Achieving Alignment with Sales: Communication

Blog
Dec, 16 2019
3 min read
Communication is key to the success of your organization. But how can sales teams achieve alignment with your company’s goals? (Hint: incentive compensation!)

It’s every company’s dream— all of its employees across the board are on the same page, and in-the-know about the direction the company is moving. However, if you’ve been working in corporate America for more than five minutes, you know how hard it is to realistically achieve that kind of organizational alignment. Have you ever heard the saying, “it’s about as easy as herding cats”? That’s how many organizations feel about communicating plans and goals. Add in a few thousand employees, and you can begin to imagine the daily cross-organizational struggle of an enterprise company. 

Without this kind of strategic alignment within all departments of your organization, you cannot have the kind of success you need to drive performance and take your business to the next level.

Prior to implementing Xactly, Vodafone NZ, a telecommunications company with thousands of employees, was facing similar challenges. Their leadership realized that they couldn’t keep doing incentive compensation the way they were for their growing organization. They knew they needed to change if they wanted to get to a point where they were having strategic, proactive discussions, rather than reactive conversations. 

Vodafone wanted to motivate their employees to change the way they performed their day-to-day responsibilities to make it easier and more rewarding for people to not only hit their targets but also encourage teams to communicate and work more efficiently together. That’s where Xactly came into the picture to help their organization take their existing siloed puzzle pieces and put them together to form a more aligned front.  

Their comp team needed to design thoughtful plans that would drive sales reps and make sure they were all aligned around the right company goals. At the end of the day, it was their responsibility to make sure the plans they helped design and build were motivating the sales team in the right way.  

Why Does This Work?

Over the past year, Vodafone began implementing specific plan changes that would get them closer to achieving the overarching objectives of the company. According to Edina Sebestyen, Commissions Manager for Vodafone, “Alignment and teamwork was a big focus within the retail department, so we designed the compensation plans to pay salespeople to work better together”.

And it worked. 

By improving the efficiency and speed of commission payments, Vodafone was able to achieve a  98% increase in payment accuracy with Xactly. This was a real driver of performance because reps could now spend the majority of their time selling instead of shadow-accounting or double-checking paychecks for errors. This resulted in greater trust and transparency between the teams and that created better alignment.

How Does This Work?

The best way to see results from incentive compensation plans is to keep everyone on the same page and moving towards the same goals. In retail, it’s important for salespeople to be able to see what they are achieving during the month so they can adjust their behavior and hit their targets. Prior to implementing Xactly, Vodafone sales reps didn’t have this kind of transparency that allows the team to achieve more. In addition to meeting and exceeding goals, creating transparency shifts your organizational culture to one of accountability and collaboration—which allows increased trust in your sales team.

What Are Your Next Steps?

If you don’t currently have these views immediately available, it’s time to move to a real-time and transparent process that will help your team reach its sales goals as well as facilitate a data-driven discussion on maximizing performance. In fact, this kind of ongoing dialog is how sales teams reinforce the objectives outlined for them by the organization’s incentive plans.

Communication of plan objectives is key for any sales organization. So having a platform that can give your this kind of transparency and efficiency can be a real game-changer for any organization, just ask Vodafone! 

To learn more about their success story, check out their dedicated customer page for more information on the struggles they faced pre-Xactly, and how our software was able to give them peace of mind when it came to planning, executing, and optimizing current sales plans. 

  • Incentive Compensation
Author
Emily-Jahn
Emily Jahn
,
Content Marketing Manager

Emily Jahn is a Content Marketing Manager at Xactly. She earned a degree in advertising from The University of Colorado - Boulder and has experience in copywriting, social media, and digital marketing.