Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Compensation Architect: The New Blog on the Block

July 17, 2008

I mentioned Santorini Consulting a few times in previous posts and they just told me they had started their own blog called “Compensation Architect – Your guide to designing, implementing and managing effective compensation solutions“.

So far, David Kelly, a fellow compensation management expert, is the main contributor. Sheryl Friesz, Founder and VP of Partnerships, and Brian Silverman, President and CEO of Santorini Consulting, are also planning to contribute their perspective on related topics. Each have acquired years of experience working at Callidus Software before joining Santorini.

Their 3 first posts which have been published at a frequency I hope they will be able to maintain, provide insightful information about sales compensation, policies versus procedures and the difference between reports, queries, feeds and analytics.

Hopefully, over the next few weeks we’ll see some synergy between our blogs, and rather than creating redundant entries, we will each be able to provide fresh perspectives and information to our readers. Even in a field as specialized as incentive compensation, there should always be a place for blogs from product vendors, consulting companies and especially from independent guys.

Go on, take a few minutes for a visit.

Incentive Compensation Industry News

July 11, 2008

Callidus Software Reports Preliminary Financial Results for the Second Quarter 2008

  • Subscription and support revenues for the second quarter are expected to be approximately $10.0 million, an increase of 68% over the second quarter of 2007.
  • Callidus On-Demand (subscription) gross margins for the second quarter are expected to be within the range of 45 to 50%, up from 22% in Q1 2008.

WageWorks Selects Centive Compel(R) to Automate Sales Compensation Management

Centive, the leader in on-demandsolutions for sales compensation and sales performance management, todayannounced that WageWorks, the leading provider of tax-advantaged benefitsprograms, has selected Centive Compel to automate sales compensation and drivesales performance. Here is another related article.

Xactly Named World’s Best New Company by 2008 International Business Awards(SM)

Xactly Corporation took home theprestigious International Stevie(R) Award in The 2008 International BusinessAwards.

Sales Resource Group’s PlanIt solution earns finalist award at 2008 International Business Awards and for for Microsoft Bluesky Finalist.

Upcoming Sales Performance Analytics Webinar, July 22nd 1pm Central

July 10, 2008

There is a very promising webinar coming up, hosted by OpenSymmetry and presented by Greg Livengood.

I particularly wanted to promote this event because I worked with Greg for several months on an Accenture project, and I know that when it comes to Sales Performance Analytics, he REALLY knows what he is talking about. Expect a very insightful presentation by a friendly, dynamic and easy-going individual who built a world-class reputation as a sales performance analytics leader and pioneer.

Event Description:

With the economy in a downward slope, sales leaders more than ever need ‘Sales Performance Analytics’ and efficient ways to proactively identify potential problems and opportunities.

Most companies have the information they need to improve sales performance, however, many sales managers are challenged with accessing and correctly interpreting the data.

Greg Livengood, Senior Business Analyst with Livengood Consulting Group, will discuss how to leverage the 5 best practices in sales performance analytics that can boost your sales force performance.

• Visualize Sales Performance
• Develop Corporate Alignment
• Simplicity
• Build a Self-Sufficient Solution
• Engagement at the Executive Level

Click here to register.

SPM News – Big News for Callidus, Varicent and OpenSymmetry

June 26, 2008

Varicent Software Announces Strategic Partnership with OpenSymmetry
Varicent Software, an innovator and provider of the only comprehensive application for sales performance management (SPM), recently announced a strategic partnership with OpenSymmetry, a largest independent consultancy specializing in sales performance management.

Other partners of OpenSymmetry include Actuate, Callidus Software, nGenera, Oracle, Sungard, TerrAlign and Xactly.

Callidus Software Broadens Performance Management Capabilities with Introduction of TrueTarget
The new SaaS-based software module, TrueTarget™, combines SPM and Employee Performance Management (EPM) capabilities to deliver Pervasive Performance Management (PPM) across the entire enterprise. The concept of PPM offers a single, business-wide, pay-for-performance solution for companies.

Pervasive Performance Management goes beyond standard incentive compensation management and includes objectives alignment, goal management, bonus allocation and employee evaluation.

