You’ve got a team of lead qualification reps (or lead gen, business development, inside sales — whatever you want to call it!) and they are responsible for drumming up business for your field reps — the closers. They are commissioned on the appointments set, as well as the appointments that convert to opportunities. Just recently, I wrote a post about why it needs to be both, not just appointments.
Your reps have been in this role for coming on a year now… and they are starting to get the inevitable “itch.”
The itch to take these leads a bit deeper, the itch to maybe make a little more money, the itch for more seniority. And hey, if this person is killing it — hitting their goals and generating quality appointments that turn into opportunities — this is likely top of mind for you as the manager, as well. You obviously want to keep this person motivated and avoid them sniffing around the market for the next best thing, leaving you high and dry.
So, what’s a manager to do?
Well, here’s an idea. First thing’s first, give this person either a “Senior” in front of their title or “Manager” at the end, and instead of bonusing on appointments and opportunities, how about NOW commissioning them on opportunities and closed deals, instead?
So what’s in it for them? How is this really a promotion? This is the next step in the ladder toward becoming a closer (i.e. making the big bucks). The rep should be getting more money now per opportunity (these are obviously going to be more valuable and likely harder to come by, so don’t be scared to give some dollar-weight to it), and then given them a percentage or a defined chunk of the closed deal. It doesn’t need to be a huge chunk, intruding upon your closer’s commission — I’ve seen anything from $300 flat for deals that averaged around $2,500, to 2% for larger deals.
You could set this up in a couple different ways. If your sales process is really long and complicated, you could actually have your more junior Lead Qual reps setting up the appointments for the Senior Lead Qual reps to then qualify and be responsible for converting them to a legit opportunity — this would likely entail giving an introduction call, demo, and some follow up relationship marketing custom touch points. If your sales cycle is shorter, adding one more cook in the kitchen will be awkward and annoying to the prospect — have your senior reps do their own prospecting and hold onto the leads for that much longer until they are ready to be converted to a REAL opportunity.
I don’t want to neglect this fact, because I know this can be a sensitive subject for some –– not all lead qual reps need to have the exact same career path. Maybe one year into the job, “Sally” realizes that becoming a closing sales rep is not really for her — every time she gets on the phone and has a difficult conversation, she gets hives. BUT because she’s been in this role for a year, and doing quite well (despite the strange reaction) she really would much rather be in marketing supporting this type of effort from behind the scenes. HELL YEAH! What better person than someone who’s been in this type of role, knows the buyer personas, knows the objections — seems like a match made in heaven!