San Francisco, California
Computer Software

Intercom reduced commission inquiries by 30% with CaptivateIQ.

Reduction in rep inquiries.
Fully implemented in 55 days.

With CaptivateIQ, Intercom’s compensation team transformed their cumbersome and difficult-to-manage Excel spreadsheets into a fully automated end-to-end commissions process. The robust capabilities within CaptivateIQ make it easy to collaborate on commission payout workflows across teams and give sales reps greater insight into real-time performance.

The Hero

Zain Mithani, Sales Compensation System Administrator, oversees the commissions system at Intercom, a customer communications platform that helps businesses engage and support customers through personalized, messenger-based experiences.

If you enjoy working in Excel and you want all of the functionality of Excel in a commissions tool, then CaptivateIQ is the way to go. - Zain Mithani, Lead Sales Compensation System Administrator at Intercom

The Challenge: Communicating Commissions At Scale

Intercom is at the forefront of helping businesses build great relationships with their robust customer communications platform that includes bots, apps, product tours, and more. The company has been on a high-growth trajectory since 2011 and is used today by over 25,000 organizations worldwide.

Just as the user base continues to grow rapidly, so does the sales team to support the rise in demand. Zain and the team at Intercom needed a flexible solution to adjust commission plans efficiently and deploy plan changes and goals quickly.

Before CaptivateIQ, commission payments were administered manually for each pay period. Zain and his team apprehended the shortcomings of a homegrown solution. They struggled to efficiently manage dozens of sales compensation plans for well over a hundred performance-based employees.

Before we started using CaptivateIQ, we were mostly doing all of our commission calculations in Excel. That was very cumbersome and difficult to present to sales reps. As a result, the reps really had no visibility into how their commissions were being paid.

Intercom’s salespeople didn't understand how their commissions were calculated, and as a result, there was general confusion about payments. It was also difficult for managers and individual contributors to stay on top of leading indicators in the current market environment.

Commission administrators worried that any changes to the compensation structure would be difficult to deploy broadly and quickly — and further that the downstream impact on plan management and team collaboration would be detrimental to employee morale. 

CaptivateIQ forever changed Intercom’s commission process by helping reps understand their commissions earnings and how they are pacing against their quotas. With CaptivateIQ, Intercom’s commission operations began to see the scale. This is what happened next:

  • Executed a plan refresh, 
  • Deployed new comp plan changes,
  • Gave sales reps greater visibility into real-time deal progress,
  • Improved the back-end commission data structure, and
  • Unlocked team collaboration around approval and performance workflows.

The Solution: Simple Yet Powerful ICM Software

Zain and the team found the flexible, automated solution they were looking for in CaptivateIQ. 

Our day-to-day has vastly changed. For example, we no longer have to provide commission statements to our sales reps on a one-off basis.

CaptivateIQ allows sales reps to see a comprehensive statement that includes their quota attainment, payouts, deal details, and more. With access to more information about their commission payments, Intercom’s sales organization is more empowered to focus on the tasks and actions that drive performance. Intercom’s administrative team is spending less time fielding questions from sales reps as an added benefit.

With CaptivateIQ, we’re able to just go into the system and access their numbers at any given time. A lot of the manual work has been alleviated. We saw a reduction in about 30% of the inquiries that came in, in terms of validating data and making sure that commission statements were correct.

Even with the increased transparency, reps can have questions about their commission statements from time to time. With CaptivateIQ’s Inquiries feature, all questions tied to commission statements are centralized, so it’s easy for Zain’s team to stay on top of which ones have been answered and which are still waiting for a response. It also allows for a documented paper trail that helps maintain a secure record for all commission stakeholders. 

An abstraction of CaptivateIQ’s inquiries feature.

Moving to CaptivateIQ’s feature-rich solution, Zain and the Intercom team have found a commission partner that will evolve with and handle the needs of their business over time.

Going forward, I see CaptivateIQ being able to scale with our plans because the functionality within the system allows us to grow as the company grows as well. It made sense for us to go with CaptivateIQ because it was much more flexible than any other commission system. As a result, we’ve been able to put our full confidence behind CaptivateIQ.

The Results: Better Payout Visibility, Better Collaboration

With the help of the product solutions team at CaptivateIQ, Intercom’s new commission system got up and running within 55 days. They soon could achieve their goal of completely renovating their sales manager comp plans. 

The sales organization immediately felt the impact of the improved communication around commissions. Reps are more satisfied, motivated, and completely understand how they are pacing against their goals.

As an SDR, transparency and trust in my commission payouts is of the utmost importance. Not only in planning my personal finances but considering the longevity of the company I work for. CaptivateIQ makes that something I don't have to think about. - Intercom SDR

The administrative team is particularly excited about the low cost of ownership through the resources and team available to support Intercom’s new end-to-end commission process.

The support that we get from CaptivateIQ has been incredible and definitely a driver in our success in implementing our system. The people I work with at CaptivateIQ are very responsive, helpful, and always willing to jump on a call and work through any issues we’re having with our system. They also provide managed services for those who need them. We've also been able to connect and create knowledge-based articles or work through office hours which they also provide.

Looking to the future, Intercom will continue to focus on scaling commissions operations alongside their developing performance-based team. CaptivateIQ simplifies all stages of commissions management — from ingesting data to performing analysis in bulk. Zain loves that he can ensure everything is working to sustain short-term and long-term company goals. 

Scaling has always been on our radar and one of the things that we focused on and prioritized when picking a commissions system. CaptivateIQ is so flexible and it’s easy to bulk-load commission plans as well as bulk-analyze commissions plans. It's been very easy for the tool to grow with us.

About CaptivateIQ

CaptivateIQ is on a mission to bring transparency and joy to commissions management. We believe that getting paid should be fun and that work should be a breeze for compensation plan administrators. Yet, most companies still rely on spreadsheets or legacy software providers to manage what is often the largest and most influential line item in a sales budget. That’s why we’ve created a scalable, flexible, no-code solution that enables finance and operations teams to model, automate, and optimize performance incentives.