In Sales—We Get What We Pay For

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I talk to a lot of business owners about their sales process and sales teams as part of our planning and performance work and I sometimes hear the complaint that the sales team is not focused on the right things. 

What I have found as a common theme among these organizations regardless of industry, is that in sales, we get what we pay for. 

Determining a comp plan for a sales team can be tricky and there are specialists who can help work out the finer points of a plan.  But it’s helpful to start with the simple question: “what are the most important activities and behaviors you need from your sales team?” 

If you’re only paying commission on new sales, don’t expect your sales people to spend a lot of time servicing existing customers.  If your sales people have a large book of business that produces enough repeat sales to sustain their income, then don’t expect them to go out prospecting for new accounts.  The key is to create alignment between your expectations, the activities you want and the behavior you’re rewarding.