…is the next one! Sounds obvious, but this flies in the face of an old sales adage: you’re only as good as your last call. Not so! While that previous call might have established or continued a positive customer relationship, this really offers no more than an ‘in’ for the next time.

Why that next call should be different

If a salesperson is making regular calls to established customers, then another saying should be front of mind. And it’s this: familiarity breeds contempt. However, this can be a bit harsh, so perhaps it should be adapted to: familiarity can breed indifference.

More of the same-old, same-old

There are many salespeople who are satisfied with a call to such a customer where the previous order is repeated. They measure this as a success – and it’s fair to say that, on occasions, this might be the best outcome that can be achieved. However, that isn’t the same as being in a comfort zone where this is simply the salesperson’s expectation.

Adding something new to a call

In the scenario just described, there can be a comfortable relationship between buyer and seller. Until, that is, another salesperson arrives on the scene behaving pro-actively. This individual is offering something new or different. This might be no more than paying proper attention to the client and their needs, rather than taking them for granted. 

So, what might the something new be? It could be a product or service, or an improvement on what’s currently on offer. However, it might be no more than taking time to ask questions of the customer, to find out how their business – and therefore their needs – might have changed or be changing.

Changing expectations and outcomes

By the simple showing of interest, rather than just taking them for granted, a salesperson can move their relationship up a notch with regular, or infrequent, customers. Even for a first-time call, the level of genuine interest shown can be a game-changer! Author Maya Angelou said it well when she suggested that “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

The Commissionly cloud-based sales commission software app can offer evidence to managers of where the same-old is being accepted or an improvement is being striven for. To find out more about keeping a close eye on performance and more…

The sales compensation plan is one of the most effective recruitment tools in the sales industry. When establishing your strategy, you need to ensure that it offers measurable benefits to your sales team, but you also need to ensure that it isn’t costing your business huge sums of cash every month. It needs to be fair, but appealing, and sustainable

Avoid full commission

There are some circumstances where this type of structure works but, for the most part, full commission is typically only beneficial to sales staff that can’t get other sales jobs or someone that doesn’t require a full time income. Do you really want to entrust your sales to these types of salespeople?

Reward positive behaviour

Some compensation packages fail because employees that miss targets, and don’t meet their employment requirements, continue to receive commission for their sales. This basically means that they are being rewarded for failing.

Offer incentivised rewards for behaviour that you want to see repeated. This also means targeting the goals that are important to your business – if you want to attract more long-term business, offer additional compensation for customers that sign up and stay with the business for the next 6 months.

Choose the right commission level

Commission rates can vary from 1% to 10%, as a typical rule. Use existing sales figures and bear in mind that a good rule is that your top salespeople should be earning as much from their commission as they do from their basic salary. Use this guideline to determine the amount of commission that you pay. 

Pay quickly

Paying commissions quickly will feel like an additional bonus to your salesforce. The perception of reward is greater when the reward comes hot on the heels of the success. The brain recognises that it is being rewarded for the recent action it performed, so people will be more inclined to make additional sales and reach additional goals, if you pay quickly and reliably.

Be transparent with your team

Whatever commission rate, payment terms, and other commission structure you decide on, ensure that you communicate the details with your team. You can also use your sales compensation software to provide individual reports to every one of your sales team. Regular reports enable your salespeople to identify their strong and weak points, so that they can make improvements, or continue to provide the best results for their efforts.

A sales compensation plan is the most crucial driver of success in any sales operation. Therefore, you have to develop it strategically to promote the right sales and evoke the desired practices from your sales representatives.

Though a perfect plan will look different for every organisation, you will need to follow these necessary steps and best practices to create a unique, strategic sales compensation plan:

Establish a business objective

A perfect sales compensation plan should be strategically aligned with the objectives of the organisation. Thus, you must first identify your business objectives before setting up a sales compensation management system. You will need to work with the executive stakeholders to identify the strategic goals of your business. This cooperation will help you create a compensation plan that emphasises measuring and incentivising performance to support the organisation’s objectives.

Identify the roles of sales

With the right business strategy in place, it’s time to perfect your sales force. Point out the sales roles that you will add to the commission plans. Each sales role in your organisation will require a specific compensation plan.

Current customer-focused sales roles include accounting managers, customer success managers, sales development representatives who focus on prospecting and account executives who focus on sales acquisition. Within these roles, you can develop senior and junior positions to fairly compensate your employees.

Define and align your sales objectives

There are many goals you might want to achieve. For example, when defining your sales objectives, you may need to expand the market share by a certain amount, introduce new products or increase revenue by a specific amount. You must, therefore, identify all your sales objectives so you can produce the right incentives to aid those initiatives and ensure your compensation plan succeeds.

Your sales goals should also be closely affiliated with your specified business goals. By tactically aligning your sales and business objectives, you can make sure your salesforce is impelling success at an organisational level.

Determine the pay structure

Aligning your sales and business goals can also help you drill down into the particular structure of the compensation plan. To do this, you have to determine the pay mix, target pay and upside potential for every sales role.