Don’t be a “Bad Behavior” Enabler

December 2, 2014
| ByMike Ryan

We have all heard the term “enabler.” It’s someone who provides the means, environment or opportunity for another to continue bad habits.

The term is most commonly used with those who partake in social vices. But what about a business? Can it, too, be an enabler, or more specifically a “bad behavior” enabler? Can it also influence destructive conduct through its reward systems?

Consider how most salespeople are compensated. Most sales plans reward only on closed sales. Of course, in a revenue driven world that’s not unreasonable. But how does the promise of a big commission check (or the fear of losing one’s job) drive a rep’s behavior during the sales process?

Fewer than half of all salespeople are making their quotas these days. Funnel efficiency is worse. Prospect-to-close ratios are even lower. Does that mean that most salespeople are failing to behave a certain way? Does it mean they are doing something that’s rubbing prospects the wrong way? Read any article on why salespeople don’t get a deal and you’ll see that it usually comes down to two things: they fail to add value in proportion to the price they are asking for and/or they were viewed as self-serving (vs. client focused) during key interactions.

If your compensation plan has got reps focused only on the outcome, it might be causing them to behave in ways that ultimately ruin the sale. You may very well be a “bad behavior” enabler.

Tweaks to your sales plan can change those performance issues. By rewarding reps for the positive steps they take during the sales process you can reverse that pattern of bad behaviors in favor of trust-building behaviors that add value during each stage in the sales cycle.

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