Making changes to your business with the current state of the market might not be at the top of your list. But with many companies currently working below their usual capacity, it might just be the ideal opportunity to get ahead. Implementing sales commission software for your business is a great way to improve morale, and establish brand-new practices that benefit your employees for years to come. Want to know how?

Here are our top tips to get you started:

Clearly communicate your plans

When implementing anything new in your business, it’s essential to provide clarity. This is even more important in uncertain times, where communication is the key to success. If you’re planning on implementing or trialing sales commission software in your company, then let your staff know about these plans. If your company isn’t currently furloughing employees, keeping them in the loop is even more essential, and can provide an extra degree of stability to work with.

Begin a testing and learning phase

While you may be tentative about rolling out new software immediately, implementing new processes at a slower speed may actually benefit your business in the future. There’s never been a better time to test out new sales commission software, especially if your business is currently on a reduced level of work. Whether it’s offering training, giving employees time to get to grips with the platform or providing webinars, there’s plenty you can do before that final launch. By putting down that foundation, you’re paving the way to a smoother start.

Implement your final roll-out

Once you’ve prepped your employees and communicated plans, what’s the next step? Change is already on the horizon, so bringing a positive addition to your business practices will be welcomed. By setting a date for roll-out as soon as possible, you can ensure good practices are in place ready for that increase in business that’s likely to come. Lockdown has been a time to adapt – but it’s also a time to grow for many businesses, so don’t be afraid to forge ahead.

Are you ready to jump-start your sales team with a new commission structure? If you need any help with your sales compensation management, get in touch with the Commissionly team anytime.

So, it’s the beginning of the month and you need to find a way to hit that all-important commission target. 

Read on for four strategies to boost your client retention, ensuring that you have guaranteed business every month *before* you start dialling out on those “BD” calls: a client retention playbook, if you will.

1. Listen

A trait of many sales professionals is the ‘gift of the gab’. When you’re on the phone or in a meeting with a client, carefully listen to what they’re saying and take it on board. Enter into a conversation with them, rather than rushing into a sales pitch, and respond to what they need in a meaningful way. This will help you build strong, positive sales relationships that go the distance. You never know – it could even lead to referrals!

2. Do your research

Make sure that you have thoroughly researched the company you are selling into. Client retention is so much more likely when it is obvious that you have taken the time to find out what matters. As well as a company website, there’s social media, forums, business blogs, press releases, and many more ways to find out about the culture, style, and values of a company. This will give you a strong competitive edge when selling your product or services as you can tailor your USP.

3. Be genuine

People can tell when you’re being insincere, so don’t be. Developing friendly working relationships goes a long way to ensuring client retention because people buy from people they like.

4. Stay in touch

Make sure you respond to messages and feedback promptly and be available to answer queries or concerns. This doesn’t end after the deal closes, either. A key to client retention is making sure you stay in touch afterwards. A good way to do this without being pushy is to follow them on their social media channels, and congratulate them on their successes. That way, you will stay top-of-mind for next time!

Our sales commission dashboard is a one-stop-shop for tracking the data around your commission in real-time, and you can keep an eye on that all-important repeat business from clients you’ve retained using our top tips!

…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…

Creating sales goals isn’t always an easy process, and anyone who thinks it is is probably doing something wrong. Although businesses do their best, sometimes their targets just don’t match up with reality. To avoid these common mistakes here are some tips on creating sales goals:-

Not consulting stakeholders

A big mistake is giving the job of creating sales goals to one person and expecting them to complete it in isolation without consulting with other stakeholders. It’s important to find out how the needs of customers will impact your sales in the coming months, while also maintaining an awareness of the competition and the way their plans and marketing could impact you. Sales goal setting is a team effort, so make sure you have everyone pitch in.

Looking backwards instead of forwards

Although the sales history of your company can shed valuable insight into future trends, it’s important to be focussed on forecasting rather than reporting on what’s already happened. When it comes to sales goals, they need to be firmly grounded in where you’re going, not where you’ve already been.

