Internal Sales Best Practices

Your sales team is constantly working to close the next deal

We’ll design an effective sales incentive program with aspirational rewards and meaningful recognition – on budget and on target with your specific business objectives.

The motivation of salespeople has long been seen as a black/white or pass/fail proposition. Meet or exceed sales quotas – earn commissions. Don’t sell enough – face termination. The formula for managing a sales force, at least to the casual observer, is as simple as hiring someone with a proven track record and assigning a territory and sales quota. In reality – successfully managing a team of sales professionals demands an approach that includes compensation, motivation, recognition and coaching best practices.

This comprehensive approach extends beyond simply cash compensation and uses non-cash incentives and rewards in conjunction with recognition to bring about positive behavioral changes and improved results.

1. Clearly define rules and process

Take your time to think through how the program can and should work. Plan out every step of the program, and test the process with people in different parts of the organization. Don’t over-complicate the program with too many Key Performance Indicators and confusing scoring formulas. Your program must be easy to explain to everyone in the organization – especially participants.

2. The big three

Prioritize program KPIs by importance and business unit.  The three most common sales results measures are 1) ongoing progress against individual sales goals, 2) quarterly sales achievements, and 3) year-end sales totals.  How these are measured and scored will vary and can include team, department, and/or company goals as well.

3. Don’t overlook behaviors

While sales results are critically important, and should definitely be among your KPIs, recognizing and reinforcing desired behaviors can also be important.  Including KPIs around such measures as the completion of product training and the adoption and use of pipeline management tools can lay the foundation for increased competency in your internal sales force.

4. Give recognition its due

Studies from Aberdeen Group confirm that sales organizations with formal recognition initiatives in place perform better than others without such programs. While earning commissions and bonuses remain highest among priorities of B2B salespeople, they perform at higher levels when a comprehensive approach is used. These performance gains translate into higher attainment of individual and team quotas, as well as an improved customer renewal rate.

5. The triad of praise

Recognition initiatives should include verbal praise, public recognition, and peer recognition – in support of the stated goals and objectives not only for salespeople and their selling activities, but their support teams as well.

6. Employ an expert provider for best results

A very basic consideration for most organizations is whether or not to attempt implementation on their own.  Or, should a dedicated partner provide the management of these programs?  Data shows that experienced, external providers improve results across a range of performance measurements – when compared to programs implemented and managed with internal resources.

7. Choose your partner carefully

Make sure the provider you choose has the experience, expertise and resources to ensure success – offering the latest in techniques, technology, rewards and redemption services.

Want to find out more about implementing a successful internal sales incentive program? Contact us today about our no-cost consultation services.