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Evolve or Die Part 6: Develop New Comp Plans for Sales

In a traditional sales organization, if you sell more, you earn more. And that’s the way it should be. However, comp plans can sometimes make good people do some crazy things.

In a previous job, I once saw a sales rep harass a customer to the point where they almost got into a fistfight. Why? Because the sales rep needed that deal to win an award trip and was obsessed with getting it done. In the process, he critically damaged the relationship between that customer and the company.

In a recent focus group with customers, the moderator asked the participants “What makes a good sales rep”?  One of the people in the focus group replied, “I want a rep who’s more interested in my business than his business”.

What an excellent statement. Your prospects don’t care about your comp plan. They don’t care that you need to get one more contract in by end of the month to qualify for an award trip.

The sales reps who will win in the long-term, will be the ones who focus more on customer success and less on their personal gains. They’ll be the ones who sell through service, rather than by brute force.

So, how do you incentivize the kind of behavior that focuses on customer success?  Well, there are a lot of data points you can add to a compensation plan that can help. For example, at my previous job, we did customer satisfaction surveys every quarter. Part of a sales rep’s compensation was based on those surveys. So, reps were very focused on creating satisfied customers rather than just selling. As a result, customers were getting a much higher level of service and over time that led to more sales for those reps.

That’s just one idea to evolve your comp plan that creates a win-win for both your customer and your sales reps.

Are you interested in other ways sales reps must evolve to successfully survive and thrive in the changing sales landscape? Make sure you check out my 5 previous blogs: 

Would you like even more information on the evolution of sales? Download our free eBook — Evolution of Sales: The Survival Guide

About Andrea Duke

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