Incentive Compensation and Sales Performance Management - two key ingredients to scaling a successful B2B SaaS company. Is Intelligent Revenue the next key ingredient to growth?
Chris Cabrera, founder, and CEO of Xactly, built a very successful company by helping companies to automate and optimize those two disciplines. The result was an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2015 and a $564M acquisition by Vista Equity in 2017...but Chris's and Xactly's story did not stop there and continues to evolve.
Currently Xactly is evolving to provide an Intelligent Revenue Platform that enables companies to scale revenue predictably more effectively.
Chris defines Intelligent Revenue as the combination of Revenue Planning, Incentive Compensation Management, Pipeline Management, and Revenue Forecasting
Revenue Operations and Intelligence is an evolving category still yet to be defined. Why the world is waking up that "siloed" apps are not an efficient or effective way to optimize revenue performance. Moreover, to leverage real intelligence across the entire customer journey requires consistent data across every phase of the journey, and a fragmented revenue technology stack does not provide the core foundation required for Intelligent Revenue.
Chris's experience suggests that designing an intelligent revenue plan and incentive compensation model will lead to more predictable and profitable revenue growth. Revenue Intelligence does not start with better forecasting; it begins with using the insights and signals from the past to design the right Go-To-Market structures and plans - ultimately leading to better and more intelligent forecasts.
Ninety-seven percent of Xactly's customers opt-in to share their data in an anonymous and aggregated fashion to develop benchmarks enabling the entire Xactly customer community to leverage the shared intelligence to build better revenue plans and incentive compensation programs.
Who most benefits from Intelligent Revenue? Revenue Operations, often the combination of Sales Ops, Marketing Ops, and Customer Success Ops, directly benefit by being able to develop better territory plans, design incentive compensation plans that drive the right behavior and now provide more intelligent insights into how current pipeline trends will result in more accurate revenue forecasts.
An example that Chris shared was how Revenue Operations can use Intelligent Revenue to design a program to reduce the use of discounting in price negotiations. As an example, incentive compensation plans that pay different rates based upon the "discount" that a sales professional negotiates. One of the traditional barriers to paying this way is the challenge of paying different commission rates based upon discount rates which is a complex, multi-variate calculation challenge - but one that can significantly impact profitable revenue growth.
If you are responsible for one of the most common challenges that every company leader faces - delivering profitable revenue growth and consistent revenue forecasts, this conversation with Chris is entertaining, enlightening, and makes for a great listen!