7 ways to motivate outbound sales using compensation

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Despite the noise on LinkedIn that “outbound sales” is dead, the practice remains very well alive in 2023.

In fact, according to a HubSpot study, 82% of buyers said they accept meetings with reps who reach out to them. What’s more, VPs and C-level buyers from tech said they actually prefer reps to reach out via phone versus email. 

Still not convinced outbound sales are necessary?

The same study found that 71% of buyers want to speak to sellers early on in the buying process. This means the market assumptions around buyers knowing what they want to purchase well ahead of connecting with a sales rep are incorrect. Rather, buyers expressed an interest in talking with reps early on, even before they have an understanding of what they looking for. 

92% of sales professionals give up after four “no’s”, while 80% of prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes”.  (Gitnux)

So, how can you get buy-in from your team and reps to re-commit to outbound sales motions? Our suggestion: use sales compensation to reward outbound sourced deals, outbound activities, and more.

Check out the seven compensation tactics below.

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Drive outbound sales with these 7 tactics:

7. Compensate a higher rate on outbound sales.

You can build into your sales compensation plan a higher commission rate on deals won that began as an outbound-sourced deal.

The key to remember here is that this does not mean paying a decelerator, or a lower rate than the base commission rate, on inbound deals. Instead, offer an accelerated rate for outbound opportunities that go on to close/won. 

Additionally, make sure to have clear definitions around what qualifies a deal as “outbound.” For instance, would you consider a former marketing lead that went dark 6 months ago but re-engaged after the rep reached out as an outbound-sourced opportunity? 

Have clear definitions and tight attribution in place and introduce these clearly to your team before rollout.

6. Offer a weekly prize for outbound sourced demos.

To have some fun and offer short-term rewards for outbound efforts, consider offering a weekly prize or raffle for demos scheduled via outbound.

Our team does this by rewarding a raffle ticket for every outbound demo set. We then draw a weekly ticket for the chance to roll two dice. The roller receives $10 for every point on the dice.

5.  Pay on outbound demos set.

Most account executives won’t love earning a bonus on demos set, but you could offer this.

In practice, this bonus structure would mirror the SDR comp plan example, Demos Completed Bonus. Except instead of demos completed, you’d pay a fixed bonus according to demos scheduled. Or, take it a step further by rewarding bonuses for a set of demos or activities, like the tactic below.

4. Bonus for outbound milestones.

Instead of paying on demos set, you could offer bonuses for reps who achieve specific outbound targets. These might include a certain number of outbound calls, emails, or meetings per/week or month. You could also set quarterly or annual goals for the number of outbound deals closed.

For a compensation plan template to model this structure off, check out the Milestone Bonus template. 

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3. Tie the commission rate on deals closed to the number of outbound-sourced opportunities. 

This tactic will add complexity to your compensation plan. But, you could pay an accelerated rate on inbound deals when a rep sources a pre-determined target of outbound leads. 

As an example, if a rep secures three outbound demos this month, on any deal they close within the month, they earn an extra 3%

2. Set an outbound sales demo, and get an inbound demo.

If you distribute demos via round-robin, you could encourage outbound efforts by giving the rep an extra inbound demo for every outbound demo that they source. 

1. Team-based incentives

You can also encourage collaboration and teamwork by offering team-based incentives tied to outbound sales. For example, the entire team could earn a bonus or another reward if they collectively achieve a certain outbound target.

Provide a leaderboard visible to the entire team so that they can keep each other motivated and working toward the same goal. 

About QuotaPath

Curious to see how much these tactics will cost your business? Sign up for a free 30-day trial in QuotaPath to get CRM commission tracking. Integration HubSpot or Salesforce, build a compensation plan that includes one of the above tactics, then automate commission tracking and forecasting to see how it plays out.

You can also learn more by scheduling time to chat with our team. 

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