Setting effective sales incentives and pay structures that motivate your sales reps can be the difference between hitting or missing your targets. This is something I wish I knew when I first started building our sales team. After a few years of experience, these are our hard earned tips and incentives for ensuring the best performance from your sales force.
- Set a goal — and a stretch goal. Set a goal and a stretch goal. Even after your team hits the goal, the stretch goal will keep the momentum going. Our stretch goal is 20% above our goal. Once you reach yours, celebrate with the entire team.
- Implement commission tiers. We use accelerated commission tiers: the higher the sales, the higher the commission percentage. This encourages sales reps to always strive to bring in one more customer towards the end of the quota period and not to save the deal for the next quota period.
- Reward your team. Set aside a percentage of new revenue each quarter towards a reward that the entire team gets to vote on, whether it be new company swag, a restaurant outing, or new furniture. Incentivize your whole organization to root for and support your sales team.
- Publicly display the numbers. In sales, it’s typically out of sight, out of mind. To keep sales numbers at top-of-mind, place sales dashboards on TV monitors around the office. Featuring each sales rep’s progress invites your non-sales teammates to congratulate reps who are doing well or share words of encouragement to those who are falling behind.
- Throw in bonuses. Build in bonuses attached to specific results. For example, we prefer customers to pay for a year upfront, so we give our sales people a cash bonus for every annual upfront deal they bring in. We also give quarterly bonuses to reward sales reps who have a consecutively exceptional performance record.
Nanxi Liu is the Co-Founder and CEO of Enplug, a technology company that builds the leading open software to manage and distribute content on digital displays in offices, restaurants, retail stores, and more.
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