CaptivateIQ Brings Sales Commissions into the 21st Century
By Konstantine Buhler on behalf of Team Sequoia
Millions of Americans work on commission. This includes sales reps, insurance brokers, and financial advisors. For example, take my grandfather, Robert W. “Bob” Buhler. Bob was a Wisconsin dairy man. After fighting in WWII he sold milk door-to-door. In a dapper suit he would extol the virtues of the special milk bottle he offered, which enabled you to simultaneously extract cream and skim milk. (I still have the 75-year-old bottle on my nightstand, but I digress.) Bob got paid by the bottle. In those days it was easy — a few cents per bottle.
Over the past 75 years sales commissions have advanced; an estimated $800 billion is spent on sales compensation in the U.S. alone. Today, there are complexities around quotas, hurdles and accelerators. Sales reps don’t just sell bottles, they sell software and financial products that can be discounted and varied in price. Sales leaders are constantly moving fast to stay ahead of the competition by adding promotions, readjusting commission structures, and better aligning incentives — leaving sales operations teams to manage a complex process of aggregating sales data, calculating commissions, reporting those commissions to sales reps, and executing commission payroll. Yet, most of this work is still done in spreadsheets or using commission software built for a foregone era. The status quo is hard to program and difficult to adjust.
Enter CaptivateIQ. CaptivateIQ offers a SaaS solution to help enterprises manage and optimize sales commissions, ultimately decreasing error and hassle while increasing visibility. I’m excited to share that Sequoia is partnering with CaptivateIQ, leading its $13 million Series A, and joining the board.
CaptivateIQ brings sales commissions into the 21st century with flexibility, transparency and automation, benefiting three key stakeholders:
- The commission administrator. In the case of many sales operations employees, sales commission is the most tedious and mundane part of their job. They are managing a large amount of complexity, often in dozens of spreadsheets. This becomes very time consuming. In the words of one user at a ~150 person tech company, “It was sucking up every weekend near month end. We connected with CaptivateIQ and it gave my life back.”
- The payee. Historically, a payee might get a line-item of what they earned in commission during the month. This is often unsatisfactory and results in the payee scrutinizing every part of the calculation in their own excel sheet. In the words of another customer “The biggest thing CaptivateIQ solved was giving visibility to our reps around their pay-up. Historically, they got a line-item on their pay-statement. They would Slack everyone in finance and ask which of the 30 different deals went in. CaptivateIQ has brought us clarity and brought down all that noise.”
- The sales leader. The sales leader wants their sales operations team focused on more pressing issues than calculating compensation. CaptivateIQ takes a redundant task out of the equation, enabling the sales teams to focus on what matters most — selling.
CaptivateIQ is powered by an exceptional team and its founders, Mark Schopmeyer, Conway Teng, and Hubert Wong, have experienced the pain of processing sales commissions firsthand. They are intelligent, industrious, humble, and hungry, the perfect combination to take on an industry where 80% of commission calculations are still riddled with errors.
The entire Sequoia team is excited to partner with CaptivateIQ to improve the lives of sales commission administrators, the visibility of commissioned employees, and the satisfaction of sales leaders everywhere.