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Iconixx Insights BlogSales Performance Management

Managing sales people for success

By September 23, 2013January 16th, 2023No Comments

Every business needs to ensure it takes care of its sales team. Arguably, they are some of the most important people in the company. Without the revenue generated by sales the activities of every other department would have to come to a halt. As such, it’s vital to keep sales people happy and productive. There are many ways to accomplish this. Often, the best way to help sales people do well is to remove any obstacles to success they may encounter. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

Keep the sales team up to date
If there is a new product launch or even just a change on the company website, it is important for the sales team to know about it as soon as possible, according to Inc. magazine. It can make a conversation with a potential customer very awkward if the sales person isn’t aware of a change that the other party knows about. This advice also covers other best practices for managing sales teams. It’s not enough to talk about a new product or a product upgrade with the team; they should have the opportunity to attend demonstrations, use the product and ask questions of the appropriate department to ensure they understand what they’re selling, inside and out. Without this in-depth knowledge, their pitches may go flat and they might not experience as much success.

Ensure rewards match performance
It’s important to reward people in a timely fashion after they have demonstrated desired behavior, and sales people are no exception. Waiting until the end of a season or even a year to provide performance-based bonuses, commissions or merit increases will dissociate a specific act of high performance from its reward. This subtly conveys the message that remarkable career events really aren’t all that remarkable. Furthermore, if the sales team can expect a reward for every great sale, they will be more motivated to make them again and again.

One way managers can make sure rewards are made at the right time and in response to the right events is through the use of incentive compensation software. This tool can track the performance of sales teams as closely as day-by-day and plan what compensation structure may be most effective. It is useful not only for those who provide commissions and bonuses, but also for companies that choose to make rewards of a different kind, such as days off, time to work from home or other prizes. It allows managers to see who should be compensated, and for workers to track their own performance toward a goal – perhaps a particular bonus or a certain sales rate. This motivation strategy is close to gamification, which can put the fun back into sales for team members experiencing burnout.

Make sure sales people have adequate support
While sales is by nature a fairly competitive field, it’s important for every member of a sales team to feel supported. To that end, managers shouldn’t give all of the most promising leads to one high performer, for example, or constantly raise quota so bonuses become impossible. Realistic goals and sincere work have a place in sales, and high performers will naturally see rewards from their effort. Supporting sales people also means making sure they have the opportunity to speak to people in the organization whose input they may need, such as engineers if they are selling a complicated tech product. Because sales is such an important department, it’s vital to set sales people up to succeed and reward them when they do so.

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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.

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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.