A United States-based coworking space provider that’s revolutionizing the way people and companies work recently reached out to us with a series of operational challenges associated with their sales incentive process. They happen to be one of the largest providers of coworking spaces, including physical and virtual shared spaces. With operations in 756 locations in 38 countries and with a weighted average commitment term of 20 months they are by far leading this space by a long distance. As it happened with all, COVID impacted this big company that provides coworking spaces in a big way. The impact was even more severe in India, where they are currently operating in 6 different locations serving multiple Fortune 500 companies.

COWORKING SPACES

Coworking spaces are setups in which employees from various organizations share a workspace, enabling cost reductions and ease by utilizing shared infrastructure. Many people who access coworking spaces utilize them to expand their social and business networks. Others view coworking spaces as chances for lead creation.

This concept was developed around a decade ago, but it has witnessed an exponential rise in the previous half-decade. According to projections, the next several years will see an even stronger focus on coworking as a model for adjusting work habits. Coworking spaces are as much about professional networking as they are about getting work done.

SITUATION

As the pandemic stretched, it forced organizations to change their incentive structures. Salesforce went remote, and selling patterns & behaviors changed. Legacy incentive structures were not in line with the new way of remote selling and a substantial increase in incentive-related complexities needed significant manual calculations. This led to uncovering a series of new operational challenges, especially in the coworking spaces industry.

PROBLEM

The market opened up for the coworking spaces industry; however, legacy ways of operating helped little and started impacting the sales behavior. New products evolved organically owing to the new dynamics introduced by the pandemic. It led to a significant impact on the sales operations team that almost had to kneel down to manual and tedious Incentive compensation calculations on excel spreadsheets. This organization in the coworking spaces industry’s current setup was not designed to adapt to a continually evolving sales strategy.

  • The addition of new offerings expanded data sets; both horizontally and vertically
  • Incremental bookings led to an increase in the number of add-on transactions and a complicated way of calculating in-year-revenue (IYR)
  • Data integrity issues began causing errors and inconsistencies while calculating incentives
  • Lack of incentive reporting led sales executives to be found wanting for direction to improve their effectiveness
  • Lack of information to align the evolving strategy with incentive payout led to an increase in disputes
  • Lack of transparency and accuracy demotivated the salesforce leading to an increase in attrition

APPROACH

The Incentivate team sat with the Sales Operations team of the client to understand the challenges that the coworking industry and them in specific, were facing. In absence of an effective current setup, it was difficult to conceptualize the eventual outcome that was needed. The Incentivate team decided to work backward by creating mock-ups of incentive reports across the sales hierarchy, Finance & HR to help the client visualize the information flow. A full-fledged onsite workshop was arranged for the same which simplified the process a lot and also opened up newer requirements that were critical for the success of the sales function. A cohesive effort was put in to create a detailed requirement document which was used as the source of truth for a full-fledged implementation

SOLUTION

A single platform unifying multiple functionalities enabled the organization to improve operational efficiency as well as bring in complete transparency for the salesforce. Processing periods times were reduced significantly and timeliness of incentives payout improved owing to the following functionalities that were provided through Incentivate;

  • A near-real-time refreshed performance dashboard for the salesforce
  • Independent and role-based customized scorecards for Sales leads, Account Managers, HR, Finance, and Admin teams with Single-Sign-On access functionality.
  • A dispute management workflow to handle transaction-level queries. Incentivate’s in-house workflow system with the flexibility to add multiple levels for approval and escalation was implemented.
  • A nudge functionality was implemented for the sales team to track disputes, individual & team performance, and view their incentive payout reports once published.
  • A payment acknowledgment workflow for sales reps to acknowledge their earnings for auditing purposes was implemented.
  • On top of all of this, the solution was designed to integrate and pull opportunities data from SFDC, collections data from snowflake, sales rep eligibility data from Darwinbox, and sales hierarchy data from GreythR. In addition push functionality was implemented to send approved payouts to their payroll system

OUTCOME

The organization successfully managed to prepare itself for the opening up of markets by effectively implementing a unified system with the below-mentioned benefits

  • Near real-time updates for the field
  • Over 50% reduction in incentive related query calls because of a seamless dispute management system
  • Stronger data controls and 100% audited system
  • Massive reduction in offline processing leading to an increase of over 50% bandwidth of existing sales operations team for value-added activities