Best-of-Breed or Suite Solution? Which is Best for You?

Jul 30, 2017
3 min read
Getting sales compensation right is critical for all businesses. Discover the best type of incentive compensation management (ICM) solution for your company.

Chances are you’ve heard this buzzword before. To err on the side of caution, let’s define it: what is a best-of-breed software? The definition can vary depending on where you look, but essentially, best-of-breed describes a top solution in a given market.

In the world of information technology, the conflict of choosing between a product suite and a best-of-breed option wages on. You know the arguments for each solution type well: a suite of products comes packaged as a template, while the best-of-breed option takes the cake in integration with other systems, capability, price value, and accuracy.

It’s probably too early to show my cards, but I think you can tell which solution I vouch for. The truth is, ambitious organizations who strive to exceed excellence build their businesses using different components of a best-of-breed solution in profoundly creative ways. By using Xactly Connect, Cox Automotive has been able to save 172 hours per month on their once-manual processes. According to Jessica Owen, Director of Sales Incentive Compensation at Cox, freeing up that time has been transformational, allowing them to focus on things that provide more value to the business.

You may feel a lot of pressure when deciding between a best-of-breed or suite option for your organization. So, I want to expose some pain points you may resonate with. Regardless of what solution choice you make, as an organization, you have the choice. So, ask yourself: Which offering will help me gain the strategic business advantage I’m after?

Finance Fanatics: What do You Care About?

Dealing with a company’s financials is a daunting job. Without a doubt, finance leaders’ biggest priorities consist of the following when deciding between a suite product or best-of-breed:

  1. Eliminating risk: Finance teams want a system that is quickly deployable, predictable and rigorous.
  2. Fast implementation: When a new system integration is fast, business needs are met soon and often, leaving more room for strategic development. This means in the long-run, organizations can achieve a positive ROI faster.
  3. Visibility: Finance teams want to be able to provide accurate, real-time forecasting and planning data to other aspects of the sales force in their organization.

Information and Technology Concerns

We all know accurate information can be invaluable for companies. A skilled Chief Information Officer or Chief Technology Officer can set the tone and pace for progress of a whole organization.

As a CIO, your primary challenges consist of keeping business data secure, and finding new systems that integrate seamlessly. Your top priorities consist of the following when deciding between two operation types:

  1. Flexibility: Likely your biggest concern, is finding robust information technology support that will help your organization thrive.
  2. Implementation: The success of integrating a new system is paramount here. The facts remain, that digitally connected and cloud-based apps have changed the landscape and quality of usage when it comes to best-of-breed solutions.
  3. Interoperability: Being compatible with other systems of partners, or customers is essential in your solution research. Opting for a cloud accessibility means easy access to your product and peace of mind that comes with that. Products that are secured with single sign-on integrations ensure a smooth integration.

Optimize Sales Ops

Existing, homegrown systems lead to inevitable inaccuracy. If you work in sales operations, you need to know – for sure – that you’re confirming a single version of truth for your compensation. As many as 89 percent of companies continue to use spreadsheets to manage their data – resulting in an overwhelming volume of errors and headaches for employees. Avoid these pains and consider these points when determining your solution needs:

  1. Get bang for your buck: There’s no point in choosing a solution, unless it can support your organization’s needs for the long haul. Invest in a product that can do exactly what you need, without running into compatibility issues down the road. A best-in-breed solution can analyze your organization’s data, create reports, and help you plan changes quickly. Ultimately, giving you back more time to strategize on your team’s full potential.
  2. Accuracy: Mistakes make us all look bad. Eliminate slip-ups with a cloud-based option, that way your team can spend more time and resources analyzing the data they have, instead of processing it manually, and double checking their numbers.

Help Human Resources Out

The HR team has their work cut out for them – with potentially massive departments to manage, helping other employees wrangle inefficient and error prone manual systems can suck up all their time (and energy). What’s a team to do? Here are some pointers:

  1. Find an automated, stream-lined process: Coordinating an easily implemented solution can remove confusion of messy systems. A unified, best-in-breed solution will save everyone time, money and stress, again, freeing up time for the HR team to be more strategic when achieving their business goals.
  2. Ensure MBO’s are fast and fluid: A best-of-breed solution will guarantee a low learning curve for HR teams, and a high potential for operational effectiveness. Imagine the possibilities of an HR team that has the time to be motived, focused and inspired to be their best.
  • Analytics and Technology
  • Sales Performance Management
  • Sales Planning
Karrie Lucero
Karrie Lucero
Content Marketing Manager

Karrie Lucero is a Content Marketing Manager at Xactly. She earned marketing and journalism degrees from New Mexico State University and has experience in SEO, social media and inbound marketing.