[Data Snapshot] 2018 Sales Compensation Best Practices Study

Xactly surveyed more than 300 companies. Get tips, trends, and best practices for sales compensation planning and administration and improving performance.

4 min read

In May 2018, Xactly partnered with WorldatWork to complete its annual Sales Compensation Best Practices Study to define the key trends and metrics for companies that want to plan and incent a top sales organization. Incentive compensation management is critical in enabling companies to drive the right sales behaviors, attain sales goals, and drive growth.

The study found that 60% of respondents ranked their company as “average or lower” when it comes to sales compensation administration. It seems we can all agree that there is definite room for improvement here. The first step to reaching “above average” compensation processing is facing the facts. As leaders in the compensation industry, it’s important to understand where we are in order to get to where we’re going.

Insightful participant responses are included below, as well as several key takeaways from the overall survey results. It’s all there—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Take a look and see for yourself. 

First, there’s Accuracy

95% of respondents using ICM technology have payouts completed in less than six weeks, with the majority completed under three weeks

50% of respondents using homegrown or spreadsheet calculation mechanisms take four weeks or longer to payout

83% admit that they have inaccuracies within their payment schedules

10% of total company revenue is typically spent on sales compensation payments

60% do not track accuracy and are making a “best guess” about the accuracy of their commission payments

Companies can use automated ICM technology to decrease errors and improve administrative processes; this can lead to cost savings and lowered payment processing times.

What about Visibility?

77% placed a rating of “Very High Value” for gaining access to analytics and sales compensation data

26% felt their company was actually able to deliver analytics or reporting at an “Above Average” or “Best-of-Breed” level

Companies should provide timely reporting to all stakeholders and increase visibility throughout the process—from plan documentation to final payout.

Let’s talk Complexity

87% have an ideal desired attrition rate of less than 15%, which is in line with industry standards

69% were actually able to achieve the ideal desired attrition rate of less than 15%

35%  responded “Yes” when asked if their organization leveraged industry benchmarking or data-based insights in their sales compensation planning or execution

Companies can increase satisfaction in their payment plan by incorporating more communication, avoiding confusion, and using benchmarking to give intelligent insights into metrics.

There it is, in black and white. Are many of these statistical truths reflected in your own organization? Does your team often struggle with flawed data and shallow analytics? It’s evident—you’re in good company. Let’s work on this together.

This 2018 study reveals the trends that you can stake your company’s comp strategy on. To learn more about how accurate, on-time payments can impact your sales representatives’ future successes and increase quota attainment, watch the full webinar.