Not giving employees an incentive to work harder

Your sales staff thrive on the commission you give them, the promise of earning more driving them to do a better job and earn more money for your business. However, by promising all your staff an increase in salary every year regardless of your financial situation, they may lose some of that enthusiasm. This could skew your sales targets, as your top performers may not perform quite as well. Make sure you reassess any commission or pay increases each time you set new goals and base them upon the current financial climate.

No room for flexibility

You might think that setting a goal and sticking to it is a good thing, but extreme rigidity actually limits you. You need to make sure your goals remain achievable and adapt as you realise which targets you’ll be able to meet and which you won’t. There’s no sense striving for a goal just because you set it at the beginning of the year if there are other areas that could benefit more from your time and energy.

Commissionly gives your salesforce real-time updates on performance, serving to motivate and challenge the whole team to achieve. We also provide insights and intelligence to your financial managers and leadership teams, helping you to forecast and strategically plan for the future. We work with SMBs and larger businesses around the world to help them to work smarter and achieve more.

To book your free demo or start a complimentary 14-day trial of our sales commission software simply contact our team anytime.

One of the primary reasons a business experiences failure or a loss of profit is because they set sales targets that didn’t come in to fruition.

The most common mistake companies and business owners are making is using data from a previous year to simply estimate future growth. This method of prediction not only fails to include any potential variables that may pop up throughout the year, but it can also put unnecessary pressure on staff to achieve large and unrealistic goals. 

There are various guides on how to set sales goals and quotas, but the best way to consider setting future targets is to consider the below:

1. Economic factors

A company needs to delve into their industry and do a little research before setting sales goals and quotas. They need to determine if they are operating in a volatile industry and what their competitors are up to that may impact their results.

2. Current business situation

Every business runs slightly differently, and it is important to consider things that impact revenue. It may be a seasonal operation, or it may be a company that relies solely on referral. Upcoming marketing and advertising plans also play a large part in setting future sales targets and quotas. 

3. The lack of a rolling forecast

Many annuals sales and quota predictions fall short because a company has not implemented a rolling forecast. Rolling forecasts provide detail into specific sales and quotas throughout the year and can be measured against the current business situation and economic factors in those times.

The implementation of a rolling forecast is great for staff morale as it shifts focus from a large sales goal to a more supportive and motivational model. 

When it comes to being realistic about future results, it is always best to call in an objective review or service such as Commissionly. As the first cloud-based sales commission and sales compensations app, Commissionly uses high-tech data analysis tools that can provide results and predictions in mere minutes. 

The easy to use sales commission management software is user-friendly and accessible to all stakeholders and business owners in real time, from wherever they may be located.

When it comes to defining sales performance goals, you might wonder what time period to set them at. Every company has different time-frames they like to set goals for, whether it is daily, weekly, monthly or yearly targets.

There are advantages for all of these time-frames, but what is the right way? Here are some thoughts on each of those time periods :

1. Daily targets

Daily targets are probably the most demanding on the morale of a sales team. People who make daily targets can feel motivated to come into work the next day to meet the next target. However, those that don’t make their target for two or three days can quickly become disengaged and this can really affect their performance.

Also, if your company has a high-ticket product/service or a long sales process, daily targets are hard to manage.

2. Weekly targets

These are great for places where prospects are calling into the company on a regular basis and there is a small sales process that can be completed in one phone call. Weekly targets are very motivating and at the end of the week, people can go home feeling satisfied that they’ve had a good week.

Weekly targets can also be great if you’ve got seasonal selling periods. You can define sales performance goals based on the expectations of the market and the call volumes that are coming in.

3. Monthly targets

Monthly targets are the norm for many businesses. It helps with commission calculations as all the sales earned in the month can be calculated in one goal. Monthly targets are less work to manage as you don’t need to recalculate targets every week.

