• November 26, 2008
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Makana Solutions Makes Plans

Makana Solutions, a sales compensation management (SCM) vendor, recently released its latest on-demand application, Makana Motivator Pro, which joins Motivator Express, the company's planning-only application. The company describes Motivator Pro as a self-service SCM environment for small businesses that addresses all aspects of compensation, from planning to payment to reporting.

"Motivator Pro helps companies design their sales plan[s] as well as get [salespeople] paid," says Liz Cobb, the company's founder and chief executive officer. "It's a self-serve, best-practices, planning-to-payment visual presentation of the plan document."

The new Pro release includes:

  • Sales compensation planning capability that enables sales managers to build plans that will motivate the sales team to achieve the right business results.
  • Sales compensation payment functionality that calculates commissions and bonuses for plans designed with either Motivator Pro or Motivator Express. Data can also be imported from accounting systems including Quicken, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Sage's Peachtree by Sage.
  • Graphical reports that provide management and individuals with feedback on progress toward goals. Commission statements show calculation details to build trust and eliminate shadow accounting.

The Makana family of SCM applications emphasizes user-friendliness for managers and visual presentation of data to ensure universal understanding for all. In fact, Cobb takes special note of one feature in particular: "The Plan Wizard is a step-by-step walk-through for creating a plan," she says. "The result is displayed in what we call Plan Pods, which are a role-based plan output for individual salespeople."

Makana Solutions has also launched an online community to coincide with the debut of Motivator Pro. It is, not surprisingly, a forum dedicated to SCM, giving users a place to ask questions, exchange tips and knowledge, and obtain assistance from their peers and the Makana team.

"Our research has found that sales compensation is hampered by spreadsheets, email, and scattered information that contribute to a decline of sales productivity," said Mark Smith, chief executive officer and executive vice president of research at analyst firm Ventana Research, in a statement. "Makana Solutions' Motivator Pro provides a simple and easy method for the plan-to-pay process to integrate the steps and applications like Salesforce.com together and provide methods to monitor sales progress through easy-to-use reports."

"Liz Cobb brings as much history and knowledge to the table as anybody in the industry, first to compensation management and then to modeling and plan design," says Joe Galvin, vice president and research director for advisory firm SiriusDecisions. "Makana Motivator Pro and Express are an example of how, with [software-as-a-service], you can put together applications quickly and deliver them immediately."

Galvin is also enthusiastic about Makana's pricing -- $29 per payee, per month for Motivator Pro, and $19 per month, per company for Motivator Express. "This should appeal to most sales organizations," he says, "especially those toward the lower end of the scale, the small businesses."

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine. You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" at the top; to contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com.

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