Chris Gash

Commissions are the standard in sales compensation. But while the practice is a great motivator, it’s important to pair any performance-based incentives with a fair base salary. Neglecting to do so can lead to jealousy and ultimately inhibit your sales team's performance. Creating a company environment that makes your sales reps feel as though they are part of a team—along with providing the proper training and tools—is key in getting them to perform at a higher level.

With that in mind, we’ve assembled a list of tips from REMODELING articles and other sources that will help keep your sales reps motivated and your team in sync. Share your tips, too, to help us round out the list.

  • Tools for success: Combine hourly pay, commissions, and a good training program to give your sales reps the tools and knowledge they need to be successful at your company.
  • What's your take?Make sure that you build an incentive-based program that fits your company's needs—not just to prop up a weak pay structure.
  • Systemic approachCreating a system to track your sales team can help identify areas in your company that may need improvement. It can also help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual sales reps.
  • Consistency is kingYour salespeople are the face of your business. By crafting and enforcing a consistent message for them to send forth, you're giving them the opportunity to build better relationships with prospects.
  • Money isn't everythingKeep in mind that sometimes praise and respect can go just as far as money. Fortunately, there are various metrics—such as contracts signed and billable design hours—that can also determine how successful an employee is. 

More Tips From Around the Web:

  • Does money really motivate?It's important to understand what motivates each of your sales reps. Some are intrinsically motivated, while others are motivated extrinsically. Each type requires different rewards and attention.
  • Average performersEver heard of the 20-60-20 theory on sales reps? It's the belief that 20% are top performers, 60% are in the middle, and 20% of reps underperform. If you want to know who really needs the motivation to perform, focus on the middle.
  • Self-motivated repsAllow your sales reps to motivate themselves by giving them autonomy and by running a company with a sense of purpose. For some, this may be more valuable and gratifying than a bonus or commission.
  • The when and howIf you use commissions, when and how much you pay your salespeople is another factor that plays into motivation. Being up-front and consistent when it comes to your system can greatly affect motivation.