Monthly targets are the perfect solution if you’re looking at a long or complicated sales process. It is also a great solution if you’re working with high-ticket products like cars.

4. Annual targets

Annual targets aren’t used a lot in sales, though some businesses with very-high value products might use it where they are expected to sell only a handful of products a year. 

Annual targets can struggle to motivate sales staff in the long term and so should be used only if monthly targets are going to be too hard to achieve. In addition, it might be best to split annual targets into quarterly targets.

What’s the first thought when it comes to establishing sales targets? Your first instinct is probably to say ‘I want to increase sales’. Well, who doesn’t?

But having such a vague goal is more likely to achieve the opposite. Without a clear, well-defined target, there is no way to make measured progress. And without assessing your progress, you can’t tell if your strategy is working.

This can cause your sales team to lose momentum and engagement, resulting in an eventual decline in sales. It’s essential to set clear sales performance goals that give your team tangible targets to shoot for.

Following the SMART system

The SMART system is a simple way to summarise every element of your performance goals. By spelling it out this way, your sales team will find it much easier to get the results you need. Here is what SMART means:

S – Specific

A goal can only be achieved if it is precisely nailed down. A goal to ‘increase sales’ doesn’t even say by how much. You need to set a clear number to give your team something specific to shoot for – for example, ‘we need to increase sales by 20%’.

M – Measurable

Making your targets measurable means having a quantifiable outcome. What level of revenue do you aim to bring in each month and year? Making this measurable allows you to track your progress and assess whether you are on target.

A – Attainable

A goal is attainable when you possess the capacity to achieve it. You’ll need to consider factors like skills, staff numbers and motivation. Plan how all these factors will impact your potential, and optimise them for best results.

R – Realistic

This step focuses on the practical ability of an organisation to achieve a goal. Setting unrealistic targets doesn’t motivate people; in fact, it can be demoralising. Make sure your targets are achievable, or your staff will wonder why they should even bother at all.

T – Timely

You can’t have open-ended goals, or you’ll never know when they have been achieved. Designate a specific timeframe for every goal, accommodating intervals to check progress and redefine targets along the way.

An example of a SMART goal could be: ‘In 12 months, we will have increased our sales volume by 30%, reaching a 15% increase over the next 6 months.’ You get tangible results by focusing on achievable things, so create sales goals that fit the bill.

When you’re running a busy sales team, it can be challenging and time-consuming to create sales goals for everyone.

Some sales managers will, therefore, urge staff to set sales targets for themselves to save time. Can this be an effective system for sales managers? Is there a more effective way?

The advantages of asking staff to create sales goals for themselves

When staff are responsible, they can set themselves goals aligned to their motivations. For instance, they might want to earn enough commission to go towards a deposit for a home, holiday or something else. They know how much they need and they might incorporate that when they create sales goals.

Likewise, when staff have set their own goals, they can feel satisfied when they’ve achieved them. It also helps them to become more responsible for their work, an important skill for career progression.

They are also consciously aware of their abilities, their current sales pipeline and their calendar. Therefore, they can add/remove sales targets to ensure they aren’t over-pressuring themselves when they might have booked a two-week holiday during the month.

The disadvantages of asking staff to create sales goals for themselves

Despite the advantages of staff setting their own targets, there are also some significant disadvantages.

Initially, staff might find it hard to align their own personal sales goals to company goals.For successful business growth and employee satisfaction, personal and company goals need to be balanced.

In addition, some staff might not be responsible enough to set sales goals and will, therefore, set themselves goals that are easy to attain. Managers should be involved, so they challenge staff to improve sales results without making goals impossible to achieve.

Finally, employees might be too inexperienced to set their own targets. Inexperience may mean they set targets too high, too low or those that aren’t relevant. Managers should, therefore, guide their employees.

An alternative to managers and staff

There is also a third option for managers and staff creating sales goals. Using sales goals software can help staff or managers to formulate goals based on numerous factors like past sales performance, company goals and seasonal variance. This helps to create sales targets free from bias that can be included when goals are set by managers and staff.

