Let’s face it, your sales team can make or break your business. However, finding the right people takes considerable time and effort. And if you do find them, you need to come up with an effective reward system that incentivises them to stay on.
According to a Harvard Business Review article, commission-based compensation ensures that field representatives still get the job done even without direct supervision. This makes sense since if they don’t work on closing deals with potential clients, they won’t get sales. No sales, no compensation.
Customer-centric jobs like sales are demanding. It doesn’t matter if the employee in question mostly does field work or cold calls. Selling products and services require commitment, consistency, and creativity, and can result in constant stress and pressure.
Thus, it’s important to compensate your top-performing salespeople well. However, what may work for some businesses may not fit your needs, budget, or organisation structure. Instead, build your own custom compensation plan by following these five steps:
Set the pay level.
Most, if not all, employees are motivated by incentives. This is particularly true in sales departments where hitting quotas come with recognition, rewards, and bonuses.
When you create your compensation plan, set pay levels for three categories: entry-level, baseline, and top performers. Look at industry-standard rates for reference. These can attract candidates with diverse backgrounds and also help you retain your best talents.
Complement salaries with incentives.
Fixed salaries give your sales team security while incentives motivate them to excel. However, doing well in sales is tricky because a lot of it can depend on pure luck. And no matter how amazing your sales staff are, they won’t be able to close every sale.
Design the plan.
Consider your metrics, plan type, and payout curves. One of the main reasons why some compensation plans fail to deliver is because they’re executed poorly. You can have the best intentions in mind, but if you neglect properly laying out the important aspects, the plan won’t work.
For instance, decide early on if you will give commissions:
- based on gross revenue or net profits;
- when your sales team reaches goals or exceeds quotas;
- with earning caps for your top performers.
Setting the criteria at the onset will prevent a lot of confusion and frustration later on.
Figure out the schedule and frequency of your pay periods.
Apart from determining how much commission you should pay your sales teams, you should also consider how often and when to do so. Depending on your organisational structure and budget, you can opt for a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annual payment schedule.
On the other hand, research shows that frequent, well-placed rewards are more likely to keep employees motivated. So if you’re contemplating giving incentives at the end of every year, you might want to reassess.
Consider throwing in non-monetary benefits.
While money is a strong incentive, non-monetary ones also exert considerable pull. Think recognition programs, extra leave credits, or all-expense paid holidays.
The goal is to make your sales team feel valued. Sometimes, simply acknowledging their contribution to the company (along with a hefty commission) can go a long way already.
The right compensation plan is always key to attracting and retaining top talent. The challenge is designing one that sufficiently rewards people without straining your organisation’s finances.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Remote Staff has been providing hundreds of AU SMEs and entrepreneurs like you with top Filipino remote sales staff to fit various needs and budgets for more than a decade. Why struggle when you can partner with an industry veteran?