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Challenge

Automate world-wide sales
incentive programs in multiple
languages to handle thousands
of sales incentives for channel
partners and resellers.

Solution

OUT OF THE BOX Consulting
created a Salesforce.com native
application, to automate and
streamline the sales incentives
claim submission, processing
and fulfillment processes,
saving time and money, while
improving communication with
sales partners, resellers and
internal sales teams.

Key Features
  • Flexibility to develop and
    reward different sales behaviors
  • Fully integrated within
    Salesforce.com
  • Individual or batch approvals of
    award claims
  • Fulfill multiple award types in
    multiple currencies and languages

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Sales Incentive Automation Saves Time, Money
An OUT OF THE BOX Consulting Case Study

Results

Nimble Storage, innovators in cloud-based adaptive flash storage, faced
a challenge that some might consider a good problem to have: high
participation in the company’s sales incentive programs for channel
partners and resellers.

The problem? Capturing, managing, responding to and fulfilling all the
sales incentive program claims and awards. Nimble needed to streamline
and automate what was largely a manual (and therefore, time-consuming
and error-prone) award claim process that took away from Nimble’s
marketing team almost twenty hours of valuable time, every week.

Nimble sells on-premise and cloud-based adaptive flash storage via a
channel sales model, selling through distributors and solution providers
worldwide. Nimble’s innovative Adaptive Flash platform, based on
proprietary data sciences methods, is the preferred storage platform for
over 5,000 businesses and public sector agencies worldwide.

The team at OUT OF THE BOX Consulting
is a pleasure to work with. They were able
to save us countless hours and frustration
each month by fully automating our
complex sales incentive process

Judy Kent, Sr. Manager of Channel Marketing Nimble Storage

A Worldwide Solution

Nimble Storage uses Salesforce.com (SFDC) to manage its sales
opportunities, but needed a way to more efficiently manage hundreds
of sales incentive award (SPIFF) claims each month. Further, because
Nimble’s customers, and sales partners, are located all around the globe,
they needed a solution that could handle award distribution in a wide
variety of locations (and their corresponding languages and currencies), as
well as manage multiple programs that had varying durations and award
types.

Reuven Shelef, President of OUT OF THE BOX Consulting (OOTB), said:
“We had an excellent history with Nimble Storage, providing them with
Salesforce.com-related solutions for several years. But this project was
particularly complicated. It was a ‘McGuyver’ type project. We had to figure
out how to do something that hadn’t been done before, and do
it quickly.”

OOTB solved the problem by creating an application that is built natively
on Salesforce.com and as such, integrates fully and seamlessly into
Nimble’s Salesforce.com environment. The application automates the
SPIFF claims submission, evaluation, processing and award distribution
processes. The application saves Nimble both time and money, and
eliminates all errors on claims. SPIFF claims management and response
can now be handled in a fraction of the time it once took, with no errors.
It also provides valuable data to help Nimble know which incentive
programs are most effective, both in terms of regional participation and
impact on sales and revenue.

Streamlining the Incentive Process

Nimble offers a variety of SPIFFs every quarter for specific sales
achievements, each designed to meet different marketing objectives.
For example, they offer incentives for:

  • new customer acquisition
  • closing larger deals
  • pipeline growth
  • These incentive programs run simultaneously, for varying lengths of time,
    and generate hundreds of SPIFF claims each month. Judith Kent, senior
    manager of channel marketing for Nimble, turned to OUT OF THE BOX
    Consulting to find a solution that would streamline the SPIFF
    management process for her team.

    Nimble had worked with the OUT OF THE BOX Consulting team on other
    projects, and Kent was confident that they could deliver a great solution
    that would streamline SPIFF claims processing and fulfillment.

    Batch Processing Saves Time

    “Until we created this application, Nimble would need to go through each
    award claim manually. It was a very time consuming, and error-prone task,”
    Shelef explained. “Nimble used to spend as much as 30 minutes on each
    SPIFF claim. That claim processing now takes half a second, and is
    completely automated and error-free. Thirty minutes times thousands of
    SPIFF claims is a significant value. It saved Nimble thousands of hours of
    time, so the project had a very high ROI (return on investment) for Nimble
    Storage.”

    “The system that OUT OF THE BOX Consulting created for us has a batch
    processing capability to run large volumes of claims and will auto-approve
    or deny claims, as needed,” Kent said.

    The application eliminates the need for manual processing, cutting the
    time spent on SPIFF fulfillment by more than 80 percent.

    Benefits
  • On-demand reporting for point-in-time spiff expense forecasting
  • Error reduction
  • Multiple spiffs can be run concurrently with automation
  • Annual spiff expense report rollup at year end
  • Annual tax reporting for winners earning over $600/yr
  • Automated claim status notifications
  • Improved Communication with Sales Reps

    The application doesn’t just enhance the efficiency of the marketing staff
    at Nimble, but it also improves communication with Nimble’s Sales Reps.

    “One of the best parts of the system we now have, is that Nimble Sales
    reps can see the disposition of incentive claims for each opportunity they
    are working as the claim object is visible to them,” Kent explained. “This
    allows them to inform their business partners of the disposition of their
    award status and soon, when Nimble rolls out the SFDC Partner
    Communities feature, partners will be able to access their deals in
    Nimble’s SFDC and see the status of their incentive claims in real time
    themselves. This system automatically and dramatically reduced the
    number of phone calls and emails we had to field to provide updates on
    claim awards.”

    The sophisticated application still allows Nimble complete control,
    however. “If data was incorrectly input into SFDC by a Nimble sales rep, or
    there are special circumstances around a sale that may not be
    documented in our core SDFC database, we have the ability to modify the
    claim evaluation result and account for sales field errors and omissions or
    delays of data entry,” Kent said.

    A Customized Solution

    Nimble needed its sales incentive application to blend automated
    processes with fields and forms that could be customized. OUT OF
    THE BOX Consulting’s solution includes template forms that can be
    customized, so that it blends seamlessly with the SFDC data to
    make sure sales personnel are qualified for and informed regarding
    the SPIFFs they request.

    “Any business that provides sales incentive awards to their sales
    teams or their channel partners can streamline their operations and
    reduce time and labor with an automated sales incentive program,”
    Kent said. “This program designed by OUT OF THE BOX Consulting
    is tailored to Nimble’s sales process and SFDC environment, so it
    provides many features and enhancements that are not available
    from an ‘off-the-shelf’ sales incentive application.”

    A Satisfied Customer

    Nimble was delighted with the solution OUT OF THE BOX
    Consulting provided, and would highly recommend them.

    “The team has excellent business logic and application workflow
    design skills,” Kent said. “OOTB has the ability to anticipate workflow
    considerations that will impact our business. They are fast at making
    enhancements to the application as our needs change and have
    deep proficiency of Salesforce.com. They understand what
    capabilities are possible and how to streamline the applications.
    OOTB meets deadlines and communicates effectively throughout
    the process to show you various options of business paths to
    accommodate your desired workflows”, Kent added.


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    OUT OF THE BOX Consulting
    1669 Hollenbeck Avenue, #2-210, Sunnyvale, CA 94087 | ootb-c.com | info@ootb-c.com| t. (415) 359-7062

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