A Salesperson's Commissions Should Not be a Guessing Game

Picture of Graig Cleary
Regional Manager

Salespeople don't want to spend additional administrative time hunting to find answers. We don't want to guess what our earnings could potentially be, what accelerator I might be included in, where I'm tracking against my personal goals, quota goals, or team goals.

The truth is, just being a sales rep keeps us busy.

If you're not traveling, you are on the phone, emailing with customers and prospects all day to set up meetings, go through contracts, and trying to close deals. You should have something very convenient to see all the running data and statistics from the day to track progress. You can't manage what you can't measure. I am interested in measuring my success. I want to win. I want to improve.

Some companies have the perspective that providing some visibility is enough. It's not great. It's frustrating. Having a limited view means that you start to guess, or wonder, "What am I missing? Where is the missing piece?" Other companies might ask, "Okay, what kind of visibility do you want? We email an Excel spreadsheet once or twice a month or once or twice a quarter. What more do you want?"

Organizations need to ask themselves, "Are spreadsheets enough?" What does that sheet tell them? Does it have graphs? Is it user-friendly? Are there links they can click on to dive down onto details of a transaction? Does it give a clear picture of the business they are trying to conduct? Does the salesperson have the insight they need to determine how to impact their upcoming commission check?

The focus of Sales Performance Management starts with Incentive Compensation Management. Automate this process for the back-end but make things very clear and very transparent for the sales team or sales reps or agents, whatever they might be. Provide that comfort of knowing, if I do this, I can hit my quota. If I do this, these are going to be my earnings. If I do this, I'm going to be number one on my team.

Driving motivation but also driving confidence in your team to:

1) Make them sell more and

2) Want to stay with the company.

When a salesperson knows that they're actually getting paid accurately and earning the correct dollar amount for what they do, they put effort into the right areas.

When you give the sales team a sales tool, built for them in mind, they feel like they're getting something. They feel like their company's investing in their success.

There are tools that aid in the sales process but are not for sales. Backend office analytics, planning applications, CRM applications, they are sold to the organization with the promise of new sales technology. Those systems are really for decision-makers, the higher-ups in the organization, to give them a clear picture of the business. Which is great, but it's not going to help the salesperson directly with the view of the pipeline. The sales reps get some benefit from it. It's not the clear picture of their business like a Sales Performance Management system that can tie together the answers they want, provide a direct answer to questions.

Tags: spm solutions, motivating sales, incentive compensation plans, sales organizations

Picture of Graig Cleary
Regional Manager

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