Sales Compensation Plans Must Align with the Results the Company Wants to Achieve

Journey Sales VP of Sales, Ann Davis, recently weighed in on Peak Sales Recruiting’s blog post that gathered 28 answers to the question, “What I wish I knew before becoming a sales manager.” Ann’s specific bit of wisdom focused around fully understanding that compensations plans must align with the results a company seeks. Here’s an excerpt along with a couple of our personal favorites…

 Anyone with a career in sales has heard the stereotypes that salespeople are coin operated and competitive. Understanding that there is definitely truth to these, I have always paid close attention to how sales people are being paid because it is directly tied to what they will actually do. Therefore, sales comp plans MUST be aligned to the results the company wants to achieve. As an old boss and mentor of mine once told me, they must be simple enough to pass the spouse test. So any spouse that looked at it would instantly understand how their spouse is being paid. In regards to competition, mostly all sales reps use it appropriately as a little bit of healthy competition, which never hurt anyone and can be just added driver to achieve greater results.

Sales keynote speaker and bestselling author of More Sales Less Time and SNAP Selling, Jill Konrath talked about the importance of teaching your team to think differently:

I wish I knew that not everyone thought as much about how to be successful as I did. After meetings/conversations with prospective buyers, very few sales reps took time to self assess. To help them develop, I needed to teach them how to think differently. I constantly asked: What do you think went well? Why did it work? How can you use it again? Where did you get stuck or run into trouble? What was your role in creating this situation? How could you do things differently next time? What else could you try? Doing this creates an upward spiral. Everyone gets better, driving increased revenue.

Mark Hunter, Principal of The Sales Hunter and author of High Profit Prospecting and High Profit Selling wishes he knew way back when that sales is a long game:

As a sales leader, you likely want to jump in and make every sale happen. It is vital you have wise discernment, though. You must recognize you’re playing a long-game, and as such you should focus on the development of the people you’re leading, not just on chasing short-term customer opportunities. As tempting as it is to close the sale, the bigger benefit is in coaching the salesperson to know how to close the sale when you’re not around. The mark of a sales leader is not what occurs when they’re present, but rather the success their team has when the leader is away.

Want to read all the tips and insights? Head on over to the Peak Sales Recruiting blog.