How do you go about driving sales? If you’re like most firms, the focus tends to be solely on making a budget and/or hitting a number, versus truly building your business. Driving sales in the moment is a vastly different mindset than a sales process that serves a far more global vision for your firm.
In the former, the sales process can make you feel like the proverbial rat forever stuck on a wheel that never seems to end. Work becomes all about perpetually running the race versus building a better wheel, the kind of wheel that will lighten your load without sacrificing results. Put another way, your sales process at its core should be a set of well polished gears that serve your business machine as a whole. I call those gears “automatic sales triggers”. And one of the biggest sales triggers out there, is your compensation plan. Is it vanilla or is it Rogue?
Sales Trigger: Dynamic Incentive Based Compensation
It would take ten or more blog posts to properly cover this very powerful concept. The fundamental thing to understand is that human beings, regardless of what they tell you, are driven by a deep need for purpose and accomplishment. Your compensation plan should play to this truth in an honoring, ethical way that benefits all parties involved. Sadly, most compensation plans are incredibly generic and lack any manner of imagination. As well, most only focus on superficial measurements, such as hitting a sales goal and typically, are offered only to sales and management personnel. If you want to explode as a business then you absolutely must Go Rogue when it comes to your compensation plans. I highly recommend the following case study on SAS, a software company well known for it ability to think outside the box when it comes to company culture.
CLICK: SAS Case Study Link
Key Elements To Creating A Dynamic Comp Plan
- Everyone should be on some form of incentive based compensation, regardless of their position within your firm.
- Layer your measurement of performance to be both quantitative (hitting a specific number, for example) and qualitative (accomplishing a specific thing, like launching a community outreach program or getting a professional certification of some sort).
- Layer your measurement of performance by levels of performance such as Unacceptable, Below Average, Average, Above Average and Exceptional.
- Compensate based on an employee/manager’s level of accomplishment in three core areas of your firm: accomplishment levels that relate to their job responsibilities, accomplishment levels that relate to them advancing the firm’s values, mission and vision; accomplishment levels that relate to their professional growth in areas that add value to the firm in some way.
- Insure your incentives offer the greatest rewards for broad based accomplishments like sustaining high level performance over several quarters, excellence in all of the three areas being measures and for accomplishments that go way above and beyond what their job requires.
- Mix up your rewards. Little things like gift cards for small accomplishments, can go a very long ways. Public recognition, awarding extra time off, paid travel perks, covering childcare expenses are but a few examples of the many ways you can compensate strong performance.
- Reward above average to exceptional performance in powerful, meaningful ways that genuinely have impact while offering only cost of living increases to consistently average performance.
- Always pay your team slightly above the industry average, rapidly removing team members who consistently deliver below expectations.
The idea of giving people a great deal of incentive to perform at high levels is such a simple concept and yet, most companies will never take the leap. Ironically, those very same companies will spend huge amounts of money on trying to create and keep revenue, totally ignoring the fact that treating people well is the most cost efficient way there is, to make money. The result? Penny wise and yet pound foolish.
Food For Thought-
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