Changing Sales Incentives During a Recession

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I heard from a CRO friend recently that she knows the economy is causing low morale for her team. They see friends being laid off and it’s harder to make commission. Sound familiar?

Most of us (guilty!) start to double down on lead generation efforts, curbing spending, and training how to close in today’s economy (seriously, email us if we can help with this). I don’t worry about their commission because I’m getting scrappy to ensure I can afford base salaries. Literally never thought once about how my team might not make the same money.

READ: Leading Sales Teams Through A Recession

Not this CRO. She immediately earmarked funds (read: stole from another budget line item) to supplement commissions and incentives so she could retain her top talent. She didn’t assume loyalty, because she knows they are awesome and they can go elsewhere. Also, she knows what it will cost her this year and the next 3 years to hire, onboard, and upskill these tenured sellers’ replacements.

Talk about going left when the rest of the team goes right! Have you looked at how reduced sales are affecting commission payments on your team? Have you talked to the team about how they’re faring and how they’re feeling? Have you explained what you can and can’t do and dug deep to figure out how to help them feel important and loyal?

I know I personally won’t have extra budget to do this, but as I type it I “hear myself” saying “extra budget.” Wrong attitude. 

READ: Top Pipeline-Building and Recession Selling Tips

What can I live without for the next 9 months so my sales don’t get WORSE? What can I live without for the next 12 months so I can invest and keep the people on the front lines right now? Can I find money to supplement bonuses? Can I find low-cost ways to show appreciation? 

It’s time to get busy.

READ: Why You Need Special Recession Payment Terms

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