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Get an 'Xact' Look at Sales Compensation

By Dan Muse     Feedback

Xactly Incent is designed to provide both managers and sales people with an on-demand view into sales incentives and commissions. The application will also now be available as part of Salesforce.com's AppExhcange.

Courtesy of SmallBusinessComputing.com.

When it comes to running a successful small business, few things are as critical as an effective sales force. Whether they are full-time employees, part-time reps or channel partners, keeping track of the incentives and commission structure you've set can help keep you organized and your sales team motivated.

Looking to help you manage the sales-compensation portion of your business, Xactly Corp., a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of on-demand services, will announce tomorrow the availability of the Spring '06 release of Xactly Incent.

Xactly will also announce Xactly Incent for salesforce.com's AppExchange, an on-demand application platform developed by one of the pioneers in Web-based customer-relationship management. Built on the AppExchange on-demand platform, Xactly Incent for AppExchange is designed to enable the company to make  its market-leading Xactly Incent application available to salesforce.com's subscribers.

Xactly Incent Spring '06
The plan document approval feature in Xactly Incent Spring '06 is designed to let you customize your compensation plan and then route it to your sales people for review.
(Click for larger image.)

In addition to providing owners and sales managers with insight into sales compensation, the application is also designed to give visibility to the sales team, said Desta R. Buchowski, Xactly vice president of product management.

"They can play what-if scenarios and ask 'how much will I get paid?' It's not an estimate. It's an accurate, specific, real-time picture."

The online nature of Xactly Incent also allows businesses to make changes to reflect market conditions, Buchowski said. She added that most small business now understand the benefits of on-demand applications. "Either you believe in it or you don't," she said.

To reinforce, software-as-a-service adoption by small businesses, Buchowski said that most of Salesforce.com customers have 20 or fewer sales people.

New features in the Xactly Incent Spring '06 Release include plan document approval. Buchowski said that many companies still distribute paper-based compensation plans with an accompanying cover letter via postal mail to individual sales reps who are required to review them and indicate with a signature whether they accept or decline the plans.

This approach, she said, is time-consuming and forces managers to not only physically distribute the plans, but also track down completed plans in order to archive them. This process then repeats itself at least annually and, in some instances, more frequently. With the plan document approval feature, the process is managed entirely online within Xactly. Buchowski said Xactly has a patent pending for the electronic signoff and routing technology.

For companies thinking of going public, Buchowski said, Xactly Incent offers the necessary audits and controls to comply with Sabanes-Oxley requirements.

Xactly Incent also features general improvements to its draw management capabilities, Buchowski said. Many businesses provide salespeople with draws, compensation in advance of actual sales. The nature of draws can take multiple forms and the new release of Xactly Incent is designed to give companies the capability to create four different types of recoverable and non-recoverable draws.

The new features are available automatically to all existing Xactly customers at no additional cost. This is the venture-capital-backed startup's third release of the service in nine months. While monthly fees vary, the company says costs typically fall in the $40-$50-per-payee, per-month range.

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

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This article was originally published on May 23, 2006
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