How Western Union Drove Global Growth With Xactly

Feb 19, 2020
4 min read
Western Union is a leader in the global Financial Services vertical. Learn how this enterprise conquered Incentive Compensation (ICM) inefficiencies and how one compensation manager rose to the occasion.

Financial Services is a trillion-dollar industry, and yes, we said trillion with a ‘T’, which makes it one of the largest, and most influential sectors in the world. Enterprises, like our customer Western Union, are under immense pressure to run efficiently and predictably which means they cannot afford to fail. Our world is connected by dollar signs so it’s imperative that financial organizations are consistent, stable, and more importantly, innovative when it comes to choosing the right technology to drive their business forward.  

According to Forbes, compensation is the largest line item for companies. By identifying the opportunity to implement a solution that would ultimately increase their ROI while decreasing errors, Western Union needed to be agile and able to respond to changing needs. Because of that, they were able to not only combat the immediate roadblocks in their compensation plans but also stay one step ahead of the competition due to the time, energy, and manpower that was ultimately freed up when Xactly’s solution was implemented. 

This is where the role of Configurations Manager became crucial in alleviating the pressure brought about by inefficient internal ICM processes.  

The Challenges WU’s Compensation Team Aced

On average, according to an Xactly research study, businesses spend 10% of revenue on sales compensation, and for an enterprise like Western Union, that’s an incredibly large line item. The planning and execution of implementing compensation plans on a global scale was challenging for Western Union as the organization sought to create consistent processes in multiple countries—over 200 to be exact. When it came to compensating a globally dispersed workforce, it’s no surprise that a number of roadblocks surfaced for their internal teams—that’s where automation became a key problem-solver. 

Automation on the surface level allows companies to reduce manual efforts and minimizes payroll errors—essentially, it makes it easier to compensate performance based on established plans and metrics. But when you peel back the initial layers this type of automation provides, you find the true benefits for end-users. Automating compensation enables businesses to standardize their systems throughout the organization and ultimately help departments to communicate more effectively and eliminate human-error. 

This is what Western Union’s champion, Joshua Baxter had to say about this process:

“Working at a global company like Western Union, managing compensation is very interesting. Using Xactly has allowed us to be dynamic in that regard and meet the needs of all our managers across the globe,” said Joshua Baxter of Western Union. “When you’re not spending your time focusing on easily fixable issues, you open yourself up to the possibility of company-wide alignment and being strategic in your work— all of which can make you a champion in the eyes of your employer. 

How One Configurations Manager Exceeded Expectations

As mentioned, Western Union was looking for ways to ease the manual effort within their incentive compensation processes, and that’s when Xactly’s solution was selected. When they chose Xactly as their partner, Joshua saw an opportunity to rise to new challenges and establish an area of expertise within Xactly’s solution. He understood early on that as technology evolves, so must professionals and their skillsets.

No matter what position you hold within your organization, it’s important to continue to strive for success in the workplace. Distinguishing yourself as a valuable employee who is willing to learn and master new things can assist in providing job security in addition to helping you take the next step in your career.

Compensation Expertise as a Catalyst for Career Growth

Automation is the first domino piece you need in order to set off a chain of positive reactions in your company as a whole—for Joshua, Xactly was the solution he needed to fuel his career growth at Western Union. 

Compensation management is about so much more than just providing your sales team with an accurate, on-time paycheck, which was something Joshua Baxter learned very early on in his role. His ability to quickly adapt and excel/advance using Xactly’s solution was crucial for his success. 

According to Baxter, “Xactly’s SPM platform enabled me to be relevant in the SPM space to advance quickly within my organization and allowed me to prove myself at Western Union. In 2017, my team successfully transitioned its sales compensation administration model away from third-party managed services and brought Xactly’s solution in-house to achieve self-sufficiency. This experience of maturing a global organization’s Sales Performance Management program inspired me to join Xactly and help other sales organizations achieve their goals.”

Joshua was able to be a catalyst for change within the sales compensation team, while also accelerating his own career. Smart, innovative companies like Western Union look for platforms that focus on driving the behavior of sales teams while keeping customer satisfaction a priority. Because of that, he was able to identify a long-term career opportunity that furthered his professional strengths and skills. 

Transformation Came in Many Forms 

It is in the dynamic nature of finance to constantly reinvent, but more often so, to improve, extend, adapt, and revise previous processes. With the help of Joshua, Western Union was able to transform its sales compensation program. And, in response to the success, they have had with Xactly’s flagship Incent product, they are now considering and reviewing other solutions within Xactly’s Sales Performance Management Suite. 

The Financial Services industry has supported an enormous amount of innovation and advancements in recent decades. If you think your organization can benefit from the type of success Western Union was able to see with Xactly solutions, reach out to our Strategic Services team. They can help you assist you with best practices and expert knowledge. 

  • Finance
  • Incentive Compensation
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.