Managing an incentive compensation scheme is like buying Christmas presents for an enormous extended family. Gifts need to be delivered on time and live up to the recipient’s expectations. On top of that, you need to have a total gift-giving budget – or risk having a lean January! But you wouldn’t buy gifts for hundreds of people without a list; in the same way, an automated incentive process is the best way for businesses to manage bonuses. Automated compensation schemes calculate commission accurately and provide employees access to the details in real time. They can see how much they’ve earned, and predict what they might receive in the end – avoiding the “unexpected” or unwanted, and the need for a gift receipt. An automated platform also forecasts total spend for the business – avoiding an end of year hangover for management. The ideal scenario for gift-giving is knowing what others are sending to their spouses, friends, family, acquaintances etc. It would be fantastic to know the right amount to spend and what’s on this year’s hotlists before you hit the shops. Every Dad wants to find out what his children’s friends will be getting – to keep his kid from feeling hard done by. Similarly, sales managers also need to think about the bigger picture when planning bonuses – what are other organisations giving and how much are they spending? Xactly Insights™ shows companies the level of commission other businesses are paying, down to the specific sector and company size. This helps organizations align their incentive plans with their peers. It also means CSOs can avoid being labelled Scrooge for managing a poorly motivated workforce. Compensation schemes can be tailored to reward specific actions, including everything from securing big sales to inputting data into a CRM platform. In this way, productive behaviours can be incentivised and bonuses tied in more closely to business objectives. This approach rewards great performances in a precise way, and avoids managers needing to rely on their naughty and nice lists when assigning compensation. Calculating end of year, or quarter, bonuses doesn’t have to send a chill down your spine, with Xactly’s help. Businesses should be able to reap the fantastic rewards that an intelligent incentive scheme brings. Compensation is the gift that gives all year round, because an inspired and motivated sales team is for life, not just for Christmas.