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Xactly Order Processing

Overview: When processing orders (closed deals) in Xactly it is important to understand the principles of how and why orders go from uploaded data to incentive results. Below is a high level illustration which summarizes order processing in Xactly:

Order Processing

  1. Prior to calculating any commissions, reps are working tirelessly on closing deals. Once a deal is closed (won), it is ready to be imported into Xactly to generate and display commission results.
  2. All closed deals, and details of the deal, need to import into Xactly to become what is referred to throughout the system as “orders” which is just another term for closed deals. Generally there is either a DELTA process already in place which picks up orders directly from your CRM and/or a file with a list of orders is placed onto a secure FTP site. If there is no DELTA process in place, you would need to gather a list of your closed transactions and upload them into Xactly manually through an upload template
  3. Whether through a manual upload template or through DELTA processing, once an order is uploaded it is stored in Staging section (Orders -> Orders -> Staging). Staging is simply a holding place in the application which stores any order(s) uploaded but does not do anything with them yet. You can continue to upload thousands and thousands orders into Staging without generating a single credit/commission result.
  4. Once the calculation process is initiated orders are moved into Processed section (Orders -> Orders -> Processed), and Credit/Commission results are generated for those directly and indirectly involved in the deal. All orders in Processed Orders should have generated credit/commission results (unless did not trigger credit/commission rules). Unlike Orders in Order Staging, once Orders are in Processed Orders they cannot be modified and are final unless first deleted from Processed Orders

Since all orders are processed in batches, below are some tips to keep in mind while creating and uploading batches:

  • Multiple batches can be created and uploaded within a single upload template as long as all batches are to be uploaded into the same period
  • All orders within a single upload batch must belong to the same Period. For example, you can have an order with 9/15/15 Incentive date and another order with 9/22/15 Incentive date within the same template but cannot have an order with 9/15/15 Incentive date and 7/2/15 Incentive date since latter two are in different periods
  • It is crucial to enter a batch name as orders can be uploaded without being assigned to a specific batch. In this case the system will create a “Default” batch for each order, and you can end up with thousands of batches, 1 batch per order
  • Multiple reps can be added to the same order by copying Employee ID and Split % column headers to the right of original headers. You can add as many additional headers as needed to eliminate the need for duplicating orders
  • Each order in a batch must have a unique order code/item code combination. For example order code 1, item code 1 is unique unless there is already an order code 1, item code 1 order already existing in any period. To make the latter order unique change the item code to 2, to have order code 1, item code 2. This combination is now unique, unless of course there is already such combination

Changing Xactly User Email Address

Overview: Every person which needs to have access to Xactly must have an activated user record in the system under SetUp -> Users in order to login. Whenever creating user records, a valid email address needs to be entered (later used to send out system email alerts/notifications to the person). Also, if you either already have or planning to enable Single Sign On (SSO) between Xactly and company CRM system (SFDC, for example), user’s Xactly email address must match the SFDC user’s email address (case sensitive) in order to successfully login through SSO. User email addresses are unique between all Xactly instances, so “” address cannot exists in your own or any other Xactly instance, for example. When an email address is added and user record saved, you can no longer change it and the only way to change the email address is to create a new record, replace old user record with new on the person record, and then delete the old user record. If you try to delete the incorrect user record without initially removing it from the person record, you will notice the delete user option under more actions is grayed out.

Steps: Navigate to SetUp -> Users -> Add Users -> Create New User (with correct email address). Once new user record is created, navigate to Organization -> People -> Search for person record -> Replace old user with new user -> Click Save. Finally, navigate back to SetUp -> Users -> Find and select old user ->  Click More Actions -> Delete User.

NOTE: Keep in mind that any time “Incent” access is checked off under accessible applications, an email alert is triggered to the user with instructions to setup a password in order to login into Xactly.

