Best Practices for Improving Your Sales Team’s Performance

Bettina Kaemmerer is a Sales Compensation Expert and the Founder of Bee-Comp, a sales compensation consulting firm focused on the design, communication, and administration of comp plans.

She has decades of hands-on experience helping companies improve their sales operations and performance.

In a conversation with Justin Lane, Bettina discusses why your sales team isn’t performing, paying your salespeople for how they do their job, the application of technology in sales compensation, and more.

Listen to this episode of The Sales Compensation Show to learn:

  • Why you should pay salespeople for how they do their job
  • The critical reasons to review sales compensation plans quarterly
  • How technology can help design and administer sales compensation plans

Three key takeaways:

#1: Pay salespeople for how they do their job

Sales compensation strategy has changed. And with the information we have today, it’s easy to forget the way we operated was very different years ago. As such, the way we design pay for salespeople isn’t the same as it was in the past.

From Justin Lane’s perspective, there have been three waves of sales compensation in the last few decades:

  1. Sales compensation as a math problem
  2. Sales compensation as a driving behavior
  3. Sales compensation as a customer experience

Organizations used to pay their salespeople without thinking of how it could drive behavior, let alone how it would affect the customer experience.

Now, the best companies are not only paying reps for what they’re doing but how they’re doing it.

"You need to pay your salespeople for what they’re doing, but also how they’re doing it." - Bettina Kaemmerer, Bee-Comp

Salespeople are often the face of the company and are responsible for generating revenue and building customer relationships. They play a critical role in the organization’s success, and their compensation should reflect such contributions to the business.

When salespeople are paid for how they do their job, they are more likely to prioritize these activities in their day-to-day work, leading to increased sales, improved customer satisfaction, and a more engaged and motivated sales team.

#2: Review sales compensation plans quarterly

Many sales compensation professionals were taught to review their plans annually. But with the accessibility and data we have today, this strategy no longer makes sense.

Sales compensation plans should be reviewed more frequently to analyze if they are working as intended and to make necessary changes.

Four reasons to review sales compensation plans quarterly:

1. Ensuring alignment with business goals

Business goals and priorities can change rapidly, and sales compensation plans must reflect these changes to ensure that sales teams are motivated to achieve the proper outcomes. Regular reviews allow adjustments to be made to the compensation plan to ensure it aligns with current business goals.

2. Monitoring performance

Quarterly reviews allow businesses to track sales team performance against the compensation plan. This helps identify whether salespeople are meeting their targets or if adjustments need to be made to the plan.

3. Adapting to market changes

Market conditions can shift quickly, and compensation plans may need to be adjusted to reflect these changes. For example, if there is a sudden increase in demand for a product, the compensation plan may need to be adjusted to incentivize salespeople to sell that product.

4. Motivating the sales team

Regular reviews of compensation plans send a message to sales teams that their efforts are valued, and their compensation is closely tied to their performance. This helps keep sales teams motivated and engaged.

Overall, quarterly reviews of sales compensation plans are essential to ensure that they remain relevant, aligned with business goals, and motivating for sales teams.

#3: Sales compensation technology is accelerating

Technology is becoming more prevalent in the sales compensation industry.

Many companies are starting to invest not only in the administration of sales comp, including crediting, calculation, and reporting but also in territory optimization, quota setting, etc., in support of the design.

“The general idea is to invest in technology when you have about 50 salespeople. That’s when you should move away from Excel and invest in sales compensation technology. And there are some new, agile, and young competitors out there that are now giving big companies a run for their money.” - Bettina Kaemmerer, Bee-Comp

Three ways technology can help design and administer sales compensation plans:

1. Data analysis and modeling

Sales compensation plans must be designed based on data, such as sales forecasts, customer data, and market trends. Technology can help analyze this data and build models to predict sales outcomes based on various compensation scenarios.

2. Communication and transparency

Technology can help salespeople understand their compensation plans and how they are being paid. For example, gives salespeople real-time access to their sales data and commission statements.

3. Performance tracking and reporting

Technology can help track sales performance against targets and goals, allowing for real-time adjustments to compensation plans. It can also provide reporting on the effectiveness of compensation plans and the ROI of sales incentive programs. In summary, the need for technology in sales compensation is accelerating. It can help sales organizations design and administer effective comp plans that are data-driven, efficient, transparent, and aligned with broader company objectives.

The Sales Compensation Show is brought to you by, the world’s first Sales Comp Ops solution. Find us by searching sales compensation on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and YouTube.

Are you interested in learning more? Have a conversation with one of our sales comp experts here.

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