I run a recruiting firm called 121 Silicon Valley, and we are always asking ourselves “What does a VP of Sales look for in a Startup?” So I sat down with Steve Sovik, Chief Revenue Officer at Tipalti, a fast growing provider of software to automate supplier payments. Before joining Tipalti, Steve spent five years as SVP of Sales at Coupa Software, where he led sales growth from essentially nothing to over $80+ million. Randy Bolten*, former CFO at Broadvision joined the conversation.
We often hear senior management wishing their sales force would deliver “boring” results. They dream of a sales team that’s on auto-pilot, with monotonously consistent on-plan results quarter after quarter. Some companies even offer a “consistent performance” bonus for sales reps who meet all four of their quarterly quotas. But in our view, those companies are committing…
If your company has a December 31 fiscal year, you’re probably in the throes of finalizing your 2017 incentive comp plans. So in the spirit of avoiding the most egregious compensation errors, let’s revisit the Deadly Sins we’ve discussed on this site over the past year or so (for links to the original blog posts, click on the numbers):
As suspicious as I am about spot bonuses (see “Deadly Sin #4 – Too Much in ‘All-or-Nothing’ Bonuses”), we’re in the year end holiday spirit, so even we CFOs are willing to make exceptions. Use one-time rewards to recognize behavior that you might not normally see in your sales reps – or your customers/prospects. Here are some examples:
We depart temporarily from our tour through the Deadly Sins of Incentive Compensation to talk about a more difficult subject: what happens to a sales rep’s commissions if he/she leaves the company. We all hate to deal with this sort of thing, but let’s face it: sometimes a clearly drafted “last will and testament” can save everyone a lot of hassle and heartache.
Welcome back to our series on the Deadly Sins of Incentive Compensation. As is often the case, many best – and worst – practices are obvious, but we sometimes need a reminder. In this post, let’s look at a Deadly Sin that is less obvious, at least if you go by the number of times it’s committed, and that’s…
As we near the midpoint of the sales year – at least for December 31 companies – it starts to become apparent who the really big producers are, and just how much they might be earning this year. It’s a good time to re-examine your sales commission plan if you’re one of those companies that’s commits….....Deadly Sin #5 – Capping incentive compensation..
Designing great comp plans is mostly a matter of common sense. But once in a while, real mathematics rears its objective, unsentimental head, and when you ignore the math in those situations, you do so at your peril. An example of this occurs in plans that may result in…
We all know that bad hires are expensive. In fact, that’s become a cliché, and clichés don’t motivate or impress. So in this blog, let’s look at what a bad hire really costs, in actual dollars. We look at a sales rep, the position we know best. The costs of a bad hire – and the savings (yes, there are some) – include:
In the last few weeks we’ve blogged about staggered quota quarters (click here and here to see those posts). We followed it up with a survey on the subject, where we learned that the real problem that staggered quota quarters are intended to address – that is, quarter-end bottlenecks in business execution – is clearly a significant issue. And it’s an issue that may not be getting the attention it deserves.