Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

Xactly What Sales Needs To Improve

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 30, 2011 9:48:29 AM

In addressing the needs of their sales and operations teams to automate and improve performance, many organizations turn to providers of sales applications designed for specific activities. Many of these activities, including sales compensation, incentives, commissions, quotas, territories and others, Xactly has been delivering for years. This company is no newcomer to the market, with significant experience in meeting the needs of small to midsize sales organizations, and more recently addressing the needs of larger ones. 

We have been tracking Xactly for some time. At the beginning of this year we released our Value Index on Sales Performance Management, which we believe is the most comprehensive research on the vendors and products dedicated to optimizing sales processes and performance. In this research, we rated Xactly a Hot Vendor, the highest level of accomplishment in our in-depth research. Our analysis found that its application suite has a well-balanced approach to the key aspects of usability, manageability, reliability, adaptability and functionality and had made significant advancement since our previous analysis. Since then, Xactly has continued to advance its capabilities to further its growth in the market.  

Xactly offers a suite of modules tightly integrated with Xactly Incent, the company’s foundation application for sales. With the release of Xactly Incent 7.1, the applications are available on smartphones. In addition, for sales representatives on commission, the company has released  Plan Illustrator, which provides a visual map of a commission plan, tracks representatives’ progress to quota and estimates potential commissions. With Xactly Estimator sales can quickly calculate commissions within its application and also within salesforce and Oracle SFA. They also added expanded effective dating support for rate tables at assignment level along with related quotas. As well it has retrofitted the Xactly Territories applications’  data integration capabilities with order systems and other critical data. Flexibility of integrating data is important, as our benchmark research found difficulty in preparing data for analysis to be the largest source of dissatisfaction in sales analytics; sales organizations spend two-thirds of their time on data-related tasks rather than analytic ones.  

Xactly eDocs & Approvals can now dynamically route payments through sales and finance managers for approval – that is critical for improving clarity in payments. For improving manageability Xactly has added an administrative dashboard for sales operations it calls myHome, which helps staff members know what needs to be addressed across sales-related activities and processes. Xactly already had robust reporting and analytics, which has been one of its core differentiators in the market. I personally like how Xactly has made sales a contest for achievement that can be seen in its ranking pods that provides notification on achievement ranking for individuals and teams that can be easily access on smart phones like Apple and RIM Blackberry. The company also provides what it calls a sandbox – an isolated environment in which organizations can work with their applications safely and securely to test changes before placing them into production. 

I expect to see even more advances in Xactly’s application suite, along with more support for smartphones and tablets to enhance access to and mobility of the applications. Xactly is focused on advancing automation and improving the sales processes in order to increase the confidence and selling focus of sales organizations. It’s worth considering to help your organization become more effective across the range of activities in sales operations.  


Mark Smith 

CEO & Chief Research Officer

Topics: Sales, Social Media, Marketing, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Revenue Performance, Sales Force Automation, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, CMO, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Workforce Performance Management (WPM), Xactly

Mark Smith

Written by Mark Smith

Mark is responsible for the overall direction of Ventana Research and drives the global research agenda covering both business and technology areas. He defined the blueprint for Information Management and Performance Management as the linking together of people, processes, information and technology across organizations to drive effective results. Mark is an expert in technology for business from Performance Management, Business Intelligence, Analytics to Information Management across finance, operations and IT. Mark has held CMO, product development and research roles at companies such as SAP, META Group, Oracle and IRI Software. He has experience across major industries including banking, consumer products, food and beverage, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and retail and consumer services.