How do you motivate sellers if your quota is down? If you change your quota, what are the ripple effects? Are you for or against SPIFs?
These are the questions we recently floated through a series of live audience polls and to our panelists in our recent webinar, “Sales Talk: Collaborative Solutions for Today’s Toughest Sales Challenges.”
We also asked how many teams hit their Q1 targets, who is changing quota for the rest of the year, how teams got creative to drive revenue and more.
Meet our panel:
- AJ Bruno, Co-Founder & CEO, QuotaPath
- Mallorie Maranda, VP of Sales, WorkRamp
- Colin Spector, VP of Sales, Orum
- Jeff Kirchick, VP of Sales, Able
5 Takeaways from “Collaborative Solutions for Today’s Toughest Sales Challenges”
5. Q1 was filled with wins across the board
Despite our fears of a difficult Q1, our panel and audience celebrated some major victories. In fact, according to the poll, more attendees reported that they exceeded their Q1 targets than missed them. Our panelists also saw higher win rates, the biggest deals in company history, and reported reps with over 75% attainment to quota.
While that’s all worth celebrating, the panelists noted the importance of keeping the focus forward by paying close attention to Q2 pipe coverage.
4. Changing quotas is generally TBD at the moment
Jeff, Colin, Mallorie, and AJ all shared how quotas will remain intact for the moment, but they, and our poll, agreed that they are paying close attention to it.
“We are just trying to be smarter about our strategy,” Jeff said, who mentioned Able is preparing for its Series B growth phase. “We have identified some areas of low-hanging fruit, specifically around lead qualification and a better honing on our ideal customer profile.”
“We’ve chosen not to adjust quotas,” Mallorie said. “If 70% or more of your reps are hitting quota, that’s a good spot to be in. We looked at the data and our future pipeline and feel okay where we’re at.”
She added the importance of having quarterly conversations around quotas and avoiding making rash decisions.
“Don’t set the expectation that when business is bad, we lower quota,” Mallorie said.
For those who are considering changing quota, Colin offered this advice: “Think holistically. When you mess with quota capacity, it has a ripple effect. You’ve got to think about your model and the bottoms-up reality of the field. That’s the art of the plan. Have a thoughtful RevOps partner and have an aligned thoughtful conversation about it.”
3. SPIFs, personalized coaching, and team competitions played key roles in motivating sales teams in Q1
We also polled and discussed how leaders motivated teams last quarter. These were the top 3 tactics:
- Personalized coaching
- Team competitions
“I’m a big fan of SPIFs,” Mallorie said.
This past quarter, she and her team implemented a team-wide SPIF after an HR survey revealed her reps were most motivated by team collaboration and competition.
“This created team bonding,” Mallorie said. “We send out the leaderboard each week. And, if a teammate is pacing behind, then they’ll meet with someone who is over exceeding that metric, who then helps them. I wouldn’t have thought to do it if it hadn’t been apparent from the HR survey.”
Colin doubled down on SPIFs and compensation incentives.
“Show me the incentive and I’ll show you the outcome,” Colin said. “Incentives drive behavior. If Finance says we want more cash flow upfront, then let’s put a kicker on annual payments. Let’s put an accelerator on deals that close within the first month of the quarter.”
2. In addition to exit interviews hold “stay interviews”
When sales slow and attainment is down, you must know exactly what motivates your team. To find the true “why” of what motivates your reps, Jeff suggested holding “stay interviews,” inspired by exit interviews.
“I don’t want my reps to tell me they came out of the womb to come to work with me at this software company,” Jeff said. “They’re probably motivated by money, but money will give them the opportunity to do something, and I want to know what that is.”
So, consider asking members of your team ever so often “What do you need to stay here?”
1. Take care of your team. That means extra attention to career pathing and rep development.
Promotions within your sales team may slow down in Q2 and Q3, but there are other ways to invest in your team and their development.
“Top talent is burnt out, make sure to take care of them right now,” said Mallorie.
Whether that’s offering a professional development stipend, partnering them with a coach either internally or externally at your organization, or having ongoing career conversations, you need to show that you are invested in their growth.
“Create a structure, whether it’s mentorship, a regular cadence of career conversations, or leveraging a tool, and give reps some ownership over this,” said Mallorie. “Make sure they are coming to development meetings with notes and ideas.”
Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful questions throughout the webinar, participating in our polls, and again to our panelists.
If your team could use a hand with adjusting sales compensation to hit specific business goals and how to approach quota adjustments, we are here for you.
Our team has lent a hand in thousands of comp plan designs to drive specific selling behaviors and our platform can automate sales compensation testing, tracking, and forecasting.