How Big Data can Help You Hit it out of the Park This Season

4 min read

"Great day" and Monday are rarely used in the same sentence. But this week we'll  make an exception. That's because this Monday was Opening Day, the day that baseball fans everywhere rejoice as professional baseball leagues begin their regular season. For Major League Baseball and most of the minor leagues, this day typically falls during the first week of April. For baseball enthusiasts, Opening Day represents a newness or a chance to forget last season and begin again with a clean slate, and the potential for "their" team to hit it out of the park. For many organizations, creating a world-class sales organization is no different than fielding a baseball team. You understand the strengths and weaknesses of the players you have –and position them accordingly. But sometimes the results of the team are just not what you expected. Some reps hit it out of the park. Others fall short of their expectations. Worse yet, others are out the door as soon as they are free agents. But why? From the number of quota elements that deliver optimal performance, to the best timing to pay reps, most companies have been following out of date playbooks when it comes to designing compensation plans. But just like how data completely revolutionized how baseball teams field a team – data holds the promise of doing the same when it comes to sales teams. For the first time, sales organizations now have access to real-world, empirical sales big data that holds the lineup needed to not only optimize sales, but to better engage and inspire reps to reach their full potential. For example, using Xactly Insights™ to run a big data analysis of the real-world compensation practices of more than 725 companies, we found that 82 percent of sales reps make their quota in the central U.S., versus 66 percent in the West and 67 percent in the East, respectively. What motivated these reps to perform better? For starters, they tended to have a slightly higher base pay. Big data holds the answers companies need to be willing to ask the hard questions if they really want to transform both the cost and impact of sales compensation in their organization. With Xactly Insights, companies can dig into hardball questions including:

  • How does my compensation spend stack up against other companies my size?
  • Are my quotas aligned with my industry peers?
  • When am I most at risk for losing my top sales reps?
  • Am I over or underpaying when it comes to variable sales compensation?
  • Are SPIFs drawing their intended results?

With the ability to answer these tough sales compensation questions, you will be well on your way to building a leading sales organization with a pennant-winning team. So what are you waiting for?