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Automating Commission Calculations with Siva Rajamani, Former Director and Head of Revenue Ops at Freshworks

In this episode of Sales Ops Demystified, Tom Hunt and Alex Freeman are joined by Siva Rajamani, former Director and Head of Revenue Ops at Freshworks. He is currently the Co-founder and CEO of Everstage. They discuss the importance of making incentives visible and adding gamification for customer-facing teams, ways to improve the sales commissions process for entry-stage companies, and the process that guides expansion into a new market.

Rev Ops structure in Freshworks 

When Freshworks began its Rev Ops journey, they had a team of around twenty-five people with dedicated sub-teams for direct sales, indirect sales, marketing, and customer success. 

Transition into Rev Ops 

Siva came into Freshworks from management consulting and transitioned into the go-to-market strategy as part of the CEO’s office at Freshworks. He transitioned internally to set up the Rev Ops team which helped the company skyrocket from $30 Million ARR to $200 Million ARR by the time he left.

The activity for the highest impact on revenue at Freshworks

When Siva began at Freshworks with the revenue ops team, they only had two major products – Freshdesk and Freshservice. He helped set up the account management team for their new products from scratch and coordinated the customer success team. He also helped Freshworks seize the mid-market opportunity and grow from their initial base of small and medium business customers.

The power of incentives 

Incentives really work. They drive performance and motivate people to push harder. If incentives are not clear and visible to customer-facing teams, and if you only get that to them at the end of the month or quarter, it doesn’t make much sense. It’s a painful manual effort month on month if it is not automated.

Siva and a few others in the RevOps team realized the gap in the market to build Everstage, a sales commissions automation software made by Rev Ops experts for sales ops and rev ops professionals. Its real power lies in helping drive performance by motivating reps through gamification modules and simulators. Go-to-market teams and customer-facing teams can play around with these simulators to see how they can earn more commissions.

Improving sales commissions management

Early-stage companies are still trying to figure out many variables in the process, so it’s important to keep it as simple as possible. Sales commissions should be visible for the go-to-market sales teams because they provide ongoing motivation throughout the month/quarter. Let them play around with numbers so that they know what they need to do to earn higher commissions. 

Don’t make your sales commissions a black box where the sales reps work hard every month/quarter with high expectations only to get disappointed when they see their paycheck. 

Driving expansion through a smart go-to-market strategy 

Start by assessing the potential of your product/service and finding its opportunities by collating all your data in one place for more simple processing. The next step is creating an org structure and rules of engagement for teams and deciding appropriate quotas and strategies. Finally, find incentive levels that reflect current and future business opportunities so that your reps stay motivated to build better relationships in pursuit of long-term business. 

Data processing steps to help reps target leads better

Enrich your lead profiles with key granular data such as 

  • Industry 
  • Geography 
  • Number of employees
  • Vertical
  • Size of their teams that will use your product/service

The next step is to find patterns that provide actionable insights and define your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile). Refresh your data every three to six months based on feedback from your reps.

Gamification to motivate your customer-facing teams 

Many sales reps have a superficial knowledge of the compensation plan. They don’t understand some of the nuances or other aspects of the compensation plan. It’s hard to push them toward specific selling objectives because they don’t see the impact of achieving those objectives. Gamification opens up a screen to the back-end of their compensation structure and helps the employer drive specific sales behaviors. 

The reps who can manipulate these figures can also see the impact on their compensation before they take any further steps. 

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