Justin Ritchie

Sr. Director, Sales Ops & Strategy , Cox Automotive

Supernova Award Category: 

Digital Marketing and Sales Effectiveness

The Organization: 

Cox Automotive, Inc. provides vehicle remarketing, digital marketing, and software solutions. The Company operates an automotive marketplace for car dealers, manufacturers, and individuals. The company has over 34,000 teammates, representing 20+ brands globally. 

The Problem: 

As the primary revenue engine for companies, sales organizations today need data to be more knowledgeable about their customers and teams. They also need the technology to automate core processes, like territory planning and commissions to ensure efficient growth and error-free payouts.

Cox Automotive employs more than 30,000 people in more than 100 countries and powering $46 billion in transactions annually. With a U.S. sales force of more than 1,000 employees and nearly 450 people on variable compensation plans, the company did not have the right processes in place to ensure the company was growing efficiently and sustainably. At a high level, Cox Automotive was suffering from:

  • A lack of integration between database sources, leading to confusion about data discrepancies, time-consuming manual data uploads, and reconciliation efforts;
  • The inability to glean analytics due to poor rules-based configurations that prevented transparency; and
  • Underutilized analytics reporting, commission estimation capability, and other functionalities were guesswork. Cox Automotive was not using its data insights strategically.
The Solution: 

Cox turned to an external sales performance management platform to provide them with the data and insights they needed to optimize their sales teams and achieve their future goals. 

Zeroing in on the desired future state over the course of the entire process—from conception to implementation—was key. Working closely with OpenSymmetry consultants and Xactly, Cox was able to automate and streamline the flow of data across the entire sales performance management (SPM) suite with an open, standards-based data integration platform. 

Through their platform, they were able to ensure error-free compensation payments, increase operational efficiencies, and drive productivity with on-demand visibility into commission data. Data-informed strategic territory sales alignment for reps and increased visibility. The ability to integrate database sources ensured consistent accountability and powered greater accuracy across the entire organization.

The Results: 

As a result, Cox was able to unlock an abundance of new economic possibilities that were previously hidden or unreachable.

  • Data Integration: Successful data integration led to improved visibility, faster commission processing time, 50+ hours saved per pay period on administration time, and easily self-auditable plan progress.
  • Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) Analytics: Analytics dashboards and business intelligence capabilities were incorporated into the monthly ICM analysis. It’s been invaluable to the organization, offering metrics that optimize performance management and drive plan design strategies. It’s saved Cox Automotive more than 70 hours of administration time per pay period, eliminating delayed and manual reporting creation.
  • Optimization: The company was able to eliminate more than 25 hours per pay period of administrative work related to compiling, tracking, and auditing sales documents. Up-to-date sales documentation coupled with structured workflow approval processes increased transparency and communication. It also put an end to manual document tracking and dispute resolutions.
  • Cox was able to free up more than 170 hours of administrative time per pay period, resulting in $2.1 million in total savings. 
  • Territory alignment went from 6 weeks to 6 days with Xactly Connect.
  • Supported growth from 3.5m transactions to more than 5m transactions between 2014 and 2019
  • The technology that Cox implemented is powering pinpoint accuracy across the organization. On the sales forecasting side, the company’s attainment was 99 percent last year where most companies that do not use SPM solutions average about 53 percent, according to CSO Insights.
  • By combining AI and SPM, Cox was able to automate employee development and align training with specific needs. 
  • The company is using that time to build out new strategic initiatives that open up new revenue streams. What’s more, the improved user experience has led to higher sales rep engagement.
The Technology: 
  • Xactly Connect 
  • Xactly Incent
Disruptive Factor: 

Cox Automotive’s sales organization has delivered an average of 6% year-over-year growth in volume from 2014 to 2019. The company has been able to build world-class sales and performance management capabilities in order to create an unstoppable sales force which sets them apart from competitors in the space.   

Shining Moment: 

Team's ability to grab onto the vision and bringing it to life. Through the process, they were able to create career paths for individuals that would have typically moved on and their leaders in their field. They've built trust through data accuracy.  And, they were able to build something that has inspired employees to want to be better, resulting in a solid support infrastructure for the creation of an unstoppable sales force. 

About Your Organization

Cox Automotive Inc. makes buying, selling, owning and using cars easier for everyone. The global company’s 34,000-plus team members and family of brands are passionate about helping millions of car shoppers and auto dealer clients thrive. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., a privately-owned, Atlanta-based company with revenues exceeding $20 billion.