Xactly, an on-demand, sales force compensation service provider, unveiled this week Xactly Incent, the company's third major release.
According Chris Cabrera, founder and CEO, the Incent online application feature called Planned Document Approval is the first of its kind to automate the task of sending out a company's annual incentive documentation which typically explains how its compensation package works to its sales force.
"I've been in this space [CRM] for eight years and it has never been done, that's the reason we have a patent pending," said Cabrera.
For most companies the lengthy document must be sent via U.S. Mail with a signed form sent back by the sales person attesting to the fact that it has been read and understood.
The new solution puts the document online and accepts an electronic signature.
IT involvement is minimal or non-existent said Cabrera and can be accessed via Xactly's hosted service or as part of the Salesforce.com AppExchange. Salesforce.com customers will be able to click on an icon which connects the Salesforce APIs to the Xactly solution.
Many Salesforce.com competitors cite Xactly and other third part applications as proof that Salesforce does not offer the depth of CRM packages like those from an SAP or Siebel, thus forcing users to seek out third party AppExchange providers.
However, Laurie McCabe, vice president of SMB Insights and Business Solutions at AMR-Partners has a different point of view.
McCabe says getting back to keeping things simple may be the way to go, citing the complexity of packages like Microsoft Word where users only understand about 10 percent of its features,.
"It might be better to offer a customer the basics and then let them pick and choose what they really need," McCabe said.
A second feature in Xactly version 3 is simply called Draw. This service tracks advance payments made to sales people starting up at a company. Accessible online by managers and new hires this feature tracks the amount of money owed and paid back to the company.
The Incent program also allows managers to track sales performance and align it with a company's sales goals.
Giving the sales vice presidents not the IT people something they can plug in to, to track and adjust the performance of the sales people has great appeal, according to McCabe.
Xactly is available online now.