+ Xactly Case Study
Blackbaud is a software company focused on driving impact for social good organizations, and like most companies in the last eighteen months, they dealt with increased sales plan changes and navigating uncertainty. Having Xactly’s Intelligent Revenue Platform helped them to remain resilient and ensure they had the correct data and reports at their fingertips to make quick shifts that would drive positive results.
Recently, our folks at Xactly got the chance to sit down with Courtney Aubin, Compensation Team Lead, Blackbaud. Throughout the conversation, she shared seven of the most important positive benefits she’s seen since implementing Xactly’s end-to-end revenue intelligence solution.
1. Enhanced Forecasting with Xactly Data
Most revenue and sales experts today know that forecasting has become more critical than ever due to the current economic and business climate—accuracy is paramount. Inaccuracy can lead to mismanaged budgets and misjudgments of opportunity health. Courtney shared that using Xactly’s data has contributed to Blackbaud’s ability to “adapt as we continue through the pandemic. We accrue based on preliminary data that comes from Xactly so that our accruals can be as close to exact as possible.” Accuracy in forecasting and accruals leads to a clear picture of cash flow. If you don’t accrue enough, that’s a huge problem. If you accrue too much, that becomes an issue the following year, and you risk wasting money that could have been re-invested in the business elsewhere.
2. Increased Quota Attainment
Using Xactly’s solution, Blackbaud has seen solid growth in quota attainment for salespeople. During this particularly challenging time for many businesses, Blackbaud was able to drive increased company performance with reps reaching quota at a 15% higher rate and the percentage of reps with greater than 100% of quota increasing.
3. Xactly & Salesforce Connection
Xactly and Salesforce have been partners for the better part of sixteen years, and when organizations integrate the two products, they see benefits like increased seller productivity, maximized revenue potential, and comprehensive reporting. For Aubin’s team, “connecting the solutions was a turning point. The downstream effect of compensation within the entire revenue lifecycle is lost without a solution like Xactly. You have to measure it if it matters. What other way do you have to measure if people are happy, if an incentive worked, and if your organization’s goals are being hit?” Connecting the data from Salesforce and Xactly helped further increase visibility and accuracy for Blackbaud.
4. Value for the Reps
For Courtney, customer value is about the sales rep, as that is her internal customer. She added that “Enabling sales productivity is a key part of my team’s function. Salespeople should be out in the field selling, which is precisely what Xactly enables them to do.” The retention of top performers is more important than ever. With remote work, it’s easy for salespeople to quickly switch positions and change companies. According to a recent survey of over two thousand sales leaders, “58% of sales decision-makers report that salespeople chose to depart their teams at higher rates than normal in the last 12 months.”
5. Sales Team Adoption
One question that always comes up around implementing a new solution is ‘how do I get my reps to buy in and adopt the new system?’ I picked Courtney’s brain on this topic, and she shared that, “Communication is key. We used to get questions from reps and managers about how to read their sales plans and dashboards. By communicating with them multiple times a month, we put a focus on making sure they are aware of how to see their info and when it will be available.”
She also noted, “You need to buy in yourself. When we were implementing Xactly, we had sales reps, finance team members, HR, and more at the table to be champions for the product. When you are implementing a new product, you need the buy-in from the bottom-up and top-down. Xactly is so much more than the ICM aspect of the product. You need to find that champion or be that champion that understands how to use Xactly for revenue intelligence.”
6. Improved Planning Season
A common complaint we hear from Sales Compensation leaders is that despite their skills and best efforts, they are relegated to being data pushers and number crunchers. Courtney felt that using Xactly completely transformed the way that planning season works at Blackbaud. She explained that she is “Freed up to find solutions and report on important data and results to our senior leadership team. We can depend on the information and provide more transparency in a more timely manner. If new plans need to be pushed out, we can take it as a summary view and configure and have info more quickly. Starting in July, we had planning meetings about the coming year’s sales plans. We have pulled everything into a shared service.”
7. Career Growth for Employees
Aubin has been with Blackbaud for ten years now. She came in as a commissions admin, mainly pushing data and working in excel. After being part of the transformational project of implementing Xactly and moving toward automation, Aubin is now a team manager. She feels that “Xactly has supported my career trajectory and growth. I have been part of Xactly panels, spoken at events, and been a reference. This has helped me further develop my own skill set and expertise.” As Courtney has continued to become more of a subject matter expert on the system, it has allowed her to gain more visibility with executives and across the organization.
Courtney and I ended our conversation discussing why now is the time to implement an Intelligent Revenue Platform. We both acknowledged that change can be challenging. As Aubin shared, “There is always a barrier to change. People think, ‘I know my world right now; I can handle it.’ BUT it’s a matter of I didn’t realize how much Xactly had to offer until we implemented it. Do your research, talk to resources, talk to peer companies, and you will soon realize that you don’t have to deal with these pain points. It’s a transformative product. I am a former Excel geek, and Xactly is the best shortcut you will ever get in managing revenue.”