EdgePetrol automates commissions with ElevateHQ; switches to 0% payout errors

"EdgePetrol, a real-time pricing intelligence software for fuel retailers, found itself in a fix after releasing commissions for the first quarter, having just scaled their revenue team. An excel formula error led to payouts that were less than their stipulated commissions. To their credit, the team went on with their jobs but for Mark Truman, Chief Revenue Officer, the incident marked the beginning of EdgePetrol’s move to automated commissions. They switched from excel sheets to ElevateHQ right after the incident and are now reporting 100% commission accuracy."

EdgePetrol, PMF and Scale

EdgePetrol is a real-time pricing intelligence software that helps retailers optimize fuel prices. By staying on top of volumes, margins and profits at the click of a button, retailers get a live view of how their stations are performing.

Months into launch, EdgePetrol found itself in an enviable PMF dynamic - they snared 10% of market share in England and Ireland (EdgePetrol was founded in London) within a year of setting up their GTM machinery.

Sensing that they were onto something big, EdgePetrol decided to scale their geographical footprint. They entered the USA.

“We realized that the two markets (England and Ireland) were not big enough for EdgePetrol’s potential. USA was ripe for disruption and we decided to move”

Foray Into USA and Scaling the Revenue Team

For the first 18 months at EdgePetrol, Mark was lone wolfing Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success for EdgePetrol. On one of his workation trips to the USA, he found himself selling EdgePetrol to a Vermont retailer.

“We realized that the two markets (England and Ireland) were not big enough for EdgePetrol’s potential. USA was ripe for disruption and we decided to move”

The New Jersey meeting was an inflection point for EdgePetrol and they decided to enter the USA.

Dan Richardson was the first leadership hiring in this pursuit. Along with Dan, 5 sales reps (3 AEs + 2 SDRs) and 7 customer success reps were also recruited.

EdgePetrol plants a flag in the USA

“EdgePetrol has a dense onboarding playbook. Robust implementation processes are key to Mutual Action Plans. Rolling Customer Success into the larger revenue team from Day 1 was key to EdgePetrol’s revenue strategy. This means that both Sales as well as CS are eligible for commissions”

Scaling for Success: EdgePetrol's Foray into the USA

The Commission Implosion

Like most early stage revenue teams, EdgePetrol was managing its commissions over excel spreadsheets.

The process was tedious. Sales and CS folks would punch their deals inside the spreadsheet and complex formulas would determine their commission payout.

A Cautionary Tale for Revenue Teams

“Here’s the thing, sales folks are not great admins usually. They hate it, or at least I did. We hate updating CRMs or any admin task for that matter. This resistance to administration is risking thousands of $ because you are just not inclined to update your deals in the commission spreadsheet with care.”

The first quarter’s payout was when it all unravelled. A mistake in the formula meant that EdgePetrol payouts were not consistent with what the reps were expecting.

Not just that, other details like accurate deal info, the right values to the right deals and currency differences between Pound Sterling and USD were not factored in (remember, Edgepetrol was founded in the UK).

“We do commissions quarterly and all I can describe it is that it is my least favourite meeting of the quarter - and I attend a lot of meetings”

What added to the nightmare was that the sheet wasn’t integrated with Hubspot, their CRM. There was no way to easily map the deals reps punched in the sheet vs info in the CRM.

“We had a sheet, and reps would add deals to the sheet as and when they’d do them… and then i was doing checks each month…make sure deals were correct…first I would and then Dan would…it was a three prong approving method…first rep would approve ,then I would approve it, then Dan would approve it…data sources were not connected and it was all manual entry…delayed data…formula manipulation, a hot mess”
“The first quarter we did it, the formula was wrong. It was wrong from our side. The reps weren’t happy.”

To their credit, the revenue team at EdgePetrol took the payout in their stride. They cracked a few jokes about it here and there but largely, they were patient with the firm as they started evaluating if automating their commissions would save them from future misses.

Enter ElevateHQ

In a coincidental show of business empathy, ElevateHQ reached out to Mark with an email pitch on the payout day, when it all unravelled.

“An email from Elevate popped up in my inbox on the same evening when we realized our payouts were messy”

Mark was always inclined to recruit an early stage firm for automating commissions. EdgePetrol has a complex commission plan and he rightly expected white-glove implementation support.

“We needed collaboration, ours is a complex plan, and we knew we’d need a team who would like to grow with us”

“For a small company to feel like an important customer is hard. We knew that ElevateHQ’s team was authentic. We knew that you had customers who were paying ElevateHQ more than what we were. Yet I chose y’all because you were better at making us feel important”

ElevateHQ got EdgePetrol up and running inside 14 days. From designing their complex commission rules to setting up an automated approval workflow, ElevateHQ mapped the commission process end to end inside the software.

These processes were deployed both for Sales as well as Customer Support. ElevateHQ’s Rule Engine automated the complexities layered in both these plans. Today, both teams have access to real-time numbers at the click of a button. Currency differences between GBP and USD are also factored into these calculations .

The multi-pronged approval mechanism over emails is now replaced by in-app ticketing which saves reps from tedious back and forth. They reclaim this time to qualify, pitch and close, their primary job.

Reps could now see how much they would make as commissions overall as well as at the deal level. They could slice and dice commission values and break down the last dollar to the deals associated with them.

ElevateHQ - Untangling Commission Spreadsheet Spaghetti

Note: Note: All images used are for illustrative purposes only and do not represent actual commissions or sales teams.

“Compensation is incredibly important to revenue teams. We don’t want them to worry about whether it is going to be correct or not. We want them happy and focused on their work, wanting to put in that extra effort that might be required to hit quota. The last thing we want is them pissed off that we’ve made yet another payment blunder.

Reps are constantly refreshing their ElevateHQ screens

Mark feels that ElevateHQ serves a larger purpose for reps than just commissions - “prestige, purpose and planning”

“Commission is there to motivate and drive behavior.. The best reps plan their efforts around their commissions and targets. They then plan their lives around their commission checks. Having a high quality structure and a high quality system like ElevateHQ is a huge part of having high quality reps.”

Prestige and purpose are driven by ElevateHQ leaderboards. A continuously refreshing leaderboard keeps reps driven. The spirit of sales competition remains ignited because reps are refreshing their screens if they are close to hitting their commission goals.

ElevateHQ Leaderboards: two birds, one stone.

Mark tells us that there is another benefit that he realized after he recruited ElevateHQ - the sales culture and employer brand shine through.

“When I onboard people we tell them we use Elevate…you start with trust. They feel things are in place and processes are organized”

“They onboard, connect their Hubspot to Elevate and bang! The commission structure is already in there”