Changing Positions by Versioning

Overview: Changing positions in Xactly for a person is a fairly straightforward process, however there are few things to consider. As a rule, a person can occupy only 1 position at a given point in time. What this means is that if a person holds position A from Jan 2015 – Mar 2015 he cannot then also hold another position for the same time frame, he can only hold another position either before Jan 2015 or after Mar 2015, but not 2 simultaneously. This rule can sometimes create difficulties in moving people between positions as you may notice the default version time range for any position is start of time – end of time, so you would need to first break up the old position into “time slots” and also break up the new position into “time slots” by versioning both the old and new positions. When versions are created, you can then populate the person into correct time slots. Failing to version positions, will most likely result in the below message and a good amount of frustration:


Versioning: Also called “effective dating” and is used in other parts of the applications and simply allows you to break up either position (or person, etc) records into “time slots” or versions. To expand the earlier example, person A was holding an Account Executive position as of Jan 2015, and is now taking on a Sales Engineer role as of Mar 2015 so in order to correctly change his position, first create a new position record by navigating to Organization -> Positions -> Click Create Position -> Enter position name, title, Business group but DO NOT populate the person (as you recall the default position version is start of time – end of time so populating the person record will conflict with the old start of time – end of time position). Then click Save -> Save and Add New Version -> Select Effective Start Date of the NEW position (March 1st, 2015) -> Click Save (Still do not populate person name).

Add version

Now that you have your new position set up and versioned, you can go back to the old position to version or effectively end that position assignment with the start date of the new position. In order to do that, navigate to Organization -> Positions -> Search for old position -> Open old position -> Click add version -> Select Effective Date of March 1st, 2015 (date when new position starts) -> Click Save. Notice that when you created a new version for the old position, it did not populate the person name and left that field blank. This is OK since this person does not hold this position any longer. So what you should be left with is an Old position with 2 versions, 1st version Start of time – Feb 28th (person name populated), and 2nd version March 1st – End of time (no person populated).

Person Name

You should also already have your new position set up and versioned, however it is still missing person assignment for March 1st – end of time version and you will need to go back and populate the person. To do so navigate back to the new position, it will default to the new version, and add the person record.

To summarize, in order to move any person from one position to another you need to first create the new position and then break up both the new and old positions into “time slots” as by default both are set to start of time – end of time. Once positions are broken up into time slots those slots can be then populated with the person name. Another option is to first version the old position and then create the new position, new version and add person record, however the above method better highlights the value and reasons for versioning.

TIP: Keep in mind that position records can only be deleted if all associated Quotas, Rate Tables, Named Relationships and/or Draws are also deleted. Also, Incentive Data such as credit, commission and bonus results are carried with the position records. So simply deleting and creating a new position is often not an option, unless there are no results associated with the position.

Using Multiple Browsers

Overview: Using multiple browser windows while working in Incent is a great way to maximize efficiency, however make sure not to run multiple sessions within one browser. For example, if you have Incent open in Chrome, do not open another tab in Chrome and to start a new session of Incent. Doing so may cause data integrity issues as your browser could treat these multiple sessions as one session and overlap some of the information. If you would like to run multiple sessions, they need to be in different browsers. You can have up to three different sessions, one for each supported browser (listed below).

Certified Browsers: It is important to know which browsers are certified by Xactly to make sure the system is running correctly in your browser. Currently Xactly is certified for Internet Explorer, FireFox, and Chrome Browsers, and you can find out exact browser versions by accessing the help menu -> browser support or clicking the below URL:

Because Incent is a browser based application, it is designed to operate within specific browser versions, and you may experience issues such as unresponsive buttons and/or obscured windows within Incent, so it is important to install the correct version.


Named Relationships & Indirect Credit

Overview: Named Relationships provide a connection between otherwise unrelated positions. This connection gives you the opportunity to pass credit from person A to person B, even though person A and person B do not have a hierarchy relationship. Typical example would be, person A is a direct rep who is generating direct credit rep and person B is a Solution Consultant or Sales Engineer who is receiving credit indirectly generated by person A through a Named Relationship.

Setup: Lets use the example mentioned above where you need to configure Incent to generate direct credit for the person selling (direct rep) & then pass this credit to someone else who was involved in the deal such as Solution Consultant (indirect rep), so both of them could get paid on this deal.

Assuming your direct credit rule is already working correctly for the direct rep you now need to create a Named Relationship and then link the direct rep to the indirect person. To do so Navigate to Organization -> Named Relationships -> Create Named Relationship -> Enter Name -> Click Save -> Click Create Relationship -> Add To & From Positions -> Click Save. If you already have a Named Relationship created then instead of clicking Create Named Relationship click Edit Named Relationship -> Click Create Relationship -> Add To & From Positions -> Click Save.

