What do squirrels have to do with sales commissions? At Single Source, we know the answer is, “a lot.” We spoke with our President, Cory Rhodes, for some background and insights on our newest product, IncentViz. Corey S. Rhodes

What is IncentViz?

The primary focus of this SAAS product is to give better visibility to sales. We have found that the vast majority of organizations are currently processing commissions manually, typically using spreadsheets. IncentViz allows sales executives to easily set up sales commission plans. Then accounting can track and tabulate the earned commissions for sales and ultimately compensate sales reps.

“No Squirrels” is a major mantra at Single Source. Can you explain how it ties in with IncentViz?

“Squirrels” is our lingo for “distractions.” Within organizations, it’s hard to keep people motivated and rowing in the same direction if there isn’t a clear view of how they’re tracking toward weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. An individual salesperson might have disparate or delayed information about the commissions they’ve earned, since accounting has to manually calculate them. In that case, how do you keep the salesperson focused on company goals, rather than chasing squirrels, if they don’t have a clear understanding of where they stand to their quota? IncentViz gives visibility to sales executives and the sales force to ensure that the whole organization is rowing in the same direction: towards the targets and the products that the executive group wants to sell.

How did IncentViz get its start?

Single Source has been in existence since ‘85, and we’ve always been finding gaps in technology when it comes to business processes. We had great success focusing in on service organizations, and over the years and through our experience of working with thousands of customers, commissions always came up as a big pain point. We had written some custom programs to meet specific customers’ needs there, but we felt that we had the capability to produce a product that could be standardized, and it was something that most of the ERP solutions out on the market just didn’t address.squirrel attention ears cute 39484 300x200 1

We asked ourselves, “Is this a squirrel, or a nut that we can crack? Can we pull off this software, even with all the complexities and different scenarios out there?” And since starting about 15 months ago, getting our arms around it, and continuing to work with our customer base, we believe we’ve cracked it. We have a solid foundation that allows management to enact some pretty complex commission algorithms in a way that’s flexible and simple.

There are a lot of ways companies try to incent their teams – a classic example is putting a foosball table in the breakroom. How is IncentViz different from other kinds of incentives?

That trend seemed to come from Silicon Valley, where tech companies are trying to differentiate from all the others competing for talent. You hear about Google having a cafeteria, or free haircuts, or unlimited Redbull, or flextime, or an arcade. And those are nice things for recruiting, but they’re just perks, and they really miss the mark on motivating someone toward a specific goal. You aren’t going to offer up a foosball table to make sure your programmers write quality code, or to make sure your sales team hits their numbers.

What’s the long term vision for IncentViz?

Our primary focus now is on sales staff, since they’re accustomed to measuring against critical numbers. But it’s our philosophy that an entire organization should be on some type of variable comp. We intend to take IncentViz through all departments to keep everyone focused on objectives by incentivizing intelligently, rather than chasing squirrels. That’s the bigger idea around where we’re going with the product.