While convenient, terminology like B2C and B2B reinforce thinking that makes it easy for companies to treat customers as a large mass of buyers, rather than individuals with specific needs, fears, and aspirations. Many business leaders have begun to realize that this approach isn’t doing their organization any favors. Instead, the future of commercial transactions is not B2B or B2C—but B2H (business-to-human). This movement, best described by Gainsight CMO in his B2H think piece, is one that Xactly strives to emulate through our core values, C.A.R.E. (Customer success, Accountability, Respect, Excellence). These tenets result in business practices that emphasize the “Human” in B2H. From this experience, we think the following four practices can help foster a more personal and human-centric relationship between buyers and businesses.
1. Make Sure Customer Success Comes First
For any company, content is a critical form of communication. As a primary means of sharing information with customers, the content a business provides often defines perceptions of an organization. For example, we wouldn’t be much of a sales performance management leader if we didn’t share deep and actionable knowledge relevant to the work you do. Every blog post, guide, and resource is created to help the real person who deals with challenges and changes in the field on a daily basis. We want sales leaders and comp admins to be prepared in every way possible. From our conversations with customers and experts in the field, we know that ASC 606 is a huge area of concern -- not just for the organizations affected, but the people on the ground. To help customers and prospects prepare for the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB’s) newly released Accounting Standards Update (ASC 606) we created a dedicated resource page to help educate those affected on the new commission accounting requirements, which includes:
- Blog posts
- FASB Resources
If you or your organization pays commissions and needs to be GAAP compliant, make sure to review the resource page here. The content on that page can help you create an actionable plan for managing these changes and provide you the tools you need for GAAP-compliance.
2. Cultivate a Customer Community
A common concept in B2H thinking is that people are attracted to a sense of community. Affinity is important—particularly in positions that are as specialized as those in the compensation field. Feeling like we belong relieves stress, builds camaraderie, and encourages knowledge sharing. This is partially the reason Xactly created FOX (Friends of Xactly), a program exclusive to customers that is intended to inform, educate, and inspire advocates to not only get more from their Xactly solutions, but connect with other experts in the incentive compensation and sales performance space. Every day, members of FOX come together to participate in daily challenges, discussions, solution reviews, and referrals. And because we’re an incentive compensation company, participation is rewarded with a huge variety of gifts and prizes. If you’re a customer and a not part of FOX yet, make sure to join! Email to get your exclusive invitation: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Give Customers the Edge
Regardless of the service or product you offer, the customer experience should be paramount. This means focus. Designed for sales, finance, and compensation professionals, Xactly doesn’t take a blanket software approach to commissions, but nuanced enough to take on the specific challenges of the job. From building an unstoppable sales force to minimizing spreadsheet work, the customer needs are never forgotten. This customer-centric development can be seen in the four benefits that define the Power of X.
- Optimize to the Power of X: Leverage and maximize ROI from comp spend with insights and best practices from over 12 years of empirical pay and performance data.
- Incentivize to the Power of X: Give reps instant visibility into your pay and performance data—building trust and engagement that drive sales productivity.
- Forecast to the Power of X: Provide your finance teams with greater visibility into one of the organization’s biggest expenses—closing books sooner with a less than one percent error rate.
- Automate to the Power of X: Reduce payout errors and streamline processes to improve business efficiencies and drive sales performance.
4. Pay It Forward
When Chris Cabrera founded Xactly, he spoke to an executive mentor for guidance. This expert didn’t talk about growth hacking, the latest trend in advertising, or the newest sales methodology. Instead, he turned Cabrera’s attention to an unlikely center of focus for a burgeoning business: GPW (Great Place to Work). Over a decade later and none of our competitors can claim that they have been named a great place to work 13 times. We know that engaged employees and strong executive leadership directly affect your experience with us, this gives us the confidence that our workforce is aligned with our C.A.R.E. values. Part of the reason why Xactly continues to be a great place to work, is that employees are not only incentivized through the traditional avenues, but also by providing means to give back to the community. At the forefront of this effort is XactlyOne. This program organizes volunteer opportunities and projects for employees and encourages them to take action and donate their time and talents in their local neighborhoods. XactlyOne volunteers strive to make a meaningful impact, create positive changes, and strengthen the Xactly team.
At the end of the day, B2H is meant to steer the partnership between businesses and customers towards a true relationship. While each individual company culture will warrant different areas of focus, instilling a human element into operational practices will show buyers, prospects, and even employees that the business cares.