Connection Streamlines SPIF Program Management with Optymyze, Leading to Increased Sales Performance


Connection is a value added reseller (VAR) of computer hardware and software, with a sales team that includes both direct account managers and sales engineers. They have sales teams devoted to the commercial segments as well as the federal, state, and local government segments.

Connection has been live and operational on Optymyze, with assistance from Optymyze’s professional services team, for approximately one year. Optymyze is responsible for paying around 600 sales team members and managing a complex set of (Sales Performance Incentive Fund) SPIF programs.

Connection’s product management organization is responsible for promoting numerous product lines–servers, routers, printers–working directly with vendors to create SPIF programs to boost sales. Connection’s finance team ensures SPIFs are managed properly and salespeople are paid correctly.


The SPIF programs are broad and complex with up to 250 different programs running at any given time. A small finance team of three people managed the entire process manually. Finance collected information about SPIF programs from product managers in order to calculate payouts for sales reps. Product managers entered SPIF program details into a Microsoft Word® template, sometimes printing the document and completing it by hand.

As a result, finance spent many hours reading and deciphering paper forms, going back and forth with product managers and vendors for clarification. There was no feasible way to provide more than very basic reports so no one could determine which programs were successful.

In addition, the process of calculating the incentive compensation lacked clarity and transparency. Salespeople had no visibility to their SPIF status during the program. Paychecks only reflected a dollar amount, not the payee’s performance in the particular SPIF program.

In short, the SPIFs were not effective in achieving the desired sales behavior and the tools Connection used were simply not equipped to offer any insight or drive business strategy:

  • No way to aggregate results of approximately 250 unique SPIF programs running at any given time.
  • No centralized access to data and metrics of active programs in order to analyze their effectiveness.
  • No visibility for sales into contest rankings or individual payout, leading to uncertainty and lower participation.
  • All data managed via spreadsheets and paper forms, making it almost impossible for sales operations to keep up with the administrative workload.


Optymyze created a SPIF application for Connection, leveraging the Optymyze Cloud Apps. The application automates a large set of complex programs and is integrated into Connection’s sales compensation management solution. Product managers enter SPIF program details into a form with embedded business logic in order to eliminate inaccuracies and ensure standard process is followed. The application also includes a workflow to require the right program approvals.

This SPIF application also gives salespeople on-demand access to all relevant information:

  • Their rank in a team or individual contest
  • Eligibility for SPIF programs
  • Exact compensation amount

Throughout the engagement, Connection helped define SPIF application requirements, collaborating closely with the Optymyze development team to ensure the end result would meet their needs.


The SPIF application is a complete, standardized business application that has improved efficiency, quality, and effectiveness for Connection on many levels. Finance, product management, and sales all benefit:

  • Easier for product managers to work with vendors to create effective, easy-to-understand SPIF programs.
  • Finance can manage SPIF programs in less time and with fewer errors.
  • Increased sales participation and motivation due to visibility of SPIF status and anticipated payout, with a greater level of detail.
  • Improved effectiveness of SPIF programs in driving the desired sales behaviors.

Roadmap to Continued Success

Connection’s finance organization wants to continually improve the quality of the service they provide to product management and sales, and they view Optymyze as key in achieving that goal.

As the SPIF application matures, Connection will allow vendors to enter SPIFs directly into the system, further improving the efficiency of managing the program.


  • Small team processed 250 different SPIF programs manually.
  • Product managers and vendors could not understand program effectiveness.
  • Salespeople had no visibility to their rankings or payout.



“Optymyze helped us standardize the right SPIF process and now saves our finance team countless hours of inefficient, manual procedures. We’ve also seen increased sales participation in the programs which is a winwin for everyone involved.”.



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