Unless you happen to have a crystal ball handy, gleaning insight from your company's post-sales data, which comes from a variety of sources, can be challenging. Xactly, a sales performance management company, recently released Xactly Analytics, an on-demand application designed to provide analysis, metrics, ad-hoc reports and dashboards based on aggregated post-sales data.
Karen Steele, Xactly's vice-president of marketing, noted that post-sales data -- including what sold, by whom, in what combination of products, through what channels, at what price, at what discount, and how each sale was compensated while rich in accurate content, is often hard to track. "The data comes from disparate sources within a company. Xactly Analytics aggregates it in one place and makes it easier to mine for information," she said.
The benefit to examining post-sales data, Steele said, is that it gives you insight to your company's commissions spend, selling patterns, sales rep and team performance, product performance and sales plan effectiveness.
"Xactly Analytics helps you improve your business strategies and maximize your company's sales performance. It's a paradigm shift in the world of analytics," Steele said.
Since the application is Web-based, it does not require any set-up fees, investment in hardware or require time to deploy. Xactly said the service is suitable for any company with a number of variable-pay employees. The company's sweet spot is a small business with 25 199 employees, and according to Steele, each Xactly customer, on average, has 220 subscribers.
Steele said a customer signs up, provides access to the company's post-sales data, which comes from the customer's order entry or ERP systems and adheres to the customer's rules of compensation, and is then housed in a secure data center.
The service provides a variety of metrics, including sales incentive analysis, product performance analysis and sales performance analysis (by team, product or region). In the past, providing this kind of capability would take a lot of time and technical resources, Steele said.
"There's no need to get the data from IT," said Steele. "The process is automated, and each subscriber in the company can access a Web-based view and keep up with his or her sales progress in real-time, which helps motivate behavior."
Customers can work with the data in two ways:
1. Ad-hoc Analysis. Customers can create, modify and author analysis, pivots and dashboards or generate criteria-specific reports and make them available to different groups or teams within the company, based on the type of information they require. This, said Steele, provides a broad level of flexibility.
2. Pre-Built Content. The service includes two different dashboards and 13 reports plus metrics, attributes, filters and report templates. A Report Creation Wizard lets you customize reports to meet your company's specific need
Xactly also developed what it calls user personae. The idea is that each person that fits a given persona type receives metrics, dashboards, reports and other features specific to their needs as sales managers, regional sales managers or staff within finance and sales operations.
The example Xactly provides is that of a sales VP who needs metrics such as progress to quota and target income trending over time, or a CFO who wants to analyze the roll-up results of a sales organization.
Xactly Analytics is in beta release and is on track for general release in early June. As of this posting, pricing has yet to be determined.
Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com, where this article was first published.