I could be wrong, but as far as I know the only other major vendor currently offering a similar end-to-end solution is SuccessFactors. [Disclaimer: I have not seen Callidus TrueTarget or any of SuccessFactors’ solutions yet]

Xactly Incent 4.0 – Effective Dating and Other New Features

May 31, 2008

Xactly will be releasing the new version of its On-Demand Sales Compensation Management application in the next week or two.
The main changes in Incent 4.0 will include an improved user interface and reports, “effective dating”, improved organizational management and advanced searches.
User Interface and Reports:
The interface looks good and most of the changes were made around the new functionalities for effective dating. The reports look prettier and also have new security/privacy features. More reports are available and they work “out-of-the-box”. As far as I know these reports are still not very customizable, so it will be important to make sure they satisfy the reporting needs.
Effective dating:
This is a feature I described earlier when discussing versioning. Effective dating allows to give a certain value to an object between certain dates, and a different value between other dates. This can be used to track changes to teams and reporting releationships, job or role changes, promotions, name changes, targets, etc.
For example, if a person’s salary goes up from $50,000 to $60,000 on March 31st, the original version will show a salary of $50,000 and a new version will be created with an effective date of March 31st and a salary of $60,000.
Effective dating is extremely useful because rather than scrambling to make changes before a payroll date, changes can be done at anytime. Since these changes can be tracked, effective dating also improves auditability (it is easy to see how historical commissions were calculated).
Note: Effective dating in Xactly is currently limited to people, positions, hierarchy and relationships. Hopefully a future version of Incent will allow effective dating of other objects such as plans, rules, quotas, etc.
Organizational Management:
Without effective dating, organizational management was a bit tricky in previous versions. Changes in hierarchy and relationships are now much simpler and much cleaner.
Advanced Search:
Advanced searching makes the process of finding the right object or result much quicker. It was also a needed add-on to be able to search for effective dated objects.
I have seen a few minor upgrades of Xactly (3.x) and with the scope of these changes, this new release (version 4) clearly deserves it’s own number. Lets just hope that effective dating will be applicable to all objects in the near future.

Enterprise Incentive Management News

May 31, 2008

Xactly Wins Coveted 2008 CODiE Award
Sales performance management leader takes home software industry’s top honor for best financial software solution

Leading on-demand sales performance management vendor chosen from among 2,600 entries for prestigious Stevie® Awards

Sierra Atlantic Partners With Callidus Software to Advance Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Delivery
Provides Global Delivery Model to Achieve Sales Performance Management Growth

Centive Named to JMP Securities’ Hot 100 Software Companies
“We are pleased to be honored with inclusion in the Hot 100 report by JMPSecurities,” said Michael Torto, president and CEO, Centive.

Centive Named as Finalist in 2008 American Business Awards
On-Demand Sales Compensation Management Leader Recognized for Providing Exceptional Customer Service

ICM News This Week

May 17, 2008

Centive Named as Finalist in 2008 American Business Awards
On-Demand Sales Compensation Management Leader Recognized for Providing Exceptional Customer Service

Xactly Analytics: Look at Sales Compensation On-Demand
Xactly, a sales performance management company, recently released Xactly Analytics, an on-demand application designed to provide analysis, metrics, ad-hoc reports and dashboards based on aggregated post-sales data.

Skin in the Game
Centive smoothes away the calluses for a dermatology-product vendor. Thanks to implementing Centive Compel, Obagi Medical:
– increased net sales by 32 percent;
– increased operating income by 56 percent;
– increased net income by 149 percent; and
– added 200 new active physician accounts, an 18 percent increase.

In the News this Week…

May 10, 2008

ForceLogix Announces the Release of New Sales Performance Management Coaching Solution
ForceLogix, the leading provider of sales performance management optimization solutions, has released a best in class sales coaching module designed to support all sales methodologies worldwide.

Callidus Software Inc (NASDAQ:CALD) to Present at Wedbush Morgan Securities Management Access Conference for Micro-Small-Mid-Cap Companies
Callidus Software Inc (NASDAQ:CALD) will present at the Wedbush Morgan Securities Management Access Conference for Micro-Small-Mid-Cap Companies on Wednesday, May 21 at 12:00 pm. Interested parties may access the presentation by registering for the event at

Xactly Wins 2008 CRM Excellence Award
Xactly Corporation, the leader in on-demand sales performance management, today announced that Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC)’s Customer Interaction Solutions(R) magazine has named Xactly’s flagship application, Xactly Incent, a recipient of the 2008 CRM Excellence Award.

