Sales Incentives, Awards, Lead Follow-Up and Sales Effectiveness


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Today I had the following email exchange:

Subject: Question on Comp


I have a question on comp and need help. We have “appointment setters” who have a quota of 16 appointments per quarter. If they get above that #, they get a bonus of $250 per meeting. This incentivizes them to book meetings which are probably not the best qualified. Sales complains that the leads suck. The appointment setters are upset, blaming the low closing percentage on the salespeople. We have the sales process dialed in and are training on it now. I’m stuck on comp. Ideas?

Dave Kurlan wrote:

They should receive the incentive only if the opportunity makes it as far as 2nd base in the sales process.


Subject: Re: Question on Comp

Got it….that still puts all eyes on the salesperson’s ability to execute. No pressure there! How do you manage the culture to prevent finger-pointing?

Dave Kurlan wrote:

Make finger-pointing unacceptable. Punishable. Some leads will suck – that’s a condition. Some salespeople will suck – that too is a condition. It’s only a problem when the leads or the salespeople consistently suck, at which time, change is required. Until such time, salespeople must be trained to become more effective while marketers must be trained to develop stronger leads.


My Editorial:

Salespeople must be trained to be more effective at lead follow-up and consultative selling, both of which are quite different and much more challenging than selling was just 5 years ago. Many of those salespeople won’t be able to make the transition from transactional selling to consultative selling. That’s one of more than 20 conditions which justify evaluating the sales force.

Marketers must be trained to develop stronger leads by developing better ad placement, improving their targeting with stronger calls-to-action and audience-specific landing pages resulting in more qualified leads. One of the issues about which I’ve written in much more detail is the difference between a lead and a contact. Many marketers believe that anyone who raises their hand, fills out a web form or accepts an appoinment is a lead, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Certainly some are, but it’s the marketer’s job to differentiate between contacts who simply want free information and leads who have legitimate interest in solving a problem, taking advantage of an opportunity or simply buying what you’re selling.

In the case of appointment setters, as in the email above, training them to be more effective with the appointment-setting conversation will pay dividends too. Not only will the appointments be more qualified, there will actually be more, better-qualified appointments!

Good News!

At yesterday’s Top Sales Awards event, I was honored with three awards for 2012.

Objective Management Group (OMG) won Gold for Top Sales Assessment Tool for the 2nd consecutive year!

My Blog, Understanding the Sales Force, won Silver for Top Sales & Marketing Blog of 2012, the 2nd consecutive year of being recognized.

And the most humbling award of all (I wasn’t even aware that I’d been nominated!) was my induction into the Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame.

There was no popular vote in these categories, so this year’s recognition was much more meaningful than last year’s when popular vote counted for 50% of the results. I’d like to thank the judges for their votes and my industry colleagues and competitors for pushing me to be the best that I/we can be.

Last Word:

Tomorrow will be my final post of 2012 and my 1,000th article since I began writing on this blog in 2006. In honor of my 1,000th article, I’ll reveal the Top Sales Article from among 15 for which my readers have been voting.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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