SalesTechStar Interview With Mark Schopmeyer, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, CaptivateIQ
CaptivateIQ’s CEO Mark Schopmeyer talks about a few common B2B sales problems and what sales teams can do to address them:
Welcome to the SalesTechStar chat – tell us about your journey in B2B and what inspired CaptivateIQ?
Before co-founding CaptivateIQ in 2017 along with Conway Teng and Hubert Wong, I worked in finance and was heavily involved in commission planning, calculation, and pay out, on the finance side of the organization. The biggest frustration I experienced was the countless manual processes
like data cleanup, model building and reporting. These things took way too much time and as a result, I couldn’t find time to do the more important strategic initiatives at the company.
Almost immediately, I searched for an existing solution that could help streamline commission planning. I quickly realized that there was a complete lack of usable commission planning platforms.
Having come from the problem, Conway, Hubert and I have created a better way for businesses to manage and scale commissions in a flexible way that can modernize and improve comp plan management for any business of any size. In fact, many members of our team have previously managed or administered other commission solutions. This gives us direct experience – enabling us to deeply understand our customers.
How has the platform grown and evolved? What can users expect in the near future?
Our v1 was based entirely around SQL and required users to understand the language. Working hand-in-hand with our early customers, we built v2, which delivered a “building blocks” approach, making it easier for non-data scientists (from UX and UI perspectives) to immediately use it. We also took on a “no-code / low-code” approach, allowing customers to deploy intuitive commission plans, integrating complex functionality including data integrations, commission plans, reporting, payout reviews, inquiry management, plan management, audit logs, and more. With this version, we guided our customers through a process to automate functionality and deliver complex plans.We soon realized that data never comes in the form you need it, so we built a spreadsheet-like interface that allows users to massage data into any form without the need for engineering resources. We released v3 with an interface that can handle any commission plan, and serves as the foundation of our offering today.
Finding the right balance between solving for flexibility and ease-of-use while delivering a product-rich core is fundamentally important. We will continue working with customers to develop feedback loops to analyze success and determine how to improve our product offerings.
Solving the pain of commission management was just the beginning, but the larger, longer-term vision for us is to deliver sophisticated technology that solves all kinds of issues facing revenue teams – from planning to forecasting to motivational incentives – giving them the tools to drive more success with compensation.
Why do you feel it is crucial for B2B sales teams, especially sales leaders, to pay more attention to commission management; what are some challenges that teams are often faced with here and what best practices would you share?
It’s a matter of scale.
As organizations grow, commission plans become complex, time-consuming and difficult to manage — making it even more imperative to establish trust between operations and sales organizations. Smaller sales teams can use spreadsheets to calculate commissions, but teams seeking to scale or sell into new markets need to use modern tools to maintain a competitive advantage.
It’s also a matter of trust and employee retention. Clear and transparent commission plans motivate salespeople. Without insights into the plans, reps can spend up to 25% of their time tracking their commissions rather than selling. CaptivateIQ gives reps real-time access to their commissions plans
and the calculations behind them, which keeps sales teams happy and focused on driving revenue growth. That transparency also gives reps a clear understanding of the levers unlocking their commissions, spurring improved performance.
Pay structure determines how salespeople act with customers, how they spend their time, and what type of activities they pursue to exceed quota. But a lot of companies don’t do enough work around performance metrics and understanding how well their comp plans are working. Best practice is to stick to three performance measures within a comp plan. But first, organizations need to know what they want reps to do and then get creative about incentives.
Data is becoming more important to track. Data visibility throughout all the calculation steps enables accuracy, traceability and visibility, all critical factors for sales teams and finance. Finally, a new standard of commission management is more intuitive and doesn’t require specialized resources in every aspect of the process. CaptivateIQ’s rule-based interface means there is no need to learn new approaches and syntax. If you know Excel, you know how to use our product.
Take us through some of your sales-marketing initiatives at CaptivateIQ and a few insights into the salestech / martech that helps drive this?
We’re making investments in our marketing outreach, public relations, and growth marketing programs to continue to grow our customer base and deliver the best sales commission experience possible.
For B2B and tech companies looking at revamping their overall selling strategies in 2022, what tips would you share?
If there’s any big take away in the last two years, it’s that companies need to be adaptive. I think that need will continue given what we’re seeing with current events and how that impacts markets/capital, etc.
So for trends, I think what we’re seeing is that companies are taking advantage of situations where barriers have been lowered. For example, it’s much easier to serve / deliver services abroad than ever before (barring increased compliance requirements). Companies are finding a new hybrid of digital/offline marketing strategies like Zoom food events to remote conferences.
Companies are also realizing that talent pools are now much more open if you’re fortunate enough to be embracing more remote strategies. There’s huge leverage here for acquiring the best talent in any market vs in a local market (e.g., SF).
Compensation is going to be a massive focus as 2021 armed companies with large war chests that are now being deployed after a scarce resource of talent. You’ll see companies try to be extra creative and competitive on retaining or acquiring talent.
Final thoughts, takeaways, sales, customer tips or best practices before we wrap up?
It’s all about the customer and I’m very proud that ours are happy. Gartner peer insights has ~300 reviews and 99% would recommend CaptivateIQ!
CaptivateIQ delivers a sales commission software platform that helps fast growing revenue teams reclaim the power of incentives.
CaptivateIQ employs over 250 employees and serves many customers including Gong, Amplitude, Affirm, Hopin, and others. Under Mark’s leadership, the company raised substantial capital in its Series C round and has delivered year-over-year growth since its founding in 2017.
Throughout Mark’s career, he has directly experienced tremendous gaps in sales commission and incentive platforms. From his experience, Mark was inspired to create a modern and effective Software as a Service approach to driving sales compensation management as a strategic business advantage. Prior to founding CaptivateIQ, Mark held executive positions for Brightroll, an advertising video platform, and he was an investment professional for a growth equity firm executing investments in the software sector. Mark earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.
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