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Incentive Compensation ManagementSales Performance Management

Encourage your sales team to take smart risks

By January 4, 2018June 11th, 2024No Comments

Sales is a high-energy field and the best salespeople are always pushing to close their next deal. Sometimes, salespeople need to go a bit outside their comfort zone to succeed. As a sales manager, it’s important to encourage smart risk taking on your sales team, but doing so requires careful planning. By carefully managing compensation for employees, it’s possible to promote smart risks and keep your sales team motivated to pursue leads.

Letting employees follow their own path
Employees who are content to sit back and avoid risk are unlikely to make the big sales that lead to a company’s success. These employees are scared of rocking the boat, and don’t have enough motivation to push themselves to the next level.

According to SalesHQ, managers faced with an unmotivated employee might be tempted to confront the employee directly. While it is possible the employee’s performance will improve after the interaction, they could feel less motivated. Restricting Internet access and instituting rules about time spent in the office can be similarly ineffective. While these efforts might make an employee pretend to work harder, it probably won’t inspire them to take bold risks.

Rather than mandating how employees act, managers should motivate employees to create their own routes to success.

Create excitement with compensation
Few things will improve an unmotivated salesperson’s performance like a comprehensive overhaul of compensation. Traditional metrics for salesperson success present a binary model of sales success where employees only receive compensation when they make a sale. Compensation software allows managers to create a much deeper compensation system. Using software, a manager can track employee activities throughout the day, and is able to generate metrics that measure performance before a final sale occurs.

This makes it possible for managers to reward employees for unorthodox approaches, and the metrics generated by a computerized system allow managers to improve transparency regarding sales performance on the team. Enhanced visibility regarding overall sales team goals and each individual employee’s progress toward those goals is immensely important. It allows employees to learn from each other’s successes and mistakes, and makes it easy for a manager to identify important trends.

Invite experimentation by rewarding success
Entrepreneur magazine noted that businesses should work to make experimentation a core value. Compensation management software allows managers to motivate employees to think outside the box.

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Ballast Point Ventures

Ballast Point Ventures is a later-stage venture capital fund established to provide expansion capital for rapidly growing, privately owned companies in diverse industries, with a particular emphasis on companies located in Florida, the Southeast, and Texas. The BPV partners have more than 70 years of combined experience investing in and building high-growth companies in a number of industries, including healthcare, business services, communications, technology, financial services, and consumer goods. BPV has $200 million under management and seeks to make equity investments ranging from $3 million to $10 million.

Harbert Management Corporation

Harbert Management Corporation seeks to generate superior returns for their investors by identifying and investing in the most promising early growth stage companies in the Southeastern U.S. HMC seeks to capitalize on what it believes are compelling regional dynamics, such as a strong and fast-growing economy, significant research and development activities, and an established entrepreneurial community. The HMC team combines substantial investment, advisory, and operating experience with capital and networking contacts to support great entrepreneurial teams in successfully executing their growth plans. With offices in Birmingham, Alabama; Richmond, Virginia; and Gainesville, Florida, it’s well positioned to partner with entrepreneurs throughout the Southeast.

KBH Ventures

KBH Ventures was an early investor in Iconixx Software. KBH's investment philosophy plays a significant role in the firm's successful track record. KBH believes in running businesses to be cashflow positive and profitable every month. Startups and companies in a startup mode, such as one that has been purchased in distress, are expected to generate revenue within the first six months and reach profitability within the first 12 to 18 months. KBH also only invests in or acquires companies that are in the startup phase or have less than $20 million in revenues. KBH targets technology companies that offer business-to-business services.

S3 Ventures

S3 Ventures is an early expansion and growth stage venture firm with $200 million under management. It’s focused on information technology solutions that solve large business problems. S3 also invests in medical devices that improve the human condition. S3 invests in category-defining opportunities. It partners with the team and help focus methodically on what it takes to build a successful company. S3 today helps talented entrepreneurs take their technology and market knowledge and form valuable businesses in a repeatable fashion. Investment sizes start at several million or more for Series A, B, and C financing.