How to empower your sales team to overachieve


As a sales leader, a large part of your job is to assign performance targets and help your sales team achieve them. Luckily, there are many resources available to you to help ensure your team hits their targets. However, the work doesn’t stop there. Even if your whole sales team hits their quota, one key question remains: what do you do once they’ve already crushed their quota?

Of course, there are cases where your top performers may never take their foot off the gas. For sales reps that are more human, they sometimes, without even knowing, tend to push a little less after they have hit the targets you set for them. Below are 3 methods you can use to empower and push your sales team to reach for the stars even after they have hit their target.

  1. Setting personal goals

Although this may be something you are already doing, consider reframing it in a way that helps your team realize that overachieving is not far out of reach. Have a 1-on-1 meeting with your team members early-on or mid-way throughout the quarter and ask them “Based on how you’re doing so far, where do you think you’re going to end the quarter at?” Regardless of their answer, follow up by asking them if they think they could do 10% more. Equate this 10% achievement to their  “new” earning potential as this will act as a personal motivator. Have your team write their stretch targets on a sticky note and keep it somewhere within eye-site at their work station. If you’ve ever been to the gym or done any sort of workout, you know that it’s basically your choice to push for one more rep or run for that extra 100m, and writing down your goals will motivate you to stay on track and push a little harder. The same concept applies in sales, you want your team to push themselves harder than anyone else ever could. 

  1. Setting a team SPIFF or contest

It is rare that all of your team members are going to be crushing their quota. There are usually one or two reps who are still in the learning stage of their career and/or may be struggling a little. The great thing about a team SPIFF is that it pools everyone’s efforts together. Your top reps will keep working hard to achieve the SPIFF target while also keeping their peers accountable. After all, they don’t want to do ALL the work. The reps who are struggling are now getting help from some of the top reps and are working that much harder to make sure they’re contributing to the team targets. It is important to focus on a KPI that is easily controllable for your team. See below for an example of a KPI SPIFF that any business development team could run:

Restaurant upgrade SPIFF 

The team has to collectively hit a target number of meetings booked within a given timeframe. This SPIFF should be at least 1 quarter to justify the expensive dinner. The restaurant the team will get dinner at is upgraded as the team hits better tiers: (example below)

  1. 150 meetings: fast food joint
  2. 200 meetings: low-end chain restaurant
  3. 250 meetings: mid-level restaurant
  4. 300 meetings: high-end restaurant

  1. Accelerators

Another option is to simply pay more. After all, cash is king. If your sales rep has hit their targets, they should have brought in enough money to cover their base salary as well as their portion of your company’s overhead expenses. The revenue that they are bringing in beyond their target is now more of a direct contribution to your company’s profit. The bottom line is that top performers should be compensated for being top performers. We did a study in 2017-2018 that asked over 4,000 sales reps from all industries what their top reason for leaving their current job would be and compensation level was the #1 reason. Don’t lose your top sales reps because they aren’t getting paid enough. To see if your compensation structure lines up with the industry, check out our salary tool here.