies per pay statement. One of the reasons for this sort of commoditization taking place in payroll is that technology is becoming more powerful and the efficiencies in that are improving margins. As payroll companies expand their products and services, how will these new offerings be priced, and how does it impact the price for payroll when they’re able to offer it as a connected “bundle”?

Payroll has always been the golden goose for the typical service bureau, and their sales team. It’s what has traditionally been lead with and was the goal with all clients – to provide them with payroll. This should still be the goal because the goal is to manage that payroll data and the employee record, but the service a prospect needs may not always initially be payroll. So service bureaus need to ask themselves “How do these expanded services change my sales process?”

If the payroll company isn’t always leading with payroll, and it’s not the main differentiator anymore, what does that mean for the company’s brand? They’re growing beyond a payroll company to the go to resource to solve business issues and challenges. Should their company still be known as Payroll Profs, Payroll Experts, Payroll People, etc.? Or should they start branding themselves as Human Capital Profs, Workforce Experts, Employer Solutions, etc.

Overall, payroll companies should build a long-term plan depicting what their offering looks like and how their organization will change over time in the areas mentioned above as a result of what they definitely will and will not offer.

I look forward to getting into more detail at the IPPA Annual Conference later this week, but until then, let me know what some challenges you’ve had or anticipate having in expanding your offering beyond payroll.

About Josh Davis:

Josh is the Marketing Manager at SaaShr responsible for increasing the growth of existing channel partners and the recruitment of new channel partners while positioning the SaaShr brand in the market through the development of both traditional and digital marketing endeavors.

Health Insurance Broker Referral Programs – What Do Brokers Want in Technology? (Part 2)

By Josh Davis

In following the market for the last few years, and identifying how brokers function, what their pain points are, and why they’re in the brokerage business, we found that most payroll and workforce management providers aren’t covering the whole story in terms of why a referral partnership makes sense. The true value that a provider like you can really bring to these brokers is not being communicated. Many of you out there are only covering part of the value proposition, which we discussed in the first article of this series.

So, why would health insurance or benefit brokers want to be part of your payroll or workforce management company’s referral program?

Here’s what brokers view as the most important aspects of your workforce management platform, but they may not realize it. By covering these types of features you will really open brokers’ eyes to the opportunities that can be realized by working with you.

However, let me preface the list with this – there are two types of brokers:

  1. The old-fashioned broker – the old-fashioned broker is the type of broker you know well. They handle insurance brokerage in its most basic form. They simply sell insurance plans for commission. These brokers are the ones that were negatively impacted by commission caps and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and are struggling today. They’ve largely taken a reactive approach to these changes and simply diversified with other types of benefits outside of group health.
  2. The new age broker – the new age broker took commission caps and the ACA as sign that they needed to reinvent themselves. These are the brokers that go beyond just selling the plan. Not only did they diversify, they also started providing value-add services, and began taking a much more hands-on, consultative approach. Many have also transitioned to a fee-based model. These will be the best types of brokers to target in your referral program.

Now for what you’ve all been waiting for…

Benefit Reports – First and foremost, regardless of the type of broker mentioned above, they will want to be able to get all the critical benefit reports they need without having to bother their clients for it. From a configurable employee census report to a benefit coverage report, you want to provide them with access to it all, so they can continue to be the masters of their original domain. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and they need their client’s permission to gain access to the company’s data.

Benefit Plan Configuration – For those more hands-on, forward thinking brokers, you’ll want to share that you can enable them to configure the benefit plans employees see during enrollment. Not only can they directly communicate the advantages of each plan to the employee, allowing them to compare the plans and upload documentation, but they can also add any voluntary plans they’re looking to promote to employees. By giving them the control to add voluntary plans, they can be sure every employee either enrolls in or waives these plans they offer like life, vision, dental, disability, etc.

Benefit Enrollment and Administration Modules – If you’re providing the technology for employees to enroll in benefits and administrate benefits after life change events, that’s one less thing the brokers need to worry about. This makes working with them perceived as that much better by their client as well because you’re presumably offering this through self-service not only for the people enrolling, but the administrator as well allowing the full spectrum of enrollment to be complete through the proper approval chain via configurable workflow.

Carrier Connections – Then you want to do something no other platform does – you want to be able to provide them with the ability to take the deductions out of payroll, and create a carrier connection for the insurance carriers to be paid. Furthermore, if someone is terminated, you want that alert to go to the carrier so that billing ceases for that employee.

Automated Broker Email Alerts – The brokers also want to be kept abreast of benefit information at specified frequencies or benefits changes as they happen. You should be able to provide them with notifications for when a new employee is hired, an employee becomes eligible for benefits, an employee enrolls in benefits, and employee is terminated, etc. All with the goal of helping them identify new opportunities within their clients’ organizations to capitalize on.

Employee Communication – Not only do the brokers want notifications, but they may also want to control the communication and alerts that employees receive when it comes to benefit plans. They want to be able to have a direct line to the employee, and there are companies out there that provide solutions to brokers just for doing this. However, you should be able to provide them with the ability to customize the automated emails for benefit eligibility, pre-open enrollment, post-open enrollment alerts, etc.

ACA Compliance – And for the icing on the cake, you want to ease brokers’ frustrations around helping their clients with compliance regarding the ACA. Any ACA solution you provide should be designed to help with proactive management of ACA compliance across a company’s entire workforce. If your workforce management platform is complete with Time and Labor Management, HR, and Payroll, you should be able to manage the look-back periods, upon eligibility being determined, provide the solution for enrollment confirm affordability of the plan chosen, keep track of the stability periods, and really bring ACA compliance full circle.

What your technology will really help them with is to streamline their ability to efficiently manage their clients’ benefit programs and proactively capitalize on new benefit opportunities. You should be communicating the tools you can provide them with to help them service, support, and manage their clients more efficiently while capitalizing on more revenue opportunities without any need for manual intervention because you’re providing on-demand, secure access to their clients’ benefit-related data. All this, in turn, will make them more likely to refer a larger percentage of their client base to you.

How else do you differentiate yourself from other companies in your space when it comes to broker referral programs?

About Josh Davis:

Josh is the Marketing Manager at SaaShr responsible for increasing the growth of existing channel partners and the recruitment of new channel partners while positioning the SaaShr brand in the market through the development of both traditional and digital marketing endeavors.