Salesforce to Acquire Spiff: Automating Sales Commissions

By Ben McCarthy

Salesforce has just announced a definitive agreement to acquire Spiff, a provider of incentive compensation management (ICM) software.

Calculating a salesperson’s compensation is big business, and since being founded in 2017, Spiff has raised $117 million in funding and grown its customer base to almost 1,000, with its revenue increasing at 100% YoY.

What Is Spiff?

Calculating compensation may seem like a simple task (commission % multiplied per revenue per deal), but when you add varying commission percentages into the mix, accelerators if a certain quota attainment is hit, multiplied by hundreds or thousands of sales users across the business, things can get complex very quickly.

READ MORE: Can Salesforce Do Commission Management?

Spiff simplifies compensation management by combining the familiarity and usability of a spreadsheet with the power of automation at scale.

Their platform allows you to connect to your sales data source (e.g. Salesforce) and then calculate commissions in real time after you have set up your various plans. Sales users can then use Spiff (a real-time reporting engine) to see pending invoices, deals waiting to close, and AI-generated commission predictions.

Spiff is an AppExchange partner, as well as a Salesforce ventures portfolio company, and more than 70% of Spiff’s customers use Sales Cloud as their CRM.

Salesforce has been reimagining Sales Cloud in recent years under the leadership of Ketan Karkhanis, EVP & GM of Sales Cloud. Features such as Pipeline Inspection, Einstein Sales Bots, and Sales Enablement are some of the tools they have built in recent years.

As Ketan puts it: “What was more a system of record, is now creating a complete digital experience for the user and customer…”

READ MORE: The Current State & Future of Salesforce Sales Cloud

After the acquisition closes, the Spiff organization (300 employees) will join the Sales Cloud team, working to enhance Sales Performance Management solutions. This is a relatively new arm of the Sales Cloud team, which includes Sales Planning, Territory Management, and Salesforce Maps.

Spiff connects what sellers want – transparent compensation – with what sales leaders want – compensation planning built into CRM that aligns behaviors to strategic outcomes. Ketan Karkhanis, EVP & GM, Sales Cloud

Final Thoughts

Incentive Compensation Management solutions are nothing new – Xactly has been one of the market leaders on the AppExchange since I joined the ecosystem in 2012. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised it’s taken Salesforce this long to acquire or build their very own solution!

Unfortunately, with most acquisitions Salesforce completes, there are often multiple casualties in the form of AppExchange partners who have built their businesses partnering with Salesforce. Now, they will be regarded as a competitor instead.

The Author

Ben McCarthy

Ben is the Founder of Salesforce Ben. He also works as a Non-Exec Director & Advisor for various companies within the Salesforce Ecosystem.

Leave a Reply