A business telecommunications services division of Cablevision Systems Corp., Optimum Lightpath delivers converged data, Internet and voice solutions to businesses throughout the New York metropolitan area. Its advanced fiber-to-the-business premises network extends 2,500 route miles throughout the most heavily inhabited parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, enabling the company to supply reliable telecommunications services at lower prices than traditional offerings.
Advanced technologies, lower prices, superior customer service — since its inception, Optimum Lightpath has possessed a singularly compelling sales proposition. But behind the scenes, the fast-growing company was being hobbled by manual processes for managing sales compensation. Its sales landscape is complex: a diverse set of products and services, salespeople paid based on customer location (for example, is the building already “lit” or does there have to be costly new construction?), and multiple sales teams (enterprise; multitenant buildings; government, education and medical; wholesale) with different compensation plans. The company found itself challenged to manage sales compensation strategically and drive desired sales behaviors because of its heavy reliance on spreadsheet-based processes.
“We had difficulty in implementing the kind of sophisticated plans that would align tightly with our corporate goals,” said Matt Grover, vice president of sales operations at Optimum Lightpath. “We had to make so many compromises because if we didn’t make the compensation program simple, we’d have an administrative nightmare.”
Adding fuel to the fire was another drawback typical of manual processes: lack of ready visibility. Like many companies, Optimum Lightpath had no universally accessible (and auditable) central repository for commissions data, and thus no guarantee that sales reps and managers possessed comprehensive and accurate views of past and present commissions statements. Tied to this was a lack of timeliness, with source data first imported into worksheets for calculation, then laboriously prepared statements passed manually for approval, and finally payments being processed two-to-three weeks later.
Putting all these issues into bold relief was Optimum Lightpath’s highly successful Salesforce.com implementation, which had already demonstrated what could be accomplished with an automated, on-demand service in terms of driving sales performance. With this in mind, the company began looking for a complementary sales compensation management solution that would:
- Enable sales compensation to be leveraged strategically
- Automate and streamline the compensation management process, end to end
- Provide 360-degree visibility into its compensation program
- Support regulatory compliance efforts through centralized archiving
- Integrate seamlessly with Salesforce.com