Why Many Companies are Re-evaluating Their Sales Comp Tactics

September 19, 2017
| ByMike Ryan

The sales process, along with the supporting personnel that aid it, has changed dramatically in recent years. Thanks to an abundance of information delivered through ubiquitous web-based technologies, the salesperson’s principle function has evolved from a purveyor of information to a value-added provider and resource coordinator.

Consider these three ways that approaching and servicing customers has changed:

1/ Salespeople are told to identify and penetrate the client’s decision-making process early, yet call centers and response bots may be the first interaction the prospect has with the company. It’s not unusual for companies to generate more than half of all their leads this way.

2/ Salespeople are coached to know their prospect’s business well enough to position the solutions they sell in an effective and integrated manner. But as discussions move forward within sales cycles, subject matter experts (SMEs) are often called in to coordinate that part of the process. In fact, SMEs who understand and can guide a client’s evaluation process are a significant source of incremental growth within top performing companies.

3/ And, of course, there is this age-old reality. Happy buyers often become highly loyal customers. That’s not new. What has changed is that many salespeople are now expected to manage their buyer’s satisfaction even after they have become an active client.

The internal fluidity of the identifying, cultivating and serving both prospects and customers across the value chain has got many organizations looking at their current compensation plans and debating questions such as: is it just the salesperson who should be rewarded for the revenue they bring in or should others get some credit as well? They wonder if they should also target and motivate key sales support personal within their plans.

To answer (and address) those questions, many businesses are re-evaluating their sales compensation tactics. They’re rethinking traditional ideas and are instead developing programs that motivate and reward all of the people who contribute to revenue creation, development and maintenance. In fact, most progressive organizations have already started to include sales support personnel and other specialists within their sales compensation umbrellas.

For most, that’s easier said than done. Anyone who’s been involved in sales compensation planning knows it can be a complex undertaking. Plans can take time to design and implement even without the burdens of adding new audiences, variables or measures to the equation.

That’s exactly why many companies are re-thinking the utility of cash comp in favor of non-cash. They are finding that non-cash components give them the speed and flexibility they need to target and reward the right revenue generating and supporting resources at the right time.

Cash initiatives can take months to develop, approve and install. Non-cash reward programs, on the other hand, can be designed and rolled out quickly. They are the perfect mechanism for companies who want the flexibility to focus key resources on the right behaviors and outcomes.

To effectively involve and inspire all of the personnel involved in the sales support process, you will need an incentive technology that’s truly configurable. Why? You might want to align certain support teams by market, territory or customer groupings. You may want the ability to separate specific service groups based on past performance. Maybe you will want to add qualifiers or multipliers based on a variety of market-driven variables.

Let’s face it. The litany of possible scenarios is endless. The right solution must give you the configurability you need to motivate and reward your sales teams (and the people who support them) effectively. We know this because Maestro, Madison’s solution for sales incentives does just that.



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