Money does motivate, but so does trust and confidence. Your sales reps are looking for trust in the system that pays them out and confidence that they have complete access to all the information that determines their success. Anything less and you open the doors to shadow accounting, which takes sales reps aways from valuable selling time.
Recently, Robert DeMarco, Director of Solutions Consulting at Xactly, hosted a webinar entitled Incentivize to the Power of Xactly: Life of a Sales Leader. This webcast, which you can watch on-demand here, dove into how sales leaders using Xactly Incent™ leverage compensation to drive the right behaviors.
To no one's surprise, productivity was one of the behaviors he focused on. The question for sales leaders then moves beyond what to how. Fortunately, DeMarco shared his insights on accomplishing this goal—which we’ve collected below.
Motivations Mean More than Money
For your reps, motivation is more than the payout. Sure, that last part is arguably the most important component of incenting behavior, but it’s the whole mechanism of delivery that determines how effectively your reps are driven to perform. This is one part monetary reward and another part rep psychology.
Besides the monetary considerations, in what ways is your compensation system designed to motivate your sales reps? In the webinar, DeMarco stressed transparency as a motivational method. What he means is that you need to provide sales rep with some key information.
You can’t expect reps to be effectively incentivized if they can’t see the full picture of their comp plan. Quotas, opportunities, personal benchmarking, leaderboards, etc.—should all be made available. Without keeping reps in the know, you’re denying information and allowing unease to fester.
Trust Starts with Transparency
Trust often starts with the sharing of information. And in the case of sales comp, we’re talking about information that is tied to the financial well-being of reps. Mortgages, loans, Costco trips for the family are all at stake here. The necessity of being forthcoming with pay and performance information can’t be overstated. The best way to build this trust with sales reps is to give windows into the following key data:
- Performance against quotas and total margin goals
- Opportunity estimates
- Real-time overviews of commission plans
- Automatically generated incentive statements
Put these in place and you've laid the foundation for happier and more focused reps.
Build Confidence, Build Productivity
Giving your teams access to the information above using tools like Xactly Incent leads to building an essential aspect of any sales culture: confidence in the sales compensation system at large. Not only do reps have a better handle on what’s going, but the extra visibility provides top-of-mind incentive information to keep them motivated.
And from a practical perspective, this confidence eliminates behavior that negatively affects the company, e.g. shadow accounting and dissent among the troops. Instead of focusing on the unknowns, reps are given the clarity and ease of mind to keep their eyes on prize.