Sales planning entails many important factors. From territory planning to sales team organization to sales coaching and leadership strategies to sales compensation planning, each element helps to create a strong sales plan. Sales Compensation is one of the most important steps because it drives sales behaviors and ultimately helps your company reach its goals.
That’s why the job, known as sales operations, carries an incredible amount of responsibility. Those who work to create a plan for their company must develop a compensation process and incentive plan that will motivate the right sales behaviors to achieve goals, all while driving growth.
Finding the right mixture of compensation requirements is a balancing act. Sales operations and compensation professionals must create an incentive plan that will drive growth for the company and attain executive objectives. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be time-consuming. As part of our Friends of Xactly (FOX) Community, we’ve spoken with sales compensation leaders to create a blog series about their journeys in sales compensation, best practices, and the Xactly advantage.
Meet The Expert – Robert Felberg, CoreSite
Robert Felberg works in sales operations at CoreSite. He is responsible for all internal and external commissions, as well as cost management, deal profitability, software implementations, alignment with finance and accounting, and reporting and modeling. Felberg enjoys sports, mainly the NFL and loves to ski and camp. He has a 2-year-old Golden Retriever Newfoundland mix dog, Kannah, named after his favorite brewery, Kannah Creek. He also runs a food Instagram in his free time called @allthingsfood, which he truly enjoys as his “side hustle.”
CoreSite is a real estate investment trust delivering “secure, reliable, high-performance data center and interconnection solutions to a growing customer ecosystem across eight key North American markets.” Based in Denver, CO, Coresite has “has 20 operational data centers in eight major communications markets across the United States, serves more than 1,200 customers and has a portfolio totaling more than 3.5 million square feet of data center space.”
Tell us about your career journey in sales compensation. (How did you get your start? How did you end up where you are today? etc.)
“I worked in sales development for two years, leading a team of lead generation specialists. During that time, I was responsible for the team's commissions. I then moved into sales operations at CoreSite and was in charge of all commissions for the company. This was a larger and more complex organization, [and] I loved taking on this challenge.”
What are the biggest challenges you face in your role today?
“[The biggest challenge I face is] getting more productivity out of the sales organization without adding cost.”
How has technology played a role in your evolution as a sales compensation professional?
“Xactly has been instrumental in freeing up my time processing compensation in order to add value in other areas of the business, and it has allowed me to greatly expand the scope of my role. Salesforce and other sales related technology tools have taken a lot of the manual work out of the role and allowed us to scale the sales operations organization without adding headcount.”
Describe your company's sales compensation planning process, your role in it, and how Xactly has changed this process (What is your favorite Xactly tip/trick that you’ve learned?).
“We kick-off sales planning in October, or Q4 of our fiscal year. I usually run models through mid-January, and after many, many models, meetings, and approvals, we aim to optimize the new plan and align it with the company's objectives.”
What piece(s) of advice/lessons have you learned on your journey that you would share with your peers or younger self?
“1. Always take one more look at any model or report you've built and are presenting. 2. Software implementations or new development work usually encounters unforeseen hurdles. Make sure to incorporate some buffer into your plan, if possible.”
How do you envision the future of sales compensation? What do you anticipate for 2018 that was different for 2017?
“Continuous innovation and the introduction of AI into the space!”
Discover the Xactly Advantage for Your Company
At Xactly, we aim to provide an integrated sales planning process to our customers. We partner with our customers to arm them with sales planning tools that help cultivate and combine the necessary data for smart incentive compensation. When you’re responsible for your company’s employees’ compensation plans, you should never have to struggle with error-prone spreadsheets or manual commission calculations. Find the right Xactly solution for your business, industry, or role. Schedule your personalized demo today!