Workiva overhauls compensation processes, simplifies work with Incent

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There are no optimization opportunities when you are doing the table stakes of calculating comp. At a time when the C-suite needs it most, we are delivering the real-time data they need to make critical business decisions with Xactly Incent.

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Lindsay Cressman
Global Sales Compensation Manager

Quick Upfront:

Xactly sat down with Workiva’s Lindsay Cressman, Global Sales Compensation Manager, to discuss the results her team has seen with Xactly Incent. Cressman shares what drove Workiva to Xactly and how the partnership is setting up future success.

Workiva Before Xactly Incent®

Workiva is on a mission to power transparent reporting for a better world. Their cloud-based platform simplifies the most complex reporting and disclosure challenges by streamlining processes, connecting data and teams, and ensuring consistency.

Prior to implementing Xactly Incent, Workiva’s compensation processes were managed manually. Everything tracked was linked to a different spreadsheet, which meant every part of the process was excessively complex, time-consuming, and error-prone. This manual process resulted in extensive time spent on manual calculations and shadow accounting.

Recognizing the need for one solution that could streamline sales compensation processes and data flows, Workiva selected Xactly to open up a world of opportunity for quick wins and large-scale improvements.

Simplifying and Streamlining Workflows

Workiva uses Xactly Incent to automate its compensation processes, making it more effective to manage large sales teams and ensure accurate and timely payments. With Cressman leading the charge, her team provided its sales reps with real-time visibility into their compensation plans and payouts, allowing them to focus on selling and meeting their targets. “Sellers do not worry about their compensation and how they're paid. They know it’s right. This is an hour or two a week spent selling instead of double checking the accuracy of their compensation,” according to Cressman.

Now, Workiva saves time and reduces errors in its compensation processes with a centralized, real-time view of its sales performance and compensation data. Sales reps can track their individual performance against their plan and commission earnings, while the admins can track plan effectiveness through detailed performance vs. pay data analytics.

Xactly has allowed us to free up time so we can deliver the analytics that our executive team needs to make the right decisions about sales and resource planning.

Lindsay Cressman, Global Sales Compensation Manager

By automating incentive compensation management (ICM) processes with Xactly, Cressman was able to completely overhaul compensation and plan design to improve sales performance. Her team quickly realized that by shifting from the manual drudgery of managing day-to-day compensation calculations and focusing on impactful actions, they could improve sales rep performance. And they did.


  • 99% reduction in post-payroll processing spend
  • 95% reduction in disputes and time to resolve tickets (from 30+ days to less than 3)
  • 95% reduction in service level agreement (SLA) turnaround (from 30+ days to less than 3)
  • Improved bookings and data integrity
  • Simplified accrual efforts and reconciliation process
  • Increased visibility for executives, RevOps, and the Compensation team
  • Added flexibility for Workiva’s compensation plan design

Success Looks Like This

Workiva's implementation of Xactly Incent was a major success. The solution provides the company with a flexible and scalable platform for managing its sales incentives and compensation processes. This makes things easier for teams to stay nimble and quickly pivot sales plans, drive sales performance, and enhance plan design flexibility. Workiva was able to overhaul manual incentive compensation management processes, improve visibility for sales and leadership, and achieved a 99% reduction in post-payroll processing spend.

What’s Next for Xactly and Workiva?

After experiencing impressive results with Xactly Incent, the Workiva team recently purchased Xactly Forecasting®, a pipeline analytics and sales forecasting solution. Why? Because they quickly identified the power of real-time pipeline visibility and wanted to provide that kind of transparency across the organization.

With reps and admins no longer focusing on manually managing compensation processes, they can now focus on creating greater impact by improving collaboration and performance. Workiva is able to set firmer sales stage definitions, review deal health scores, and take action on activity alerts to improve that scoring. Additionally, the team at Workiva has the ability to view the current quarter and predicted expenses based on pipeline, including commission earnings expenses. Xactly’s AI helps with areas like win rate predictability, deal slippage, and stage shifts to help them easily course correct.

The Xactly Forecasting solution also helps sales managers coach their reps with the next best actions to achieve quota, while improving confidence and further strengthening the team.