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October 31, 2022
3 min read
Welcome back to The Weekly Pitch. Our mission is to cover news, offer insights, and profile rising stars in the sales community.
Today, our Feature Story offers ideas for how we can take care of those making the most significant impact on our sales teams – our frontline reps. In the spirit of Halloween, we give out a few treats.
In the Weekly Chart, HubSpot reminds us that prospects and customers view four of every ten emails we send from mobile. Keep that sales copy tight!
Finally, in The Closer, remember that Q4 is ten weeks of selling, not 13. Plan accordingly with these tips.
Recent HubSpot research shows our contacts view 41% of all emails on a small screen. Even if our messages appear on a desktop, remember to tailor our messaging, make it relevant, and get right to the value prop.
Email real estate is too valuable for niceties and sales pitches. Grab attention by leading with insights that matter most to our prospects and customers.
Save the block paragraphs, "hi, my name is" and "hope you're doing well," and don't talk about our company or product (no one cares).
Since it's Halloween, let's mimic the history of trick-or-treating from a sales perspective. As sales leaders head into 2023 planning, let's give these four treats to our reps.
Treat #1 – Simplified Comp Plans
Consider a simple commission rate for every revenue dollar based on revenue type, e.g., net new is typically 10-20% and 2-3x higher than renewal, cross-sell, and upsell. Pay reps monthly, accurately, and on time.
Beware of the Trick: Exotic calculations, complex accelerators, moving target commission rates, and capped commissions. If our reps are building their own “comp calculator,” we're guilty of tricking our reps.
Treat #2 – Fair Territories
Whether we build our patches by geo, industry, or revenue segment, ensure all reps have a fighting chance to sell as much as their peers.
Beware of the Trick: Assigning territories with “potential” or as a “smart experiment” carry heavy consequences if it doesn't work out – lower morale, missed quotas, and reps looking to leave.
Treat #3 – Reasonable Quotas
Look around sales leaders – “growth at all costs” is dead. Cash flow and profitability matter more. Coach our reps to sell sound deals with good margins, multi-year terms, and minimal discounts.
In exchange, set targets where every seller has a shot. Now is our time to reverse the trend of only 50% of reps hitting quota. Consider the reverse buffer.
Beware of the Trick: Any company with a year-over-year growth goal north of 30% is suspect (especially if there's no consistent track record). Certain high-growth companies notwithstanding, nowadays, smart growth translates to 10% to 25%. Quotas in 2023 should reflect that notion.
Treat #4 – Recognition and $$$
After many companies, especially those in tech, restructured costs in the form of layoffs in 2022, the silver lining is sales teams have a more excellent ratio of high performers.
Although account executives want simplified comp plans, that doesn't mean we should eliminate “President's Clubs,” SPIFFs, or bonus money outside of a rep's on-target earnings. All that still matters to driving high performance.
Beware of the Trick: If CEOs and CFOs hide the numbers. Most startups and companies bleeding cash over the last few years in our old world of “free money” are now taking their medicine and cutting costs appropriately. Financial performance, like free cash flow and profitability, should rebound quickly.
Sales leaders should fight to keep a pool of money reserved for recognizing and retaining our highest-performing reps. And executive leaders should transparently share how business is going. If not, it's a trick.
We highlighted the challenge of getting prospects to sign contracts during the holiday season in this issue of The Weekly Pitch last November.
Most quarters have 13 selling weeks, but at least in the US, Q4 only has ten when we acknowledge Thanksgiving week and Christmas and New Year holidays.
Consider these tips:
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