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BigCommerce Flourishes Amidst IPO-preparation and a Tripling Commissionable Headcount by Bringing on CaptivateIQ
Austin, TX
Software
Enterprise (1,001+)
80
Hours saved per pay period
3x
Commissionable headcount

[QUOTE
| quote: I don’t know how we managed without CaptivateIQ. Despite us tripling our commissionable headcount, we’re now more confident in and comfortable with our commissions process than ever before. I’d recommend it to anyone, especially if they’re running commissions manually.
| name: Greg P.
| title: Lead Financial Analyst, BigCommerce
| image: https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/5e20acf46e0215232a00fa2f/665f3f8685d7aaae5fd2d8e3_BigCommerce%20Greg.png
|]

After realizing their current commission process was unsustainable for their pace of growth, the Revenue Operations team at BigCommerce, a Nasdaq-listed eCommerce vendor chose CaptivateIQ over Xactly to streamline their commissions process. The results spoke for themselves, with the team saving time, reducing errors, increasing visibility and ensuring they were SOX compliant, allowing BigCommerce to focus on strategic initiatives including their IPO.

The Hero

BigCommerce (Nasdaq: BIGC) is a leading Open SaaS eCommerce platform that empowers merchants of all sizes to build, innovate and grow their businesses online. Tens of thousands 
of B2C and B2B companies across 150 countries and numerous industries use BigCommerce 
to create beautiful, engaging online stores. Headquartered in Austin and employs over 1300 employees worldwide.

At the helm of BigCommerce’s commission program are Greg Pena, a Lead Financial Analyst, and his counterpart Colleen Mann, a Revenue Operations 
& Technology leader within the Shared Services team. Greg and Colleen play critical roles in managing BigCommerce's commissions process, ensuring accurate and timely commissions payouts to their 200+ commissionable reps on their sales and business development teams.

The Challenge

Manual and Inefficient Commissions Process

Before adopting CaptivateIQ, BigCommerce faced significant challenges in managing their commissions process. In 2018, the team was  managing complex incentives for 200+ employees manually with spreadsheets. The process, which relied on hard-coded values, was error-prone and often led to discrepancies, causing frustration among the sales teams. The system was not scalable either, and as the company grew, the limitations of the manual process became more apparent.

[QUOTE
| quote: Since we inherited this manual calculator from a previous group, we had to reverse engineer everything to understand how it worked and troubleshoot. The processing was very slow and the logic was constantly breaking.
| name: Greg P.
| title: Lead Financial Analyst, BigCommerce
| image: https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/5e20acf46e0215232a00fa2f/665f3f8685d7aaae5fd2d8e3_BigCommerce%20Greg.png
|]

As a result, the team consistently faced challenges around their commissions process including:

  • Missing Payroll Deadlines: The manual process required significant time and effort to calculate commissions before each payroll cycle, putting pressure on meeting payroll deadlines.
  • Admin Attrition Cycle: Due to the complexity and extensive hours spent on the process, attrition among the comp team was high, leading to knowledge gaps and increased errors.
  • Inconsistent and Error-Prone Payouts: The manual calculations led to frequent errors, impacting the trust and confidence of the sales teams in their commissions.

Furthermore, BigCommerce's need to achieve SOX compliance for an upcoming IPO made it crucial to have a reliable, auditable, and transparent commissions system.

The Catalyst for Change

Need for Efficiency, Scalability, and SOX Compliance

While sustainable for a time, when Colleen & Greg were tasked with adding in strategic business partners to their commissions program, they quickly acknowledged that the existing process was not feasible for a group that was now tripling in headcount. This was manifested with admins who were continually & voluntarily exiting the business, thus creating more the urgency to find a solution that could handle the complexity of BigCommerce's commissions structure.

[QUOTE
| quote: Managing this process manually for 200+ reps would often take up to 
150 hours for a single payroll deadline. It was a lot of pressure for anyone managing it, and was leading to attrition on the team.
| name: Greg P.
| title: Lead Financial Analyst, BigCommerce
| image: https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/5e20acf46e0215232a00fa2f/665f3f8685d7aaae5fd2d8e3_BigCommerce%20Greg.png
|]

The added catalyst was the need to achieve SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) compliance to support BigCommerce's readiness for an upcoming Initial Public Offering (IPO). To ensure a successful IPO, they needed a commissions system that met rigorous financial controls and reporting standards.

The Solution

Choosing CaptivateIQ Over Competitors

BigCommerce evaluated two commission software vendors, CaptivateIQ and Xactly. The decision to choose CaptivateIQ over Xactly was driven by several factors:

  • Ownership Over the Tool: The ability to configure commissions logic without deep coding knowledge was a significant advantage. CaptivateIQ's familiar interface allowed non-technical users like Greg and Colleen to manage commissions more effectively.
  • Flexibility in Integration Configuration: CaptivateIQ's integration capabilities, especially with Salesforce (SFDC) and Snowflake, allowed them to control the integration process and reduce errors by adjusting the sync timeframe. This flexibility was crucial for data accuracy and compliance.
  • SOX Compliance and Transparency: CaptivateIQ's transparent and auditable system aligned with BigCommerce's compliance needs for their IPO preparations.
  • Efficient Querying: The ease of changing and querying data, along with a reduced need for complex coding (unlike their previous experience), was a major selling point.

