Sales incentives are broken — here’s how we plan to fix them

Alexander Green
December 31, 2020
$800 billion a year is spent on sales compensation in the US alone — yet it’s still being managed by spreadsheets or clunky legacy software.

My experience

Running a SaaS startup in London for 6 years, I experienced the pain of managing incentives, their inability to drive consistent sales behaviour and the dreaded administration when it came to payroll. As a CEO, CRO or Head of Sales, one of the most powerful tools at our disposal to accelerate growth is a compensation plan that motivates people and also has the flexibility to evolve with business objectives.

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Mark Roberge, CRO for Hubsot

Why we built motiveOS

Building motiveOS is the result of nearly 100 conversations with business owners and sales leaders from around the world about what their sales compensation plans look like currently, what frustrates them most, and what a dream compensation plan could help them achieve. Three themes quickly became clear to us during these discussions:

Sales execs want a reliable and visible view of their compensation, and they want to be paid faster

Incredibly, the majority of sales execs didn’t have an accurate view on their commission payments, or would have to manage their own spreadsheets from a fear of payroll errors. Many also said their compensation plans were too complex to follow or they wouldn’t know the commission amount until the payslip landed in their inbox, often a full quarter after closing a deal. We also learned slower payments led to a decay in incentive efficacy.

Finance teams and managers say that administering commissions takes too long

Finance and HR teams complained about the time taken to check deal hygiene with contracts signed, discounts approved, PO’s / invoices raised, invoices paid, clawbacks applied. Add on top of this the approval process between departments or staff before commission payments could be released for payroll.

Managers don’t have enough data to create better commission plans

Whilst a lot of data was kept in spreadsheets, it was difficult to have a single source of truth between the different departments. Pain was most acute when reviewing the performance of compensation plans, and often delayed until end of year, or at best per quarter. Implementing the wrong plan can set the objectives back months or worse, become mortal for the business.

What is motiveOS

motiveOS is a realtime commission app that provides accuracy and visibility to the sales, finance and management teams, whilst automating the entire process for the business. Our core focus is to significantly improve the efficacy of sales compensation around 3 core principles:

Visibility and accountability

  • Real time data lifted from your CRMs, Google Sheets and Accounting Software to offer a single source of truth.
  • Full audit history of deals closed, when commission payments will be released, tracking past, current, and future performance offering transparency to your sales execs. and the management team.

Contextual plans that drive performance

  • Contextual approach to developing compensation plans, tailored to the objectives and the stage of growth of the business.
  • More effective plans, specific to individual roles, with the ability to split incentives across contributing team members and departments.
  • Sales execs. having an easy way to see past, current and future commission performance, and “if that than this” scenario modelling, helping them to exceed their targets.

Automating administration

  • Tying into accounting platforms and CRMs means sales execs have the confidence to know their payslips are accurate and promote trust.
  • Real time updates to your accounting software, automating changes to your P&L for the finance teams, and speeding up the payroll process for the HR team.
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Who we are

Linton Ball: CTO for motiveOS, Undergraduate studies in Behavioural Psychology, senior developer at some of Sydney’s leading tech companies.

Alexander Green: CEO for motiveOS, previous experience as CEO/ Co-founder for a SaaS startup in London for 6 years. Previously a construction manager, refurbishing historical buildings in West London.

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Have a sales team? Get in touch to join our early customer programme at

CEO at motiveOS, a realtime commission app that provides accuracy and visibility to the sales, finance and management teams, whilst automating the entire process for our customers. Our vision is to help growing businesses build world-class revenue teams. Previously the Co-Founder and CEO for HANDS HQ, a profitable prop. tech. startup in London. I studied Building and Construction Project Management and led the refurbishment teams of many global head offices in London.