Sales Disruptors: Why Continuous Reinvention Is Paramount to Sales Performance


Chris Cabrera, the Founder and CEO of Xactly, joins Erik W. Charles, VP, Solutions Evangelist, for a conversation about how he built the company and what businesses can do to stay on the cutting edge even in the COVID-19 pandemic.


Chris Cabrera is a disruptor of the status quo, constantly asking "why not?" and pushing beyond established and traditional norms—he was the first to bring ICM to the cloud, he questioned why women aren't paid equally for doing the same work as men, and has built a vibrant culture at his company. Xactly has been recognized as a top workplace nearly twenty times. After starting Xactly 15 years ago, he’s seen the organization go through IPO to private equity, and continued to lead when so many executives take a ceremonial position on the board.

Even those challenges have paled in comparison to what he and other leaders are fighting with the current global pandemic. Yet, it’s just another moment during which Cabrera’s philosophy of continual reinvention has paid off.

“Now, it’s a whole different world. All these people are working remotely. You can’t see the whites of their eyes,” Cabrera said. “You don’t really know what they’re doing. So, we feel it’s even more important now to create incentives that help you explain to the folks what your expectations are but also help them to do more.”

Xactly helped do that with an integration with their partner Slack, giving workers a way to see their incentives on the same screen they’re using to communicate with leaders or catch up with co-workers.

Despite many companies seeking those solutions in the pandemic, Cabrera said too few have realized they need to keep reinventing themselves and utilize resources like data and analysis tools rather than staying static.

“We have a tremendous road ahead of us, and I think it’s largely because the vast majority of companies have still not woken up to being able to use data in the way that we’re talking about,” he said. “So, I still think we have a lot of educating to do, and you have a lot of very senior, very smart people in these very big companies that are thinking like it’s 1990 and they are really, really missing the boat. The future is to help them have those lightbulbs go on.”

Xactly Corporation @ 2021


  • Sales Performance Management starts from planning, which feeds into creating the right territories and goes into compensation. 

  • Even with the pandemic, companies should invest in sales solutions software to make sure remote workers are incentivized. 

  • Using data rather than relying on the 'big dog' in the room unlocks they key to comp plans.

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Chris Cabrera
Founder & CEO, 

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