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The Impact of AI on Sales Planning

Data is key to propel sales organizations and planning. Today, Xactly is announcing it's expanded artificial technology (AI) capabilities. Learn more.

5 min read

Since Xactly’s founding fourteen years ago, we’ve understood the value that data brings to the table for sales organizations. The strongest sales teams are those with the deepest insight and visibility—those with the most comprehensive and accurate data. That’s why we compiled our 14+ years of pay and performance data into Xactly Insights—the first and only database of its kind.

Using our extensive database, we’ve aimed to help unleash human potential in every organization and answer some of the most pressing questions in the sales industry about pay structure, optimization, and planning.

In September 2018, we announced our AI-powered Sales Rep Attrition Predicting Algorithm. The first introduction of artificial intelligence in Xactly’s growing Sales Performance Management (SPM) platform. Using Xactly Insights data, sales leaders can identify performance issues more easily and flag reps at risk for turnover, allowing them to take corrective action sooner.

Today, Xactly’s AI capability is expanding to propel sales organizations into an era of intelligent, data-driven sales planning.

Using AI to Improve Sales Planning

In 2018, the average quota attainment was only 54 percent, according to CSO Insights. Alexander Group also found that 64 percent of organizations reported accurate quota setting as a major challenge. Long story short: companies are struggling to design strategic sales plans.

Data-driven insights change this.

AI technology, along with the Xactly Insights database, enables companies to leverage an automated, data-driven, and continuous approach to cover up to $100M in revenue gap capacity. So what does this mean for businesses?

  • Sales Leaders have deeper visibility into performance and resource capacity
  • Finance teams can forecast more accurately
  • Sales Operations teams reduce planning time up to 25 percent
  • Sales organizations eliminate up to 10% in capacity gap errors

Xactly’s AI-powered Sales Performance Management Platform

“Xactly has spent the last several years broadening our portfolio to create a more holistic sales performance management solution for our customers,” said Christopher Cabrera, CEO and founder of Xactly. “With this solution, we are making it possible for sales leaders to understand key patterns so they can adjust headcount, quotas, and territories and operate at optimal productivity. Data is an extremely powerful tool and companies that aren't leveraging it strategically will fall behind. We continue to be the only SPM company to provide AI/ML driven tools to help our customers grow intelligently and win against the competition.”

The Future of Data-driven Sales Planning

In sales, the more informed your organization is, the more productive and effective you are at reaching revenue and growth goals. When it comes to sales planning, the key is data—the more you have, the stronger your plan is.

As Xactly Chief Sales Officer Marc Gemassmer, said in his Sales Planning Fundamentals blog series,

“Data can give you insight into the right approach for sales planning processes. By using
data, you can identify where your business has the greatest growth potential and design
your sales territories accordingly. By using data, you can determine the sales resources
you need to achieve goals. With data, you can compare the contributions of fully ramped
reps versus reps that are in the process of being ramped–to better understand your
sales capacity.”

Of course, it takes more than just data. Companies must be able to take that data, combine it with additional industry insights, and use it to proactively plan, continuously analyze and improve processes, and ultimately, optimize performance. This is precisely where artificial intelligence (AI) is making its mark on the evolution of sales performance management.

Learn more about how to use AI and Xactly Insights data to predict rep attrition and pay reps effectively in our guide, "How to Build and Retain Sales Reps to Drive Top Performance."