CaptivateIQ: The Engine for Modern Sales Compensation Management
By Doug Pepper, Tengbo Li, Vanessa Deng | January 26, 2022
Imagine that you run the sales organization at a company that has just beaten its quarterly sales goal. What should be cause for celebration becomes cause for concern when you realize that you must now calculate commissions payouts for dozens of sales reps based on meticulously crafted compensation plans with complicated accelerators and incentives for multi-year deals. The spreadsheet your team used to calculate these payouts is riddled with “#REF!” errors and largely unworkable. You start to do the calculations manually to avoid overpaying or underpaying your reps, turning an otherwise triumphal moment into a very long night. This bad dream of a scenario might sound familiar to many sales and finance leaders who have struggled to manage commissions payouts. Luckily, there is a better way.
When we first met Conway Teng, Mark Schopmeyer, and Hubert Wong, the co-founders of CaptivateIQ, we were intrigued by the modern sales commission software they had developed. In their former roles, Mark and Conway had experienced firsthand the pain points associated with calculating commissions using manual methods and error-prone spreadsheets. Equipped with hard-earned experience managing commissions plans, the CaptivateIQ founders set out to build a cloud-based commissions platform that gives businesses the flexibility to build any compensation plan, integrate various data sources, and manage complex workflows relating to sales compensation. Today, we’re excited to forge ICONIQ Growth’s partnership with Conway, Mark, Hubert, and the entire CaptivateIQ team.
We initially learned of CaptivateIQ through several of our portfolio companies that had decided to accelerate their sales commissions efforts by making the transition from spreadsheets or legacy software to CaptivateIQ. These companies underscored the enormous value they realized from the platform, noting that CaptivateIQ’s logic-based modeling platform could handle diverse compensation plans of varying complexity. They also benefited from CaptivateIQ’s built-in collaboration and reporting tools, which enabled seamless communications between sales professionals and compensation plan administrators. We quickly realized that our portfolio companies were hardly unique in choosing CaptivateIQ, which now serves several hundred customers including 28 of the Forbes Cloud 100—an annual list of the leading private cloud companies in the world.
When we spoke to companies that had standardized their commissions processes on CaptivateIQ, we heard several recurring themes:
Flexibility: The platform does away with pre-defined templates while addressing diverse compensation formats and organizational workflows. In addition, it is agnostic to the product or service being sold.
Usability: CaptivateIQ preserves familiar elements from spreadsheets (e.g., formulas) that make it easy for sales and finance professionals to get up and running on the platform.
Agility: CaptivateIQ enables users to develop new compensation plans, iterate on existing ones, and quickly scale payouts as the organization scales.
We believe these characteristics are a powerful combination that differentiates CaptivateIQ from both newer and legacy players in the market.
Our excitement only grew as we came to appreciate the enormity of CaptivateIQ’s market opportunity. The seemingly narrow issue of sales commissions is actually a critical bottleneck for most sales organizations, most of which we believe are still using spreadsheets or rigid, expensive, and services-ridden legacy software for this mission-critical process. Underoptimized sales commissions processes can constrain productivity and revenue growth not only among tech companies, but also within industries like professional services, healthcare, manufacturing, and others that CaptivateIQ serves. Replacing spreadsheets with dedicated software in horizontal, “greenfield” markets has been a major driver of success across many companies, and we believe CaptivateIQ is on a parallel trajectory.
In partnering with CaptivateIQ, we are eager to support the company in amplifying the power of its platform. The company’s immediate product objectives include further automating the commissions process by simplifying overrides and directly integrating new employee data from HRIS systems, for example. CaptivateIQ is also continuing to push the limits of scalability and performance among even the largest enterprises, while simultaneously augmenting the user experience to continue to empower individual sales managers, sales reps, operations analysts and finance professionals alike. Long-term, we see substantial opportunity for the company to add adjacent capabilities around forecasting, pipeline analytics, and much more.
We are thrilled to partner with Conway, Mark, Hubert and the deeply experienced CaptivateIQ team to achieve their mission of bringing agility, flexibility, and usability to sales organizations globally.
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