Now that you have these two people linked to each other credit will start flowing from person A to person B, however person B will not trigger any credit rules until there is an indirect credit rule on person B’s plan. An indirect credit rule will give Incent instructions for what to do when person B receives credit (if you already have an indirect credit rule, person B will get credit).

Navigate to Plan Design -> Rules Library -> Click New -> Select Indirect Credit Type. After selecting Indirect Credit Type you will notice there is an additional field now available called Position Relationship. This field will allow you to select the Named Relationship (by Name) which you created earlier and would now know which Named Relationships to associate. Enter the rest of the fields for your indirect credit rule, click save and then dont forget to add this rule to person B’s plan. Make sure to test by running a sample order given to person A and check that person B is now getting the expected amount of credit.

Named Relationship Tips: A key concept to keep in mind when working with Named Relationships is that when coupled with Hierarchy Roll Up credit can only go up and to the side. Meaning it can only go up the hierarchy and then through a Named Relationship, yet it cannot go through a Named Relationship first and then through the hierarchy. Below illustration highlights this concept.

Named Relationships

Another key concept is that credit can go through multiple Named Relationships, if enough From & To relationships exist, so be careful with Named Relationship maintenance and make sure you dont have any lingering old relationships otherwise someone might be getting some extra unexpected credit. Please see below example.

Named Relationships 2

As best practice, make sure to routinely clean up your Named Relationships, and be sure to version when making any changes so that there is history. If you do not version and just add/delete Named Relationships you will run into problems when re-processing orders in current and/or prior periods since Incent will now process based on the current state of your Named Relationships, so make sure to version Named Relationships with the correct date of the change.

Plan Document Template Tricks

Add Screenshot to the Plan Doc: Even though the redesigned plan document template creator is very flexible, sometimes you may run into a scenario where you just want to display a screenshot of an Excel table or even a power point slide. Currently only images which are hosted online can be inserted into the template by clicking “Image” and entering the image URL.

To insert an actual screenshot you took, simply copy -> paste your actual screen shot (ctrl + C -> ctrl + V) into your template. Keep in mind this will only work while using FireFox browser – only. Copy paste will not work with any other browser to insert an actual screenshot.

Entering blank sections into Plan Doc: If you need to move down a section of your document with blank spaces, add a “Text Bloc” type section and enter a space for title. This way you don’t need to enter an actual title, which would show up on the document. Then you can also hit “enter” several times within the body of the text bloc to make the blank section larger thus moving the rest of your contents down.

Modifying Plan Template after routing: One of the benefits of the redesigned plan document template is that it can be modified after routing. If you need to add an exception for a specific user I would recommend using the “Personal Content” section (Document Mgmt -> Templates -> Personal Content), however if you find yourself in a situation where using personal content is not an option you can modify the actual plan template and then change it back to its original state after routing to the person with an exception.

Incentive Estimator Setup and Best Practice

Overview: Xactly Incentive Estimator gives your sales team the ability to estimate commission payments straight from SFDC opportunity based on their actual plan and current quota attainment level. Since Estimator is part of your standard Incent subscription, it is a powerful free tool to provide additional motivation and visibility to your sales reps.

How it works: The way Estimator works is it looks at certain fields which are mapped during the the setup process from SFDC opportunity fields to Incent order fields. Those mapped fields are then ran through your existing rule logic in Incent (when you click the “estimate incentives” button) to come up with a commission amount. You need to have at least 3 fields mapped to Incent oder fields – order type, amount and incentive date. The trick is to map fields in a way that values from SFDC fields trigger Incent rules correctly (more details on this under “Setup” section).

Security: A common question someone in your organization may ask is “If our sales reps are able to view each other’s opportunities, wouldn’t they be able to use the estimator to see what another rep is going to earn from closing the opportunity?”. The answer is No. When someone estimates commissions on a given opportunity the estimator looks at their own plan, not the plan of the opportunity owner, so if a rep clicks “estimate incentives” on someone else’s opportunity he will get an amount that he himself will be paid on this opportunity based on his own plan, not the opportunity owner. The only way to see how much someone else is going to be paid through use of the estimator is to first login in as that person in SFDC or impersonate (only sfdc admin can do this) and then run the estimator.

