How SaaS is Satisfying Salespeople{1}


by Jongwoo Y
Celia Heywood, vice president of sales solutions for Bank of America Merchant Services, has always faced a dilemma when paying out the salespeople’s salaries at any given time. Often times, the salespeople would complain to Celia due to the fact that they felt that their extra incentives and commissions weren’t properly calculated (Mullins, 2012). However, ever since Bank of America Merchant Services decided to switch to a new SaaS known as Xactly, those dilemmas seemingly started to disappear. Xactly is a SaaS that keeps track of employee salaries and the extra compensation and incentive payments, especially for salespeople. It also handles the complexity of various compensation factors with fewer errors than spreadsheet applications (Mullins, 2012). This type of service leads to fewer errors, and happier customers. Xactly offers two different types of plans for their users. Xactly Incent, for enterprises, is hosted on Xactly’s private cloud server. This service is tailored for larger merchants such as Bank of America. The second product, Xactly Express, is custom tailored for smaller to mid size businesses and is built on the Force.com platform and delivered by Salesforce.com. The CEO of Xactly, Christopher Cabrera, states that “Xactly aims to take the complexity out of managing compensation systems, which are dynamic, multifaceted and prone to error (Mullins, 2012).” Typically, most businesses use spreadsheets on Excel or small databases on Microsoft Access. However, the use of these applications can lead to errors quite easily which end in disgruntled workers. In a recent survey by Ventana Research, 52% of sales organizations use desktop spreadsheets while 49% said those spreadsheets are inefficient and difficult to use correctly (Mullins, 2012). One of the most enticing features for Xactly’s SaaS is that it allows for salespeople to check the “what ifs” on sales and how it would effect their salaries in the future. This can lead to more employee motivation as salespeople will be able to know what can happen if they work harder for that extra sale. Xactly has grown 67% in the year of 2011 and the future looks just as bright as it did last year.

It is very interesting to see how many different types of SaaS that are available on the internet today. Whether it’s looking for your ancestors, uploading your important content, or in this case, paying your employees what they deserves, SaaS has evolved into a major player in today’s technological world. Xactly is able to solve an issue that has existed since salespeople became a major occupation in the workforce, paying them what they deserve. There are many times when salespeople will complain to their supervisors if they feel as if they have been shortchanged on their salaries, however, there are also times when salespeople will stay quiet about the subject if they have been overcompensated on their salary. Due to this fact, surveys regarding this matter may only be able to represent one part of the dilemma of getting a salesperson’s salary correct. The only thing that may be an issue with Xactly’s service is that it may cost too much for a small business to run. A small business may be able to pay their sales employees more generously and still save money compared to subscribing to Xactly and paying the correct wages to their sales people.

I believe that Xactly is an awesome service and that it really takes advantage of the SaaS market. Calculating something as confusing as a person’s salary when it is as dynamic as a salesperson’s due to bonuses can be a daunting task. It gets even crazier when you are forced to calculate hundreds of different sales people’s wages for the month or year. However, with Xactly’s service, you are pretty much guaranteed that you will be able to give out accurate wages as long as you log everything in correctly. The chances of getting your salespeople’s salaries correct are much larger and it can keep your employees happier and less dissatisfied with the wages that they are earning. Though I have yet to work a sales job that offered extra incentives for performance, I can only imagine how frustrating it is to feel as if the company that you are working for is not providing the correct amount of money for the amount that you have worked. On the flip side, I can also understand how frustrating it is for a manager to see that a company is overpaying their salespeople and losing a large amount of money. Xactly is a genius SaaS and I am very happy to have found an article about it, especially after coming up with our own SaaS business models for our projects this quarter.

Mullins, R. J. (2012, May 16). eweek. Retrieved from http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Cloud-Computing/SaaS-Products-Take-the-Hassle-Out-Of-Calculating-Sales-Peoples-Pay-634083/