In our inaugural episode of Xactly Innovation Station, Like-Minded Compensation Pros Connect, Matt Sheppard, the Director of Global Sales Compensation Systems at LinkedIn, sat down with Xactly’s CEO, Arnab Mishra, with a goal to connect compensation and revenue leaders and discuss how to bring the right technology, team processes, and strategy together to boost sales, productivity, and performance.
So what do you get when you put two like-minded compensation pros side-by-side in one room? A lot of knowledge and experience—with fun and banter along the way! Read on for the full episode recap.
Why Aligning Compensation and Revenue Leaders Matters
Matt’s varied roles across Sales, Operations, and Finance gives him a unique perspective on what it takes to run a successful Sales team. He emphasized that sales performance involves multiple people and requires collaboration to create a cohesive approach. Keeping everyone in lockstep is the name of the game.
Designing Compensation Strategies for Success
The dynamic nature of today's business world presents distinct challenges for compensation professionals. Matt stressed the importance of agility and data quality in compensation strategy, specifically when designing quotas and territories. At LinkedIn, they employ semi-annual planning and a data-driven approach to stay ahead of the game. Being able to adapt and make quick changes when necessary is crucial. Matt said it best, “agility all the time. Having the ability to continuously evaluate your compensation strategy and having visibility into your ecosystem of data and rep performance, the tools they use, and understanding that end to end so that if something needs to change, you can react rather quickly.”
Understanding the Sales Rep Experience
As stewards of LinkedIn’s performance, Matt's team ensures a balance between what is best for the sales reps and what benefits the business overall. They value feedback and conduct numerous pilots to gauge the impact of changes before integrating them into the system.
Simplifying Commission Processes with AI
Simplifying commission processes can greatly enhance the sales rep experience. Matt recommends keeping things simple and easy to understand while also staying connected with the field. What’s more, his team leverages pay and performance data to surface performance insights that allow them to make more effective decisions.
When it comes to the hot topic of AI, specifically generative AI, Arnab highlighted how it can enable conversational interactions, making data more accessible to a wider variety of users. This brings tremendous value to predicting compensation expenses, sales forecasting, and auditing processes.
Building Alignment Between Sales and Finance
Trust and regular communication play a crucial role in aligning Sales and Finance teams. By establishing a shared understanding of the business's goals and objectives, Matt said, they can work together more effectively and avoid silos. What’s more, an Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) solution helps bridge common workflow gaps.
With that, we hope you stay tuned for more of Xactly Innovation Station. Until then, keep innovating, keep connecting, and keep driving success. Until next time!