Spotlight on Sales Compensation – the Value of FOCUS

7 min read

When we have the ability to focus, we can recharge and become more energized – ultimately spurring productivity. That gift of focus is precisely the value that WorldatWork’s Spotlight on Sales Compensation provided to attendees last week in Chicago.

A Laser Focus on Incentive Compensation

There are only two conferences in the entire industry that focus solely on incentive compensation. WorldatWork’s Spotlight on Sales Compensation is one of them. Xactly’s own CompCloud is the other. As Xactly’s Director of Events, Stacie Parr manages and attends dozens of annual business and sales events worldwide – so she knows more than a thing or two about what makes a good show. According to Stacie, Spotlight gives those in the sales compensation industry a unique opportunity to learn and talk with their peers. Even if attendees change companies, they typically remain in the field, returning again and again to this annual event and seeing familiar faces. What this also means is that you have an audience that already understands the significance and importance of sales compensation. Attendees are knowledgeable and interested in going beyond the basics to understand the latest trends and issues impacting their industry. With a laser focus on sales compensation, Spotlight makes it possible for everyone to take this deeper dive.



Focusing Sales Behaviors Through Compensation

A full house attended Donya Rose’s session on how to design and leverage a relative rate plan to direct sales focus. Donya – who leads Xactly’s Sales Compensation Design Practice – shared examples of how incentive compensation can be applied to support strategic business objectives. If you’re looking for longer-term customer deals, for example, you can focus reps’ attention by uplifting commission rates for your preferred deal terms. Products that are difficult to sell might warrant a very high relative rate. Additionally, relative rates can also be used to discourage undesired behaviors, such as discounting. The key point is to leverage compensation as a strategic tool to focus sales behaviors. When designing a compensation plan, relative rates help support your sales objectives. With a highly engaged audience, this topic clearly resonated with attendees. A line of people queued up after the session to talk with Donya, and we got rave reviews about the session from attendees at the Xactly SPiN party that evening.

Presenters at conference session

A Focus on the Latest Innovation

The folks attending Spotlight on Sales Compensation know about sales compensation – they came to Chicago last week to discover the latest innovations shaping the industry. As our SC Ryan Wong noted, everyone at Spotlight is in sales compensation. They've already mastered the basics – now they want to know how exhibitors and solutions are different and what it means to them. As a first timer, I turned to my colleagues for a historical perspective on the event’s evolution. One of our sales managers – Matt Bodourian – has attended five of the six Spotlight conferences. He shared with me a few of the changes that have occurred over those years. Can you believe that Xactly was the only exhibitor at Spotlight with a cloud-based incentive compensation solution just five years ago? Nowadays at Spotlight, all the others have followed Xactly’s lead. But, Spotlight is still the place to see what innovation is coming up next. Once again – Xactly is leading the charge. Using Xactly, customers are focusing on the next wave of incentive compensation advancement – optimization. Our Xactly Insights is the only incentive performance intelligence software that leverages more than 12 years of pay and performance data – empowering businesses to maximize the ROI of their comp dollars by adjusting rep behaviors and plans with insights.

Focusing on Issues

In addition to looking at trends in incentive pay, Spotlight does a great job of informing attendees about other important and pending issues affecting the industry, such as ASC 606 (IFRS 15). How companies expense commissions will undergo a monumental change with the new Revenue Recognition Standard. In his session, “Are You Ready for the ASC 606 Impact on Sales Commissions,” Xactly Vice President of Product Marketing Erik Charles discussed the new regulatory requirements and how to prepare now. If you missed that session, Xactly has put together a wealth of resources on the topic that you can find here. You can also contact us to learn more about how Xactly Commission Expense Accounting lets our customers address this issue.

Keeping It Focused – and Fun!

With our passport challenge for a pair of Maui Jim shades, Xactly kept the lens focused on sales comp, while mixing in fun (and designer style) for attendees. Our booth was wildly popular at this year’s conference with a Maui Jim rep on hand to help winners pick the pair that was right for them. We kept the party going Tuesday night at Chicago SPiN where customers, prospects, and Xactlians enjoyed light fare and libations while battling in a ping-pong tournament. Our lives are filled with distractions. During a typical workday, we can be drawn into multiple, unplanned meetings, need to deal with unexpected fire drills, or lose time due to a myriad of other reasons. Events like Spotlight on Sales Compensation allow us to break away from the routine to connect with industry peers and reenergize and refresh with new ideas, perspectives, and knowledge.