When it comes to the time to create sales goals, you will want to make sure you’re giving your sales team something inspiring.

A challenge offers them something to strive for and can improve results, but when something is too hard or seems impossible to achieve, it can have the opposite impact and can lessen results compared to what they could have been should you have aimed slightly lower.

The question is, how can you tell if a goal is realistic? Here are some of the ways you can determine whether your sales goals are correctly set :

1. Every salesperson misses the sales goals

One of the first things you need to look at is the statistics across the sales team. If you have 10% or 20% of your sales team missing their monthly or annual target, then those particular employees need help. However, if the majority of your team are missing targets, then there is something wrong with the goals that are being set for them.

This is where sales goals software can help. It can track records of staff and display who is meeting targets and who is not. If you’re noticing that more than a third of your staff aren’t meeting targets, you might need to reconsider reestablishing your sales goals.

2. Time of the year

Good sales performance software can also help you determine past performance and trends, which can help you make more realistic sales goals. Therefore, targets can be set based not just on the performance of the employee, but also on the expected market for the time of the year.

For instance, you might make great sales in July, but in August, that may not be the case. August could be a historically low period for you, and only by checking with your sales performance management software can you see that this is a trend during that time of year. By incorporating trends into the creation of your targets, you can be more realistic in setting goals.

3. Consider lead times

At the same time as considering the time of year, you also need to consider lead times for sales. Processes can be quite long, and if a sales team are running low on leads, they need time to build them back up. If there is no-one in the sales pipeline, then you aren’t going to get any sales.

This can be a particular problem if there is poor management by salespeople in the whole process.

Perhaps they focus on the close rather than the rest of the sales process. Therefore, ask your sales team how many leads they have in the pipeline and at what stage they are at. Thenyou can create sales goals based on current information. You can always tell salespeople they need to improve on their lead development and set those as targets as well, to build up sales over the longer period.

Using these three tips, you can create more realistic sales goals. If you create better sales goals, you will motivate your sales team and see better sales performance.

Meeting targets either on-time or before a deadline can be really exhilarating while missing targets can destroy morale.

Morale can also be destroyed if you’re not progressing as much as you ought to be. For instance, if you’ve made seven sales in six months but your target for the year is 24, then you’re massively behind the target.

This isn’t too hard to imagine. Sales Hacker estimates that 90% of salespeople are making the majority of their sales in the last week of the month, or the last month of the year. However, doing this is often the result of harder work and more hours. It doesn’t have to be that way.

So, what can you do to get back on track if you’re not meeting your sales targets? Here are some suggestions to help you meet set sales goals this year :

1. Know when you’re behind

Everyone should be regularly checking their progress towards set sales goals. By using sales performance management tools, you can continuously monitor your progress. Doing so will alert you if you’re not meeting sales targets and give you plenty of time to put plans in place to catch up. 

Sales performance management tools can also help you identify where the issue might be. Is the close rate too low or are you not prospecting enough? By finding out where the obstacles in your sales process are, you can make relevant changes that improve results, which avoids wasting time on endeavours that make no difference.

2. Check-in with old prospects

Sometimes you might not meet targets because you’ve not gone back to prospects who’ve said no in the past. However, just because they said no the first time, doesn’t mean they’ll say no the second time. If you go back to some of the old prospects you’ve not spoken to in a while, you might find that some are now ready to buy.

Old prospects are better than new prospects because they’ve already built up a relationship with you, so a lot of the hard groundwork has been done already. This significantly lowers lead times.

3. Remain in control

Emotion is an important aspect of selling. If you demonstrate that you’re passionate about the product or service you’re selling, you’re going to get better results. But you’ve also got to remember that you can’t seem desperate.

A desperate salesman makes fewer sales than one in complete control. So it is important to control any concerns you have about not meeting current sales targets and convert that worry into a positive emotion that will demonstrate how confident you are in the product.