Setup: Now that we have a basic understanding of what the Estimator is and how it works, lets get it setup! To initiate the set up, you first need to identify which fields you would like to map between Incent and SFDC. To do so navigate to Setup -> Customize -> Estimator Fields and move over order fields from “Available Order Item Standard Fields” to “Selected Order Item Standard Fields” (you will later map these to SFDC opportunity fields). If you’re using any custom fields in your rule logic, also move custom fields the same way under Step 2. Don’t forget to click “Save” after you’re done.

Estimator Fields

Now that you know which fields you would like to map it is time to connect to SDFC and pull in your opportunity fields to start linking Incent order fields with SFDC opportunity fields (mapping). To do so, navigate to Setup -> Customize -> Estimator Integration and click “Connect”.


After you click “Connect” you will be prompted to enter your SFDC username/password and login, after which two things may occur. You will either connect successfully (congratulations) or you will get an error message. If you get an error message don’t panic, this simply means you need to white list Xactly by adding their IP range to your SFDC Network Security settings. To do so, go to your SFDC setup menu and navigate to Administration Setup -> Network Security and click “New” to add the range (you will need to log a ticket with Xactly support to ask them what is the trusted IP range to add to SFDC for Estimator Integration). If you’re not a SFDC administrator you will need to provide the range to your administrator and ask them to add it to your SFDC Network Security settings for you.

If you’re still getting an error, enter your SFDC token after entering the password (pwtoken) and then click connect. If you dont know how to find your SFDC token, check with your SFDC admin.

Now that you’re successfully connected, you will see a list of all of your SFDC opportunity fields. If you’re using Chrome or FireFox you may notice that you are missing roughly half of your fields under “Available Object Fields” in which case clear your browser cache (keep clearing until full list shows up) and log a ticket with support.

Once you have your list it is time to start mapping your objects. Click and drag from “Available Object Fields” to “Xactly Order Fields”. Keep in mind that values from SFDC object will need to trigger an Incent rule. You can also create a brand new set of rules in Xactly which will trigger by the from SFDC field values and used only for the purpose of the Estimator. For example, you can map SFDC field “Opportunity Type” to Incent order field “Order Type”, “Amount” to “Amount” and “Close Date” to “Incentive Date”. If you created a new estimator rule (or have an existing rule) which is triggered from order type “New Business”, and you have a “New Business” SFDC Opportunity type, any “New Business” type opportunity will now trigger the rule mentioned earlier in Incent and run through a calculation to provide a commission estimate.

After your mapping is complete, the last step is to add the “Estimate Incentives” button to your SFDC opportunity layout page. You might need help again from your SFDC administrator or if you have proper access you can add it yourself by navigating to Setup -> Customize -> Opportunities -> Page Layouts -> Select a layout -> Click “Edit” -> Select “Buttons” in the box at the top -> Find “Estimate Incentives” button -> Click and drag the button to where you want it displayed.

It is now time to test and make sure estimator is working correctly! Keep in mind that in order to test properly you would need to login as an example rep, or create a test user for yourself which is linked to a plan in Incent.

Xactly Estimator Troubleshooting Tips: There are only a couple of reasons why the estimator is not working properly. Either your test user is not assigned to a plan in Xactly or your mapped fields are not hitting the correct (or any) rule in Xactly. When you look at your test opportunity in SFDC make sure that values which you have mapped to Incent order objects will trigger the rule you want. Pull up the rule and look rule conditions, then compare to your SFDC opportunity, are rule conditions satisfied?

Hopefully this guide and best practices were enough to get you started with the Estimator and it is now working properly. If you’re still experiencing problems you can log a ticket with Xactly support to get some help. If you do log a ticket, I would suggest giving them as much information as possible to get you a solution quicker. Give them the name of the rule which you are expecting to trigger from your test estimation, your test user name, and if possible a screenshot of the opportunity so they can look at your mapping and let you know what needs to change.