Sales Leadership: Compensation and Summer Fun

May 30th, 2012

Sales Compensation and Having a Fun Summer

Sales Leadership Ideas

At this time of year sales management must be looking at pipeline levels and goals for July/August and determining if there is the necessary level of activity to ensure targets will be exceeded.

In this blog I wanted to share a few basic ideas from my books on sales management: Leading High Performance Sales Teams and Creating Sales Compensation Plans for High Performance.  In both books I share ideas for sales contests/games as well as how to properly.  In many cases I have seen great ideas poorly executed, it is critical you  think through what your objectives are and what you want the results to be and then CLEARLY write down the objectives, rules and incentives. The first rule, remember cash is not what you want to use during sales games-that is what your commission plan is designed to achieve.  The second rule is that creating fun in your sales culture is the main outcome-surely you may wish to add “net new client’s” or sell certain products/services and increase sales-but it is sales leaderships objective to make the sales contest is a fun experience.

Different types of contests will help you achieve different goals. Some should be held annually to address sales objectives, company business strategies and potential seasonal fluctuations. Others can be scheduled as needed to help launch new products or services, promote new releases or upgrades or tie into your customers’ larger campaigns. Still others can consist of short-term incentive games designed to motivate sales personnel to accomplish specific objectives by a specific deadline.

A Contest Sampler

Following are a few typical goals, along with ideas for contests that may help achieve them:

  • Increasing sales volume. Consider adding a bounty for each additional new seat, new customer, or revenue sold beyond a certain target value. Set a quarter-to-date objective above your sales goal; that way, everyone on the team can win.
  • Improving customer service. Periodically survey your entire customer base. If satisfaction reaches a certain goal—for instance, when 95 percent of your clients say they’re “highly satisfied”—and if your company is profitable, everyone gets a bonus. Keep a visible scorecard of your goals and results so that everyone maintains a constant awareness of your objectives.
  • Acquiring new clients. To boost the number of new clients you add each quarter, consider creating a “bounty bonus” plan. For example, salespeople could earn a bounty bonus— in points that can be redeemed for rewards—for each new client or each competitive replacement of a specific vendor’s customer. In addition, you could offer bounty bonuses for salespeople who exceed their quarterly or annual quotas for new accounts or net new revenues. You might even create and post “Most Wanted” posters with the bounties prominently displayed to help keep salespeople focused on contest objectives.
  • Overcoming seasonal slumps. If your sales typically slow down over the summer, try launching a prospecting activity contest in March, April and May. For instance, award sales team members points for each new face-to-face call or sales demonstrations that they make during those months, with accumulated points eventually eligible for prizes. Such an effort can go a long way toward increasing the number of opportunities in the pipeline from June through August.

Competition Considerations

Following are some issues to consider and questions to answer as you plan sales contests:

  • Determine what you want the contest to accomplish
  • Set the ground rules. Are all sales executives on an equal basis for the contest?  Be sure to put the rules in writing, making provisions for those and other situations that could arise.
  • Make the contest length the same as the sales cycle.
  • Set specific goals that can be measured weekly or monthly.
  • Incorporate an exciting theme.
  • Consider making rewards gifts, rather than cash.
  • Boost team members’ motivation by getting their families involved.
  • Never run contests to the last day of the month or sales period.

I would like to hear from the readers, comment below as to what contests have worked for you and why? Or what contests did not work and why?  What contests are you running this summer?

Make it productive summer!

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 13 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Ken’s latest book is: “Leading High Performance Sales Teams”.

 

 Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.           Ken@AcumenMgmt.com   www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog:  www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 at 8:38 am and is filed under Sales Compensation, sales leadership, Sales Leadership Training, Sales Management Consulting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Sales Leadership: Compensation and Summer Fun”

  1. Mike Conrad Says:

    Two recent contest I ran had a sports theme.

    March Madness:

    My sales team was partnered against one another for a 4 week period of time. Points were earned by activity, meeting set, meeting occurred (lead generation team). The winner went onto the next round. There was spiff pay at each round.

    April Masters tournament:

    Birdie-Activity points over 105 per day
    Eagle-Prospect Interview
    -3 meeting set
    -4 meeting occurred
    +1 activity under 90 points per day
    +2 meeting cancelled

  2. kenthoreson Says:

    Great comments, THANKS

  3. Sourcing3 Buyer & Supplier Magazine - Best of B2B Marketing Zone for Week of May 26, 2012 Says:

    […] Sales Leadership: Compensation and Summer Fun YOUR SALES MANAGEMENT GURU | WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2012 […]