There is nothing more dangerous to sales production than rolling out a new compensation plan or incentive program. Often we make these tweaks to reward or encourage good behaviors we see in our sales organization, but I warn…caution is warranted.
I just encountered just such a scenario the other day. Here is an example of how rewards are about to unwind good sales behaviors:
As a brief background, Kaleidico’s Sales Manager (lead management software from my company) is uniquely designed as a pull-based CRM software. This is a very rare feature for lead management, but is incredibly powerful way to discipline sales management. You see, you have to work leads to get leads and it creates a healthy competition for sales leads.
In this particular scenario the client is experiencing an incredible sub-minute initial contact average. Talk about incredible customer service!
The logical conclusion is that their entire sales force is hungry for leads. What’s even better? They are also yielding above average conversion rates and very short sales cycles.
Why the concern?
They want to make a change. A gut-level logical change. They want to adjust lead distribution to reward their current top performers. The new system would round robin (push) leads into each of these selected performers until they hit an allowance cap. Then the lower performers would be eligible for their first fresh leads of the day.
I have been in the Internet lead business for over a decade and have seen about every lead allocation process you can imagine–this one is no exception. So, here are the most probable outcomes and fallacies to this lead distribution scheme:
- Top performers don’t need to be hungry anymore, leads just became free
- Conversion and contact rates are likely to decline for top performers
- Managers now must monitor queues for aging leads or unavailable agents
- Opens the flood gates for multiple “special” allocation groups
- False assumption that leads received in the morning are best (actually research shows weekend leads are the highest converting)
- Good news: Lower performers forced concentration on older leads typically increases their performance
There are certainly exceptions. Lead management is something that should be continually reviewed and optimized for market and organizational changes. However, caution to the wise beware of unwinding good behaviors your current system has enforced.