When it comes to ensuring that your digital marketing sales team is firing on all cylinders, chances are that you’ll be looking to take a proactive approach. All too often, we assume that teams working on commission based pay structures have all the incentive they need to reach targets. However, it’s essential to keep on top of many varying factors that are motivating your sales team.
Digital marketing sales teams can be negatively impacted by a wide range of issues within their wider working environment – from the wrong behaviours being unwittingly incentivized, to issues with high staff turnover impacting motivation and the establishment of company culture.
In this article, we’ll explore five dependable ways to boost your marketing sales agents’ motivation, increasing their engagement and boosting ongoing loyalty. It’s a win-win situation for all involved – with your agents’ earned commission, your clients’ success and your ongoing agency development all experiencing a healthy upward trajectory.
1. Consider Your Commission Structure
First and foremost – consider your commission structure. While this isn’t the only factor motivating your sales team, it’s undoubtedly one of the most important.
Take a critical look at your current marketing sales commission structure and the behaviours that it is encouraging. Are these in true alignment with the long term success of your agency, client stratification and your company values?
A well considered commission structure has the ability to apply much more nuance to the way your team is compensated. If you’re processing a lot of multistage deals, or deals with more than one agent involved over time, it’s important to ensure that everyone feels fairly compensated for their role – and that they’re being renumbered in a timely fashion. When it comes to the way that commission can be earnt, if you lack the ability to offer true clarity, you risk a demotivated team that’s lacking the incentive to work together collaboratively.
A key component of success here is access to software that can help to help manage complex, individual commission plans – or even multiple plans applying to one agent across the range of clients that they work with.
Commissionly features that you might find helpful when it comes to your marketing sales commission structure include variable time frames, commissions calculated based on customer (i.e. via matrices), multistage commissions and rates which cascade, reducing over time as a client is retained.
2. Give Better Transparency And Autonomy
If you’re looking for a high performing digital marketing sales team, you’ll want to ensure you’re giving your agents complete clarity – in terms of expectation and targets, but also in relation to where they sit within their earnings and expected compensation. Commission plans might (by necessity) be fairly complex – especially if they’re in a constant state of flux, or if old and new schemes are running concurrently.
As a result, it’s of paramount importance to make sure you’re running a system that gives them easy access to all of the information they might need access to regarding their commission rates, bonuses and ongoing retainers. After all – you’d rather they were out selling than scratching their heads and trying to work out how profitable their next deal might be.
Solutions like Commissioned can give better access to and understanding of the current state of play when it comes to expectations and remuneration. This does more than increase the motivation of your sales team – it also reduces the burden on your billing personnel, who won’t have to field as many requests and questions.
3. Seek Feedback (And Take Real Action Based Upon It!)
Listening and responding to actual feedback is an essential contributing factor to a sales team that stays motivated in the long term. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of making assumptions on the part of your marketing agents – believing you have an idea of exactly what’s making them tick. However, in the absence of encouraging real feedback, you can find yourself lurching from short-term incentive to short-term incentive, with no real strategy for ongoing engagement and improving performance.
Scheduling a regular cadence for feedback and addressing the way that staff satisfaction is measured can have a transformative effect. Remember, hitting sales targets is not necessarily equal to agents feeling fulfilled and happy within their roles. Learn more about their other motivators, such as career development or the chance to mentor.
4. Set Clear (And Fair) Targets
Take time to develop dependable methods of generating targets that will be challenging but achievable. This will vary so much from agency to agency – and again, a huge contributing factor to success will be the two way communication you encourage from your team via regular feedback.
Carefully consider the pros and cons of stretch goals and bonuses – again, are these encouraging the long term behaviours and attitudes that you’d like to see from your agents? Think about other ways you can define success – reward agents on client anniversaries, package upgrades, for bringing past clients back to the business etc.
Commissionly offers a real edge here, integrating with a wide range of CRMs, helping you connect the dots between client progression and your agents’ input. To learn a little more about what this might look like in practice, read our recent article, The Future Of RevOps For Digital Marketing Agencies. With Comissionly’s platform you’re also able to easily implement override commission, meaning all levels of your team can see clear compensation for their involvement.
5. Create A Culture Of Retention
Finally, don’t underestimate the impact of placing focus on retention rather than acquisition of new agents. What keeps your sales team loyal? On balance, are you spending more time recruiting to fill positions, or investing effort into the success and culture of your existing team?
A retained team benefits your business and clients in so many ways. You’re able to offer and rely upon more in-house knowledge Resources invested in training are preserved. Your whole team has a collective working knowledge of client needs, and the way that they’ve evolved over time.
This kind of culture serves your agents too – providing a more stable working environment, better leadership and role models, and more scope for internal training, to name just a few benefits. Remember, as your retained workforce evolves, you’ll need to be willing to evolve your marketing sales commission structure alongside them.
Ready For A More Motivated Digital Marketing Sales Team?
When it comes to laying the foundations for long term success, place focus beyond the top level metrics that typically define a successful marketing sales team, and instead assess the underlying factors that are driving the outcomes achieved by your digital marketing agency.
Commission structure and the management of your commission scheme lies at the heart of this – and having access to software that does the heavy lifting when it comes to delivering and automating commission plans that are (necessarily) complex, can be a real gamechanger.
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