Splunk Drives Business Growth and Efficiency with Xactly Incent
Testimonials & Case Studies / Splunk
"When we first started our search we were looking for a tool that would help us easily automate our compensation. But what we found is that Xactly Incent has features and functionality that we didn't even know we needed until now. In that respect, it has been a terrific investment for Splunk that will pay substantial and persistent dividends in increased sales performance and operational efficiency, no matter how fast and far we continue to grow."
- Jonathan Jung, Director of Sales Operations, Splunk Inc.
Splunk Inc. is a leading provider of software for real-time operational intelligence. Splunk software collects, indexes and harnesses the massive machine data continuously generated by the websites, applications, servers, networks and mobile devices that power business. More than 3,300 organizations in over 75 countries use Splunk Enterprise to gain operational intelligence that deepens business understanding, improves service and uptime, reduces cost and mitigates cybersecurity risk.
Fast-growing Splunk, Inc. is on a tear as demand for its Splunk Enterprise software soars and its sales team grows accordingly. But as the team grew in size from a few dozen people to more than 180 sales reps, field engineers, channel reps and sales managers, existing incentive compensation management processes simply could not keep pace.
“Our challenge was one of growth and scalability,” explains Jonathan Jung, Director of Sales Operations, Splunk, Inc. “We were essentially managing compensation in spreadsheets full of macros – but that process was not sustainable given our rapid expansion. It was also causing us to miss out on opportunities to drive sales performance.”
Specifically, on the sales side, Splunk was plagued with a lack of real-time sales rep visibility into deals and commissions, which was resulting in widespread shadow accounting. In addition, Splunk was rapidly adding new sales roles, each on a different sales plan, as well as expanding their sales channel. In many cases compensation was split between functions, causing an extra layer of complexity in deal tracking and payment. On the administrative side, there was no single, efficient tool way communicate with the field - resulting in a flurry of time-consuming emails.
While Splunk initially set out of find a simple, automated system for tracking sales compensation, what they found was a rich, robust tool that enabled them to view sales compensation as a strategic sales function.
Xactly Incent Benefits at a Glance
Real-time sales visibility
Improved sales performance
Alignment of sales with business objectives
Enhanced business efficiency
Tight integration with Salesforce CRM
Realizing that it needed an automated cloud-based system to meet its incentive compensation challenges, Splunk at first looked for a solution with limited functionality, so as not to get overwhelmed with features. But in examining Xactly Incent, it became apparent that the comprehensive incentive compensation management tool set provided by Xactly was precisely what was needed to help drive Splunk’s continued growth.
“We were looking at solutions initially that could maybe do 50 percent of what Xactly Incent does,” claims Jung. “But after talking to Xactly, we realized the system could do so many more things than we ever even thought of, both inside and outside of sales, without sacrificing simplicity and ease of use.”
Real-time sales visibility
The most immediate benefit of implementing Xactly Incent has been the ability to provide reps real-time visibility into their compensation template. With the offering, Splunk’s field team can see precisely what they are being paid and why, anytime they want to know.
“Today, in an entirely self-service process, our sales reps go into Xactly Incent to understand just how they’re being paid,” says Jung. “They can drill down to the deal level themselves and see what portion of the deal they are being compensated for and view their product rates. All this has saved reps a significant amount of time, including eliminated time-wasting shadow accounting and disputes. If they had to go back to spreadsheets tomorrow, they wouldn’t know what to do.”
Improved sales performance
As Splunk’s sales reps ramped up their use of Xactly Incent, they quickly saw the value of the solution in helping them sell more strategically. Moreover, using Xactly Incent, Splunk is also able to quickly introduce SPIFFs and accelerators to drive sales of select products and services, with reps being able to easily see how much extra they can accrue in commissions for their efforts.
“Reps can now easily see the impact of discounts on their selling, for example, and of SPIFFs on their wallets,” explains Jung. “They can see at a glance what discounting 5 percent versus 10 percent can have on their sales, and they can forecast appropriately. And they can easily track the effect of accelerators, which helps increase their value.”
As Splunk has grown, so has the complexity of its incentive compensation environment – which includes more than 30 compensation plans based on various responsibilities. While Splunk customers initially can download the offering for free online – as they mature to an enterprise license they go into a complex selling structure with multiple sales roles. This mix of channel, inside and outside sales reps, as well as client architects often share compensation for various deals.
“On any given deal, the roll up of the opportunity will affect up to 50-60 reps across the company – so as you can imagine that was not easy to track on spreadsheets,” claims Jung. “Xactly Incent allows us to pre-set rules that automatically calculate the right compensation per person, per deal. In implementing Xactly Incent, we also found that we could achieve our same business goals by actually simplifying our compensation plans. This alone has been a huge eye-opener.”
Enhanced business efficiency
Administratively, the use of Xactly Incent has eliminated the need for extensive emails to each individual rep regarding compensation. Now reps can simply log into the system to review their compensation statements, drill into the details and review compensation splits. “Being able to communicate with the field about compensation on one tool, compared to hundreds of separate emails, is the difference between night and day,” says Jung.
Xactly Incent also automatically provides Splunk an audit trail of all communications and transactions – helping ensure regulatory compliance.
Integration with Salesforce CRM
Splunk is also leveraging the close integration between Xactly Incent and Salesforce CRM to, create a unified environment for managing accounts and compensation.
“The tight integration between these two cloud solutions has been very helpful to us,” says Jung. “For example, by tweaking Salesforce CRM slightly, we have been able to send data on split deals automatically to Xactly Incent so that the reps affected by the split have visibility into what percent of the total deal they are being compensated on.”
Looking ahead, Splunk intends continue leveraging Xactly Incent to do new things, such as creating and managing new SPIFF programs that were too hard to administer with spreadsheets. Splunk also intends to start using the Xactly Modeling module for such tasks as assessing the impact of modifying a plan on total costs prior to implementing any tweaks.
Xactly Incent is already helping Splunk improve expense forecasting, “nailing it within one to five percent,” says Jung. The next step will be to use Xactly for strategic sales reporting, including estimating commission payouts and the percent of reps meeting quota.
Concludes Jung, “When we first started our search we were looking for a tool that would help us easily automate our compensation. But what we found is that Xactly Incent has features and functionality that we didn’t even know we needed until now. In that respect, it has been a terrific investment for Splunk that will pay substantial and persistent dividends in increased sales performance and operational efficiency, no matter how fast and far we continue to grow.”