Why then have the business processes to automate sales – with the ultimate goal of increasing revenues and profits and improving sales productivity – historically been either non-existent, broken, or islands of disconnected point solutions? Shockingly, the answer lies in the fact that many companies historically have labored under the yoke of spreadsheets to manage the complexities of incentive sales compensation and sales performance.
This archaic approach, fraught with errors and risk, is no longer acceptable or viable from either a sales or finance perspective. Additionally, spreadsheet-operated companies are finding themselves at a significant competitive disadvantage and risk of non-compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulatory standards.
During my previous selling career at an enterprise sales compensation management company, I was repeatedly forced to walk away from sales opportunities because mid-market companies simply could not afford the cost of an enterprise sales compensation management solution: large up-front software license fees, maintenance, hardware, and unpredictable implementation schedules.
That’s why I started Xactly Corporation, the leader in on-demand sales compensation management. Xactly is representative of a new breed of software companies who have chosen to pursue a 100% pure play, on-demand solution. The biggest advantage of on-demand software might not be measured in terms of cost, but in terms of productivity. Enterprise systems are not only expensive, but they can take months – or even years – to install. That's simply not acceptable to today’s dynamic businesses that demand immediate results when they buy new software.
In contrast, on-demand software can usually be installed in a matter of days or weeks. That translates into less wasted time and energy - and the ability to focus on what really matters: customer satisfaction. To be clear, I’m not signaling the death knell of enterprise software anytime soon.
There will always be a place for enterprise software, but its primary customers will be large corporations that can afford to invest millions of dollars to deploy their systems. For mid-market companies that want the advantages of an enterprise system without needlessly sacrificing cash or productivity, the future is clearly on-demand.