[QUOTE
| quote: We wanted a system that we could maintain control over, and wouldn’t have to learn any proprietary code for. While I wasn’t very familiar with them beforehand, it was clear that they were the right fit for our business.
| name: Colleen M.
| title: Senior Manager, Revenue Operations & Technology
| image: https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/5e20acf46e0215232a00fa2f/665f3f9ddae8ef23bb692d61_BigCommerce%20Colleen.png
|]

While the CaptivateIQ product trumped Xactly throughout the sales process, the validation and confidence from peer references tipped the scales for Colleen and team to choose CaptivateIQ.

The Results

Efficient Commissions Management

The impact of implementing CaptivateIQ at BigCommerce has been transformative:

  • Saving up to 80 hours per pay period

The commissions processing time has significantly reduced. Previously, the process took up to 15 days to calculate commissions and another 15 days just to correct errors. With CaptivateIQ, this has been streamlined to just a few days.

  • Retained 100% of comp-related employees

With a more streamlined process, and less late nights spent trying just to get commissions payouts out on time, the team had a higher morale and thus were less likely to leave their role.

  • Increased visibility and created stronger relationships with sellers

Reps now have real-time access to their commission data, enabling them to track their earnings more effectively and address any discrepancies in a timely manner.

The transparency and accuracy of CaptivateIQ's system have built stronger relationships between BigCommerce's finance, commissioned team, and leadership.

[QUOTE
| quote: Now that sellers have visibility in real-time, they’re much more comfortable with their commission plans and payouts. We’re also able to incentivize them in much more creative ways as a result, since they’re actually able to take action on it.
| name: Greg P.
| title: Lead Financial Analyst, BigCommerce
| image: https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/5e20acf46e0215232a00fa2f/665f3f8685d7aaae5fd2d8e3_BigCommerce%20Greg.png
|]

  • $10,000’s in cost-savings from reduced errors and overpays

The accuracy of commissions calculations has improved, leading to fewer corrections and disputes, which were previously a bi-monthly occurrence.

[QUOTE
| quote: Inaccuracies in our commissions process used to cost us significantly, as we were either overpaying and thus overlooking financial losses, or we were underpaying and would hear from the reps. We’re now confident in our payouts, and are saving significant costs as a result.
| name: Colleen M.
| title: Senior Manager, Revenue Operations & Technology
| image: https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/5e20acf46e0215232a00fa2f/665f3f9ddae8ef23bb692d61_BigCommerce%20Colleen.png
|]

  • Completely SOX Compliant

CaptivateIQ's solution ensures that BigCommerce meets SOX compliance requirements, a critical factor for their IPO preparations.

[QUOTE
| quote: With CaptivateIQ in place, we were able to meet the requirements needed to go IPO on the SOX compliance side. This wouldn’t have been possible with our previous spreadsheet-based process.
| name: Colleen M.
| title: Senior Manager, Revenue Operations & Technology
| image: https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/5e20acf46e0215232a00fa2f/665f3f9ddae8ef23bb692d61_BigCommerce%20Colleen.png
|]

The time, money, and resources saved through CaptivateIQ's implementation have allowed BigCommerce's teams to focus on optimizing their compensation plans, analyzing data, and making strategic decisions to improve performance.

Recommendation and Future Focus

For the BigCommerce team, the transformative impact on efficiency, accuracy, and transparency that CaptivateIQ has delivered has not only simplified their day-to-day operations but also allowed them to shift focus to strategic initiatives and plan optimization.

[QUOTE
| quote: I don’t know how we managed without CaptivateIQ. Despite us tripling our commissionable headcount, we’re now more confident in and comfortable with our commissions process than ever before. I’d recommend it to anyone, especially if they’re running commissions manually.
| name: Greg P.
| title: Lead Financial Analyst, BigCommerce
| image: https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/5e20acf46e0215232a00fa2f/665f3f8685d7aaae5fd2d8e3_BigCommerce%20Greg.png
|]

Conclusion

BigCommerce’s diligence in bringing in CaptivateIQ showcases how a strategic and well-structured approach to commissions can lead to significant improvements in efficiency, accuracy, and overall business performance. The partnership between BigCommerce and CaptivateIQ has resulted in a streamlined process that not only saves time and resources but also enhances transparency and strengthens relationships across teams. The successful transition to CaptivateIQ has empowered BigCommerce to power through their IPO, and now focus on driving growth and optimizing their compensation plans effectively.

Make commissions 10x better with CaptivateIQ

Talk to our in-house experts to learn how you can make commissions a strategic growth driver.

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