Xactly Updates Inspire to Boost Sales Coaching

Xactly, a provider of cloud-based incentive management software, today upgraded its Inspire product with social peer collaboration and sales coaching features. The improved solution works in conjunction with Xactly's Incent compensation management offering, giving sales leaders broad views into their sales cycles—from new-hire education processes to post-sale metrics such as quota-attainment and commission payments—to help drive better results.

Announced late last year, Xactly's Inspire gives sales managers tools designed to help them shorten new-hire ramp times and align team members with corporate strategies, while matching coaching messages with incentive metrics. The product leverages crowd-sourcing capabilities and best practices to help leaders educate and engage reps throughout their time with the company.

Prior to today's update, users could tap into field performance metrics to determine suitable compensation plans. "Now, with Xactly Inspire and Incent, you're able not only to ensure that your coaching efforts are effective, but you can tie those efforts to rep performance, analyze how you're paying each of those reps, and identify gaps," says Micheline Nijmeh, Xactly's CMO.

Inspire includes the ability to track how well reps are mastering new concepts and award them with certifications based on their achievements. A sales manager can view reports to determine the correlations between a salesperson’s overall performance and their proficiency in completing related training activities. The improved view is useful to sales executives, Nijmeh says, as they can access the analytics to determine whether they're underpaying top performers or overpaying low performers, for instance.

Nijmeh points out that users can easily leverage the software from their mobile devices to get up to speed in areas where they might need refreshers. For example, a user might access the Inspire library to look up a two-minute video tip on how to engage a specific audience with content produced by the marketing department.

Sales reps can also collaborate. An embedded recorder can be used to tape sales pitches so that reps can send them to teammates for feedback and tips. Peer video performances can be ranked so that the best materials are brought to users' attention.

"With built in peer-to-peer reviews and certification modules, [sales organizations are] able to build the perfect sales rep, or clone each component of their other sales reps, get the best practices, and put them up into the Inspire library,” Nijmeh points out.

Nijmeh highlights Inspire's "huddle room" feature, designed to keep coaches informed about their teams members' progress in various areas. "Many managers today don't have time or don't even know what to do to be a good coach," she says. The huddle room enables managers to save time by holding one-on-one or group sessions in which they can focus on improving the identified weaknesses of select participants. If a manager finds that several reps are having trouble moving from stage two to three of a sales cycle, the manager can invite those people to a huddle, ask them questions, and determine what videos, playbooks, and collateral will help them move ahead.

Evan Ellis, president and COO of Xactly, said in a statement that Inspire aims to tackle "the performance gap" between top performers and everyone else:

"The 80/20 rule has been a foregone conclusion in sales team performance for far too long. Improving sales coaching as a means to change this paradigm has been a vision the industry has yet to deliver on, until now. Using advanced analytics and industry best practices, Xactly Inspire helps companies close the performance gap by enabling them to easily map coaching efforts to the sales results of each rep on a single platform—from new hires to reps at the top of the leaderboard."

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