Each week we chat with an AppExchange Partner about their experience of building an app on the Salesforce1 Platform. This week, the spotlight is on Xactly, a company that helps to connect people everywhere and unleash their human potential though seamless, aligned incentive compensation. Xactly provides decision-makers with the data insights they need to tap the motivational power of incentive compensation.
Real-Time Compensation Plan
Xactly’s app, Incent, empowers sales representatives to see their earnings and quota attainment from any device, at any time. Without a product like Xactly Incent, the sales team has little to no visibility into their compensation plan or quota attainment. The information is typically e-mailed to the sales team 6 to 8 weeks after a deal is closed. Xactly solves this problem by putting this real-time performance information front and center. By tightly aligning activities with rewards, they see improved understanding and performance for their customers.
The 30 Second Persona
Xactly took part in a pilot group to build on the Salesforce1 Platform. As such, it was a learning experience for them and Salesforce, as the Platform was literally being built out as they were building on top of it.
Even with the challenge of learning on the go with the Platform, there was still an ease with which they were able to rapidly roll out the Salesforce1 offering for Xactly Incent. When I spoke to Xactly, they said, generally speaking, building on the Salesforce1 Platform was quick and intuitive. One of the key advantages to the Salesforce1 Platform is that they did not need to worry about setting up the mobile infrastructure (e.g. mobile application security, provisioning, etc.) that allowed them to focus all of their efforts on the application functionality. Compared to the other mobile developments they’ve done, this saved several weeks of effort.
One of the keys to a sales rep’s life is performance information. Having instant access to their quota information, ranking information, and payout information alongside their core CRM data is key to driving their behavior. Taking this into consideration, they created design keys to follow while building the app. One of these keys was the 30-second use case. If they could not achieve their goal within 30 seconds, they were not successful. They were able to focus on this because they already had a full-power mobile application that is widely adopted in the space. This gave them the luxury of not trying to re-invent their entire desktop application. Rather, they asked themselves the simple question: “What would a sales rep need instant access to when walking into a sales meeting that would empower them to perform better?” Given this hypothetical question, they could substitute in any other number of ‘micro-moments’. For example; “What would a sales rep need instant access to when getting into a cab following an onsite demo so that they can perform better?” or, “What would a sales rep need instant access to when walking into a pipeline planning meeting with their boss so they can perform better?” Regardless of the scenario, it was important for them to become intimately familiar with the real world use case of their customers, and maintain a laser focus on the minimum necessary features to achieve the task.
Given these parameters and use cases, they focused their development into three key functional areas: quota attainment, earnings, and rankings compared to peers. They wanted to provide quick and easy access to these three key areas. While the other mobile applications would allow for additional reports and other functions, they knew these areas were the lifeblood of a 30 second persona.
Prior to Salesforce1, their mobile strategy focused primarily on building native applications for iOS users. This provided them the ability to build very deep and compelling applications while covering a large segment of their install base (especially those customers that were heavily field sales). However, it also meant they were missing a percent of the market that were non-iOS. This is where Salesforce1 fit nicely into their mobile strategy. They are still building deep/compelling native mobile applications, but Salesforce1 allows customers, regardless of platform, to access the application and achieve the most common use cases (quota attainment, earnings, and rankings). Additionally, the provisioning of Salesforce1 has proven to be a big advantage for their administrators. With Salesforce1, the sales team only needs to install one application and the admin can instantly provision additional ‘apps’ with no effort from the sales team.
They used programmatic development to create their app. This is mainly because the application they were building into Salesforce1 is not a native Force.com application, meaning their data is not stored in Salesforce Objects. As such, they built their Salesforce1 Mobile App using custom VisualForce pages. With that said, the development effort was quick and painless as VisualForce is a relatively simple language to program in, and they have very experienced VisualForce page engineers. They used their in-house development team to code the application and leverage the Salesforce Style Guide and ISV Technical team to assist with fleshing out the user stories and design decisions.
Being one of the first ISVs to build an application on the Salesforce1 Platform has given them the ability to participate in events, online marketing, and other programs. Xactly has seen a lot of interest driven to their offerings through the awareness from the Salesforce1 Mobile Apps.
To learn more about Xactly, go to: https://www.xactlycorp.com/
Get the app here: https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N300000016bLlEAI
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