Xactly Upgrades, Expands and Looks Ahead

By Dan Muse | Posted March 13, 2007

It's no mystery what motivates a salesperson: It's good, old-fashioned money. Salespeople naturally want to earn large commissions, which means large revenue for your business. It's the ultimate win-win situation.

Of course, tracking sales compensation can be a time-consuming task. Also, not having accurate, updated reports could take the competitive edge off your sales forces faster than you can say "sales pipeline."

To help you manage the process, Xactly Corp. a San Jose, Calif.-based company, offers an on-demand sales compensation management service called Incent. Yesterday the company announced a new version, a set of open APIs, a non-monetary rewards and a new modeling tool.

In addition to Xactly Incent 3.2, Xactly Connect, Rewards and Modeling, CEO Chris Cabrera also outlined the company 18-month road map, which is designed to tap the business intelligence companies can take from sales compensation day.

Xactly Incent 3.2 and Xactly Connect
The flagship Xactly Incent service is built to let you design, implement, manage, audit and optimize sales compensation management process. Many companies are using QuickBooks or Excel for this now, Cabrera said. "[Incent] provides sales and finance people with a way to automate processes for salespeople, partners and dealers — who are paid differently," he said.

Cabrera said the Xactly uses a multi-tenant approach, which means it doesn't rely on proprietary data schemas. "It's one-to-many, so if you change vendors you don't have data that's incompatible with other applications," he said. "If an on-demand vendor doesn't say multi-tenant, you should run for the hills."

To help you better integrate your business data, Xactly Connect is an open set of APIs that's designed to offer an range of integration options.. The APIs are designed to enable companies to synchronize data across all their business systems, eliminating time-consuming, error-prone manual processes.

Some of new features of version 3.2 include the following:

  • The capability for customers to evaluate order information with custom validation checks before processing as well as more flexible calculation controls
  • The addition of certification letters that sales representatives are required to review and sign to ensure that that have no side agreements. The new feature is designed to complement a company's Sarbanes-Oxley compliance initiatives
  • New data import and export features designed to provide the capability to select the best plans and move them between Xactly Modeling (more info below) and Xactly Incent
Xactly Rewards
Xactly Rewards is integrated with Xactly Incent and is designed to let you offer cash and noncash incentives to drive sales performance results. Xactly is partnering with a third-party to provide the service.

Xactly Rewards is designed to let you assign specific points for sales programs, contests and initiatives such as up-sell and cross-sell campaigns. Sales representatives, in turn, can view their compensation statements through a Web-based interface to see how many Xactly Rewards points they have accrued.

Sales representatives can then redeem accrued Xactly Rewards points online and choose from millions of products from the world's top brands, travel and leisure incentives, events and sports and adventure packages all via the Web, the company said.

Xactly Modeling
Xactly Modeling is designed to allow you to determine the impact of commissions expense forecasts, organization plan and compensation plan changes in advance of implementing them.

According to the company, the Xactly Modeling environment is designed in a parallel form from the Xactly Incent production environment in order to eliminate any potential impact to production processing. However, once modeled changes have been previewed and accepted, they can then be migrated into the live production environment.

By using what's know as a "sandbox" technique, you model and analyze multiple compensation expense, plan and organizational scenarios, without disrupting the actual data.

Xactly Modeling allows finance teams to perform the following:

  • Forecast commission expenses using actual or projected orders to accurately determine future cash requirements
  • Model compensation plan changes and see the upside and downside risk before taking action
  • Change the organization structure and view the effects on both the top and bottom lines
  • Be responsive to market opportunities by removing constraints
  • Promote modeled changes seamlessly into the live environment
  • Xactly Modeling has also been embedded into Xactly Incent for AppExchange Salesforce users
Sales Comp. Data Goldmine
"We collect all this data, reporting what was sold and when it was sold," Cabrera said. "We collect data types from HR, ERP, and other sources, add it to the repository and it goes to HR/payroll."

Xactly's plans are to use this business data to further automate other business processes that encompass on-demand sales performance management and benefit sales and finance with operational performance improvements, processes and analytics.

Xactly's product road map, which the company also unveiled yesterday, will be delivered over the next 18 months through continual updates to its flagship application, Xactly Incent, as well as delivering the following new capabilities: Xactly Territory Management, to allow companies to define accounts, territories and hierarchies to grow revenues and maximize profits; Xactly Quota Management, to enable companies to automate quota allocation and analysis based on territory goals and makeup to optimize quota distribution throughout a territory; Price Management, to allow you to identify, analyze, plan and manage what products have been sold to which customers and at what price point to expedite pricing strategy and execution; Xactly Forecast/Planning, to allow companies to improve the accuracy of their forecasts through improved product planning, inventory reductions and sales forecasting.

Pricing for Xactly Incent is roughly $50 per user, per month, according to a company spokesman. Additional modules each carry a premium of about 5 - 10 percent per user, per month.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

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