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A Sales Incentive Plan to Retain and Motivate ISP Salespeople

by | Jul 22, 2021

Sales incentive Plan

In every industry, driven sales pros are essential. They prime the cash pump to feed your enterprise. It’s true when you focus on expansion or plan to maintain your customer base – after all, most subscribers don’t stick around forever.

Churn puts a dent into your bankroll. An effective ISP sales incentive plan to add new subscribers helps you stay ahead of turnover – but is it worth discussing a commission? There’s no point motivating sales reps if you don’t have the installers to set up and activate new subscribers — right?

When you hire good salespeople you want them to stay because losing them can cost you on average 50% to two times their salary due to retraining a replacement and lost sales caused by their absence. (1)

The good news is, strategies exist to address balancing sales motivation, qualified staff availability and retention. Let’s dig in…

Sales Incentive Plan 2

How to Hire & Keep the Best

If you’re in an area with limited talent or a big competitor, it’s difficult to attract and keep the best salespeople.

Your ISP has the ammunition to fight back. When you advertise for a position and talk with candidates, do your best to provide these common motivators:

1.       Money

2.       Opportunity

3.       Independence/Flexibility

4.   Positive Work Culture

Money is important, but it’s not everything. Employees care about being part of a meaningful mission that’s exciting, new and growing. Contributing to a fresh, innovative business that makes a difference in people’s lives, like closing the nation’s persistent internet gap can be a dream come true.

But let’s be logical, money is the primary motivator – just not the only one.

Before casting your net into the pool of potential sales reps, consider the budget and obstacles to your ISP’s growth:

  1. Does your territory have enough prospective subscribers to warrant hiring a sales rep? The ROI on your sales salary must be worthwhile. 
  2. How many new subscribers can your installers handle? If your reps bring so many new customers that your install list is backlogged a month or more, then you’ll end up with unhappy customers. 

How to Approach Your ISP Sales Incentive Plan

Basic sales compensation plans include two common elements – Salary and Commission.

There have been ongoing debates about which plan is better, with some sales pros saying an all-commission plan will find the hungriest sales folks. The disadvantage to commission-only compensation is that it could lead to an overly aggressive approach. (2)

If you don’t have the installers to connect more than a few new subscribers a week, you don’t want to incentivize your sales staff with a commission-only. This frustrates your staff and customers.

But, an all-salary approach doesn’t provide enough incentive for salespeople to go above and beyond. The best all-around solution is to create a balanced “commission-salary” approach.

Compensation in Your Sales Incentive Plan

A sales plan details sales earnings, including base salary, commission, other incentives and the pay frequency.

Build the plan based on each team member’s role, experience, types of deals (individual, business, MDUs). Consider these additional factors:

  • ·         Available budget
  • ·         What competitors are paying
  • ·         Cost of living
  • ·        ISP Goals

If your goal is to expand into new territory, the commission would reflect more aggressive sales goals than trying to achieve a steady increase in subscribers to maintain your customer base.

It should be clear to your staff how each part of the plan works. Here are the sales incentive plan structures to consider:

Sales Incentive Plan 3

Base Salary Plus Commission

This plan provides a base salary so your pros can count on regular pay as they get rewards when they reach or exceed sales goals.

This structure provides clarity for you and your reps – you can plan expenses while your staff has security. A base salary also allows you to give them non-sales duties, such as training a new hire or providing ongoing customer service to your subscribers.

To determine base salaries, consider:

  •  Available budget
  • ISP sales experience
  • Cost of living

Calculate the commission based on:

  •  ISP’s sales requirements – do you expect a certain number of sales each month?
  • Packages sold – more lucrative packages with better sales margins (residential vs. business vs. MDU) receive larger commissions.
  • Install capability

Base Salary Plus Bonus

Another style of sales incentive plan is a base salary plus bonus. Your reps receive rewards when they sell above their pre-set sales quota which will motivate them to over-perform.

Determine when to pay out the bonus – whether it’s every month, quarter or fiscal year.

Use the same factors that we discussed to calculate commissions to determine what you can afford to pay in sales bonuses.

Sales Contests

Goals don’t always have to be about sales. They can be about getting new Google Reviews or how well your people take care of your subscribers. Contests can help you achieve these goals.

Offer a prize for staff who collect perfect Net Promoter Score (NPS) in a month, get five new testimonials in two weeks, or inspire 10 customers to complete Google Reviews in 10 business days.

Don’t run sales contests all the time or your staff will expect to receive rewards for doing their job. The most effective sales contests achieve a specific behavior and run for a short time, like a month or a quarter.

ISP Sales Incentive Plan 4

Reward Loyalty & Consistency

Unexpected rewards are motivating. Value the pros who work beside you over time, show up, put in the work and who over-deliver. They are the gold standard and deserve extra recognition.

Even if a hefty cash payment isn’t possible, a surprise gift card in a pay envelope or a handshake and sincere “thank you” can go a long way.

Good employees stay at an organization because they are valued(3).

Drive Your ISP’s Success

A successful ISP sales incentive plan balances your goals, budget and ignites high performance in your staff. Combine these critical factors, along with recognition for a job well done, and you’ll have a sales engine that feeds your ISP’s longevity.

You want the right staff, and the right vendors matter, too. Choose vendors that help you achieve your definition of success. At Visp.net, it’s all about our clients. Even if you’re not a client now, we want to support your success with information that fuels your enterprise and keeps our industry running.

If you’re looking for a new billing system, see how Visp fuels your growth by signing up for a free demonstration. If you’re interested in more good content, check out our ISP-specific blogs that provide technical, business and practical information.

  1. Sourced 7/15/2021 from: https://www.netsuite.com/portal/resource/articles/human-resources/employee-turnover-statistics.shtml
  2. Sourced 6/21/2021 from: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-commissionbased-incentive-plans-73006.html
  3.   Sourced 6/21/2021 from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295860

Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas

Director of Client Services Dave is a customer service guy at heart with a 40-year sales career built from principles of business gurus, like Jay Abraham, Steven Covey, Peter Drucker, and Anthony Robbins. He manages customer service, sales and marketing operations for Visp.net. His key to success is being principle-centered, and service-focused. Dave’s passion is to work with people who have the drive to succeed.

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