Dreamforce Europe: Benioff, Cloudy CIOs and sophisticated Europeans’s inaugural European user summit landed in London this week. It was an important gig for the software as a service firm and attracted over 2,000 attendees. So how did it fare?

Upcoming Webinar:
Ventana Research: Sales Performance Management: Improving the Performance of Sales Organizations to Maximize Strategic Value
Here are some key questions that will be addressed in the research:
• What helps organizations improve maturity of their sales organizations and processes.
• Where organizations are investing into information and metrics to improve sales performance.
• Why the reliance on spreadsheets in 47% of companies are a problem and 51% rank scattered information as top impediment to improving sales performance.
• What are the top systems that are required to integrate with sales compensation and operations.
• What is the role of finance and executives for adopting sales performance management.

New Blog:
The Management Curve – How Technilogy is Changing the Way Sales is Managed
The Management Curve is a blog by Paul McCord about technology and the change it is currently and will continue to bring about in how salespeople and the sales function are managed.

Varicent SPM 5.0 – Interview with Varicent

May 6, 2008

I know I said I would only present industry news once a week, but I wanted to take a moment to discuss the availability of Varicent’s SPM solution – SPM 5.0. I want to talk about this because I’ve received a few questions about it, and especially because following a good conversation with Kelley Kassa, Director of Corporate Communications and Rod Radojevic, Vice President Product Marketing I can offer a bit more information.

Varicent SPM 5.0 is its flagship solution managing incentive compensation and sales performance. As with every other SPM solutions on the market, the value proposition is clear; Varicent SPM can predict costs associated with new plans, reduce errors, save time, reduce dispute resolution and administrative time of sales professionals, etc. More importantly, it can help out addressing the gaps existing between different business areas and departments.

I had never seen Varicent SPM solution before this overview. It seems like most of the changes were done with the business user in mind.

One of the major changes in release 5.0 was the complete redesign of the user interface. The interface is very clean and has a non-technical feel. As you can see in the screen capture below, the bar graph almost looks as if it was hand-drawn. The menu also consists of well designed 3D icons which are pretty self-explanatory. The visual appearance of the interface gives it a very pleasing and non-intimidating look-and-feel.

A new module called Composer was also introduced to this release. Rod pointed out that this module makes it easy for business users to set-up, manage and show rules and data flows. This workspace can give insight over calculations, territory assignments, credits, adjustments, overlays and exceptions. Rod added that the workflow appearance of this workspace makes it non-intimidating for anyone to jump-in and review the system.

Composer is not the only module using workflows; a new workflow module can be used to represent plans, reports, web forms, and document signoff and inquiries.

I asked Rod what makes Varicent SPM different from its competitors. We talked about its open architecture, its web analytics and reporting capabilities, its flexibility, scalability, and robustness. Rod also mentioned how Varicent was the first product to be a complete SPM solution, but I’ve seen this claim made by most other companies.

In my opinion, one of the features of Varicent which I have not seen elsewhere (and maybe it does exist and I’m just not aware of it), is Varicent’s mobility feature. Business users or comp professionals can access information such as the Payee Ledger and Inquiries via a mobile device such as a BlackBerry. This seems like something that could be useful for professionals and consultants who are frequently on-the-road, in meetings, or for those who must be available 24/7 to resolve issues. I can see a particular benefit for a feature like this, for companies choosing an on-premise solution (Varicent is available on-premise as well as on-demand). It seems like it’s the start of a new trend, just last Friday I read an article about how SAP and RIM teamed up to bring native CRM to the BlackBerry.

Overall, Varicent SPM 5.0 appeared to be very user-friendly and flexible, and seems to offer everything I would expect from an SPM solution.

If you have any other questions, please send them to me and I will gladly get an answer for them.

In the News this Week…

May 2, 2008

I’m trying out a new strategy; instead of cluttering this blog with industry news, I will try to post news, press releases, and upcoming events once a week. Let me know if I miss any important news, but please note that I’m intentionally excluding specific news about new clients, deployments and stock movements – there would just be too many to keep track!

In the News this Week:
Xactly Corporation Secures $30 Million to Cement Leadership Position in Sales Performance Management

Varicent Reduces Costs of Managing and Maintaining Sales Performance Management and Incentive Compensation Management With Latest Release of Varicent SPM

Upcoming Events:
Common Pitfalls in Sales Compensation Plan Design (by Makana Solutions)