If you want a rep focusing on a particular product, pay them more commission for selling it.
So, for example, when we first launched MSP Success Magazine, it was a new entity, so I paid a higher commission on any advertising sold in MSP success than their regular sales. So, in other words, I wanted them to focus on that, so if they sold a magazine ad, they got double the commission than they would typically get for selling something else. And what that does is incentivizes them to sell that item.
And this is a question I get a lot.
People will say, “Well, Robin, we moved to managed services, and our reps are all used to selling hardware, and we’ve tried to talk to them and coach them and train them and yell at them. And we can’t get them to stop selling hardware and sell managed services.”
So, I say, “Well, I got this simple plan. Stop paying commission on hardware sales.”
Real quick, the problem will solve itself. That’s it. Because as is, they’re still paying them for hardware sales, and so the reps will sell what they’re comfortable selling. So, if you want them not to sell something, give a very low or no commission on it and commission them big on the things you want them to sell. It’s that simple.
And it doesn’t even have to be a higher percentage of commission. It could be it could just be a bonus.
Let’s say you want them to focus on bringing in new business. Well, pay them a higher commission on net new customers versus existing business. Simple, right? That’s why we give five appointment credits if they go after the coldest, hardest, toughest leads for appointment setters, and we give them half a credit if they’re doing a self-book.
Do you see what I mean? The problem will fix itself because they want to get compensation based on where they’re getting paid.
So if you’re going to stop selling a particular product again, stop paying them the commission on it altogether and don’t pay on recurring revenue. If you have an outside hunter, you’ve got to pay them for bringing the book of business and pay them one time. And then that’s it. Because retention and recurring revenue is your job, and it’s your reward. So, you pay them for bringing that business in. Now, if you want, you can say I’ll pay you a percentage for six months. That way, you don’t have to pay a big chunk up out front. You know, you can cash flow it a little easier. That’s fine. Like what we’ll do if one of my reps sells like an accelerator’s membership, they get three months of commission, and then that’s it. All right, so they don’t get forever and ever.