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Case Study

Showpad takes an innovative approach to commissions, rolling out strategic plan updates in just 2 days

Headquarters
Ghent, Belgium
Company
Software
Employees
Mid-Market (301-1,000)
2
Days to roll out a new sales plan
60%
Reduction in payout processing time

Before using CaptivateIQ, the Finance team at Showpad spent nearly all month calculating sales commissions in Google Sheets, and manually distributing PDF payout statements to 100+ reps. With the help of CaptivateIQ, they’ve seen a 60% reduction in processing time, and unlocked the resources to focus on higher-value activities around incentive design and strategy.

The Hero

Alex Wu is a Financial Analyst at Showpad, a “global leader in revenue enablement technology that aligns sales and marketing teams around the content, training, and engagement tools needed to help sellers win deals.”

Alex is responsible for processing commissions for over 100 reps, making sure all payees get the correct payouts with the correct calculations, in a highly dynamic sales environment.

This story is about how Alex and team implemented CaptivateIQ to manage sales compensation payouts at scale – improving their efficiency, accuracy, and ability to adapt comp plans to meet changing business needs.

The Challenge: Google Sheets simply doesn’t scale for commission payouts (and drowns comp admins in manual tasks)

For young — and often smaller — companies, spreadsheets are frequently used for calculating and communicating commission payouts.

Why? They get the job done.

But these homegrown solutions are really only manageable for organizations with a handful of employees and simple commission structures and plans.

And most of them lack the agility businesses need in today’s economic environment. In fact, according to our State of Sales Compensation 2022 report, 95% of managers want the ability to flexibly change plans to reflect new business dynamics, yet existing programs often limit their ability to remain nimble.

Flexibility to change comp plans is important, particularly in today’s economic landscape.

With Google Sheets, making adjustments to comp plans was a real chore. As the comp admin, it would often take Alex months to build out a new plan. 

We became the bottleneck when it came to operational deliverables and deadlines.

On top of that, the simple task of sharing payout statements became overwhelming. Alex relied on a Google Sheet template and Ctrl+P to create PDFs and email them individually to 100+ reps. This was a time-consuming process, especially for a team experiencing rapid growth.*

Doing this manual work for 50, 100, 150+ employees not only takes a ton of (unnecessary) time, it’s also prone to error.

* The company recently celebrated its 12th anniversary with over 1,400 customers across 50+ countries.

The Solution and the Results: CaptivateIQ saves time, increases agility, and unlocks the ability to design more effective sales plans

From Google Sheets to CaptivateIQ. Lots of improvement. Let’s break it down.

Time Savings

Since implementing CaptivateIQ, Alex has reduced the time it takes to process payouts from one month to 12 days – a 60% time-saving.

When Alex was running his comp plans through Google Sheets, payout processing was literally the only thing his team had time for.

If we were doing overtime, payout statements would be ready in a month, and then it’s already next month and we have to start over again.

With CaptivateIQ, Alex unlocked the ability to be more analytical and thoughtful with compensation plans. He now has the time in his month to do the reporting and analysis needed to ensure Showpad's comp plans are working effectively.

This additional time frees up space for analysis to see how our sales teams are being commissioned, to see if they are being commissioned the right way, bringing the right revenue. The extra time means I can ensure that our commission plans are really designed to be aligned with our company goals.

Flexibility and Agility

Alex openly admits the Showpad commission plans are complex, designed to cover a large scope of scenarios. 

Good news: CaptivateIQ is flexible enough to automate any plan and incorporate any business logic, regardless of complexity. Plus, our platform makes it possible to easily evolve compensation plans as the team grows and changes.

All of the above has been — and will continue to be — critical to Showpad. 

If you need flexibility — the ability to adapt to complex plans  — or scalability, CaptivateIQ is definitely the solution for you.

Launching a new commission plan used to take five to six months. Now? Just two days. 

Improved Accuracy and Faster Inquiry Resolution

“CaptivateIQ,” according to Alex, “means we now have few to no mistakes with our comp payouts.” 

Alex estimated the error rate with Google Sheets to be “about 5%.” And these errors took time to track down and correct. 

With CaptivateIQ’s intuitive inquiry solution, problems get resolved quickly (and right in the same place where reps see their payouts and calculations). 

Insights to Increase Return on Incentives

So what’s Alex spending his new-found time on? Compensation strategy:

  • Setting up dashboards for BDR managers, such as graphs to showcase actual attainment month-by-month (Pro tip: Rep-facing dashboards also include year-to-date attainment — a key metric heading into 2023!)
  • Analyzing performance and earnings via CaptivateIQ’s reporting and dashboards
  • Looking for trends and patterns
  • Reviewing sales pipeline
  • Leveraging insights to decide how to optimize plans for better results 

Alex is loving how CaptivateIQ provides the right ratio and year-to-date attainment data and insights to help him spot trends. Equipping him with the tools (and time) to evolve from manual administrator to strategic operator

A Solution that Scales

As ​​Praveen Ramireddy, Vice President of Sales at McAlign Consulting, wrote, “A scalable, accurate solution will simplify the complicated process of commission calculations.”

Alex loves how scalable the CaptivateIQ platform is. It takes a lot of administrative burdens away.

When it comes to scalability, we are growing pretty aggressively. We're getting more and more employees on commission plans. On Google Sheets, that would definitely be a problem. Now, I'm really not worried about it – because of the employee assumptions and how the commission calculation workbooks are designed. It's definitely very scalable.

As Showpad’s business grows and evolves, Alex knows CaptivateIQ will be able to support his team for the long run.

About CaptivateIQ

CaptivateIQ, the agile commission solution, enables companies to consistently align revenue teams with evolving business goals. Combining flexibility with ease of use, CaptivateIQ offers leading companies like Gong the ability to build any commission plan, save time in payout processing, and motivate sales reps through real-time visibility.