Top Tips for Setting Up Your 2017 Sales Compensation Plan

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For sales teams everywhere, money can be a complicated motivator. As most senior executives and managers know, sales compensation plans can be a tricky art to master. Paying a sales team too little won’t allow for the retention – or even the recruitment – of business transforming sales talent. In fact, the wrong plan will inevitably halt your company’s revenue growth.

On the flip-side, however, paying your sales people too much money can lead to a situation where the team becomes complacent, and things become more and more difficult to scale as the organization grows. The answer lies in finding an equilibrium; the perfect blend of satisfaction, where your employees feel happy and motivated to consistently produce results that promote smart revenue growth.

While there is no set secret to helping your company find that middle ground, there are a number of practices and methods to follow that can assist you with designing sales compensation plans the incentivize top performers and enhance sales from all areas as you move into 2017.

The first step is in proper delegation of sales compensation plans and the utilization of benchmarks and survey data to get a correct idea of sales processes. Your sales strategy should match your overall company strategy, so if your current analytics and motivations don’t match up to what you’re trying to achieve overall, it may be time to reevaluate your plan. This also goes two ways, as your sales reporting goals should also be communicated to sales reps, other senior managers and executives and administration staff. This ensures accountability and opens up a channel of dialog in issues reporting. A more substantial emphasis on the development of formal, repeatable and properly detailed processes will streamline your sales planning in the coming year.

In terms of compensation, the more you can leverage pegged to results, the better. Commission or bonus dictated plans allow for growth and development within your organization. If your compensation plan is linked to your company’s ability to obtain defined targets and objectives, then your team will be increasingly more motivated to deliver on revenue-driven actions to return those results. This creates an environment of urgency and rewards high performers within it.

Rewarding on lead generation, new opportunities brought into the business and overall sales process management is also an option. A bonus or commission rewards performance in comparison to certain targets, but compensating for the former rewards productivity, capability and potential outcomes.

Implementing these methods into a clearly communicated, usable metrics-based strategy and contract with your sales team will do wonders to enhance your overall growth.

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