Author: Matt Hausbeck
Towards the end of the year, organizations begin to think about sales compensation plans for the upcoming calendar year. The big challenge for sales leaders is quota and target incentive planning for their sales force. Whether you approach quotas with top-down, bottom-up, overlay, or a combination of each, one of the hardest parts of planning is getting started.
In many cases, there is no easier way to get started than with last year’s sales performance. But, where do you get this information? Conveniently, all this information resides in your Xactly Incent environment. A Quota Attainment and Incentive Attainment report in Xactly Analytics can take only a handful of hours to build and can be re-used for years ahead. These reports are common and can be a lifesaver if you need this information in an easy-to-read format. Consider using an Xactly certified consultant from Canidium to help you with these types of reports so you can stay focused on planning for next year.
eDocs and Workflow
Every year, with significant plan changes in place, companies look to PDFs and mail merge to send and receive the yearly comp plans.
Consider these two scenarios:
- Account Executive, Bob Jones, is having a great Q4 with a lot of potential opportunities on the verge of closing. Bob is constantly hopping from meeting to meeting with potential prospects with the hopes of closing several hundreds of thousands of dollars in new business for the company. One day Bob has a client meeting that ends early, and he has 5 minutes before his call with his next customer. Bob then receives an email from his manager with his compensation plan attached as a PDF, and his manager is asking him to sign the pdf and send it back. Bob considers that he only has 5 minutes before his meeting and realizes he does not have time to review the pdf, print it out, sign it, scan it and send it back to his manager before his next call. So, he puts it off until he has time. A whole week has gone by and Bob has forgotten about his comp plan. A month later, the finance team is trying to figure out who among the sales force has not signed their comp plan. After going through A LOT of emails, they find Bob is one of many who has not signed their document. So, Finance takes time to put together a list of people they need to track down and follow up with. Bob’s calendar is still full, but since he needs to sign his plan document to get paid, he then has to reschedule a call with a potential customer to print, review and sign his plan document. He could have closed that deal sooner. 2 months later, after a ton of follow up, emails and manual tracking, Finance finally has all their plan documents signed from Bob and the rest of the sales force.
- Bob Jones finds himself in a productive quarter. With 5 minutes between meetings, Bob receives an automatically generated email from Xactly Incent saying, “Your Plan document is ready for review in Xactly. Please sign in, review and approve your document by the end of this week.” Bob knows this will take less than 5 minutes. So, Bob quickly logs into Xactly, views and approves his plan document. The finance team receives an automatically generated email saying Bob has signed his plan document. For other Account Executives who are not approving their plan document, the company has automatic email notifications set up through Xactly to remind those who have not signed their plan document to do so. They also have an Xactly-generated report showing them who has not signed their plan document so they can escalate to their managers. Because plan document approval with Xactly is significantly more efficient, the business finds that among all the sales force, several reps have closed a deal sooner that they would have had to defer to a later date under the mail merge process and the Finance team gets a lot of time back to focus on forecasting and planning for the new year.
As you can see, the benefit of Xactly eDocs and Workflow is tremendous, and even more so for those who have a multi-level approval process. Many companies decided to have both the Manager and the subordinate sales rep approve the plan document, so the benefit is compounded.
Optimize through Automation
Before signing up for plan updates with your consultant, it is important to consider inefficiencies in your monthly commission process. Are there simple, low-level and mundane tasks that you find yourself spending precious time on each month? Is it possible this can be automated through Xactly? With Xactly Connect, automation in many areas is more achievable than many admins realize. So, bring any manual pain points up with your consultant before the project starts so that appropriate budget can be allocated to address these manual issues.
Admin and End-User Reports
Do you spend a lot of time each month downloading data from Xactly Incent into a spreadsheet, performing vlookups and creating pivot tables? Do you create the same reports every single month? If you answered yes to either of these questions, chances are, you are likely a great candidate for Xactly Analytics. Analytics provides the ability to create custom reports based on existing Incent results that can be exposed to end-users, upper management, or downloaded to excel and distributed via email. If reports are complicated, consider using Canidium to help you build these reports so you can stay focused on your day job and have the reports built with best practices in mind.
Canidium Managed Services
Some Xactly customers have a single administrator who spend most of their time in Financial/Accounting/Sales Ops, and really, commission processing accounts for only 10% of their job responsibility. They are already busy with existing responsibilities and when they need to process commissions, they are often found burning the midnight oil. For these companies, commission processing is not time-consuming enough to hire a full-time administrator and addressing issues with commission calculations is done with manual adjustments because it’s easier than addressing the actual calculation logic. These Xactly customers are perfect candidates for Managed Services. Managed Services is a pay-as-you-go plan where you enlist the help of an experienced Canidium consultant for support. Support can take the form of correcting calculation logic, performing mid-year updates, creating analytics reports, or providing consultation/recommendations for additional Xactly modules to harness the full benefit that Xactly offers. Customers who take advantage of Managed Services tend to get more value out of their solution and spend more time on their primary job responsibilities where they add the most value.