Blackbaud is settling in after a restructuring of the sales force in 2019. During its recent webcast for earnings for the year ended December 31, the company said it expects to regain productivity per person lost during the change.

CEO Mike Gianoni said until last year Blackbaud had product specialists who shared compensation with direct sales representatives. “Now they are all direct sellers,” he noted and described the change this way: “We moved a few hundred people around and gave them first-dollar assignments.”  On the surface, the nonprofit software company ended the year with 560 reps, an 8 percent increase over 2018. In practice, the reassignments meant that increase is substantially more. For 2019, Blackbaud reported net income of $1.2 million, down 73.4 percent from $44.8 million in 2018. Revenue of slightly more than $900 million for the most recently year, up 6.1 percent from $848.6 million the prior year. The company experienced a decline in gross margin to 53.5 percent from 55 percent while operating expenses rose by 11.7 percent with sales, marketing and customer success expenses up 16.2 percent. Also cutting into the bottom line was increase in interest expense which rose to $20.6 million for 2019, rising 29.7 percent from slightly less than $16 million in 2018.

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