How to Ensure Your Website is GDPR Compliant

One of the most significant changes to the internet and online privacy was made earlier this year – the General Data Protection Regulation. This EU data protection directive affects every business with an online presence – even those who operate mostly in the US. It’s essential that you take steps to ensure your site is GDPR compliant to avoid any fines – which can be up to 4% of your total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year. To keep your business and your customers protected, tackle these five tasks.

 Update Your Privacy Policy

If you haven’t touched your privacy policy in a while, or just copied it from someone else’s website, it’s time to update it. Make sure the policy is transparent about your collection and use of data, including cookie usage and any data privacy rules, as well as any data that is collected by plugins. Your privacy policy should be customized to your site, and include specific details about the type of data you collect, what you use it for, and how you protect it. Make sure your completed policy uses concise language that is easy for anyone to understand – not just an IT expert.

Obtain Consent to Use Cookies

To be GDPR compliant, you must obtain explicit consent from users to use cookies and track them. It is recommended you install a popup that prompts users to consent to or decline cookie use on their first visit. You cannot have a default answer, but instead but require the user to pick their option. Users should be able to use the site without cookie placement still, and you cannot use cookies if they don’t consent.

Use GDPR-Compliant Plugins

When you use third-party plugins, you need to be careful that they are also compliant with the GDPR rules. Start by reviewing which plugins use data and how they use it. The needs of your plugins should be included in your privacy policy, and still must abide by the cookies consent rules. Hopefully, your chosen plugins have already adapted to GDPR, but if they haven’t, you might need to replace them.

Streamline Forms to Limit The Data You Collect

You may utilize forms on your site to collect data from your users. To be GDPR compliant, you should only obtain the fields you require for processing. Moreover, as soon as you no longer need the data, it should be destroyed. This includes any data collected by plugins you have installed. Look for those that include a “do not store form data” option and select it to reduce risk.

Filter Mailing Lists

If you have a mailing list, it should include double opt-in, meaning that a user must confirm their subscription via email after they sign up. While GDPR does not require double opt-in, but it does ensure that you can prove consent was provided, which is required. If your mailing lists come from a third party, stop that process immediately. If those contacts did not consent to their emails being passed on, you would get busted by GDPR.

Make sure your emails always include an unsubscribe button at the bottom – especially if your contacts may have come from outdoor sources.

Stay GDPR Compliant

If you make these efforts, and in general work on being transparent and honest with your data usage to your site visitors, you shouldn’t have a problem. If you’re unsure whether or not your site is compliant, always consult a legal expert. Remember that at the end of the day, keeping your user’s data safe is right for them, and good for your business.

5 Ways Your On-Site SEO Might Be Hurting Your Business

Your website might not be living up to its full potential. It might look great, have an exciting blog, and helpful information that you spent time crafting or hired a professional. But have you taken care of your on-site SEO ? Without the right search engine optimization, your perfect website might could be missing out on valuable traffic. Tackling on-site SEO with these practices will help your site reach the potential customers you’re looking for. Take a look at your site and see if you have any of these five SEO problems that might be harming your site.

  1. Missing Title Tags & Image Alt Tags

Every page on your site needs to be properly labeled so search engines and people can find what they need.  A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Most importantly, they are used on search engine results pages as the clickable headline. Crafting the right title tags is important for usability, SEO, and social sharing.

Each page needs a unique title and description, which serves as an accurate and informative description of the content of the page. This is also a good place to incorporate any SEO keywords you’re targeting.

Every image on those pages also needs to have an alt tag. You can find this entry when you upload the image or edit it. Alt tags provide textual descriptions of images, which makes it possible for search engines to categorize them (as well as visually-impaired visitors). The tag is another place to fit in the keyword for your site as well.

  1. No Keyword Optimization

Your website needs to be optimized for the specific keywords that users are searching. Recognize that some words, like “computer help,” are going to be impossible to rank highly for. Put your focus on finding niche phrases that describe your services, location, or other specifics. Use keyword tools and competitive research to identify phrases that consumers are actually using to find services like yours. Choose a few closely related keywords to target for each page, and scatter it throughout that page or blog (about 2-3% keyword density is a good goal).

If some pages are already ranking for keywords, see if you can double-down on that keyword and incorporate it more so you can rank higher. If you don’t use keyword focus for your blogs and site pages, search engines will have trouble understanding what exactly the content is about, so it won’t appear high in the results.

  1. Broken Links

Broken links within your site can cause major SEO problems. You might have a few scattered about, but as your site grows, you might have more 404 pages popping up. If a user sees a 404 page instead of the useful information they wanted, it causes a traffic dropdown. Also, users will perceive your site as low quality.

Lots of broken links will also cause search engines to spend time indexing your broken pages, instead of your quality pages. Too many broken links can lower your ranking and decrease the number of pages in search engine results.

  1. Low Word Count

While Google hasn’t listed an official minimum for page word count, they are known to rank content with more depth higher. This doesn’t mean you should fill your pages with fluff, but consider if you could go further in your descriptions of your services or blogs. Plus, the more text you have, the more opportunities you have to include keywords, images, infographics, and other useful content for your users and search engines.

  1. Slow Load Speed

You’ve probably done it yourself- gone to a page, realized it is taking a long time to load, and then left the website. You don’t want this to happen to your business. Slow pages cause customers to leave, and also means search engines can’t crawl as many pages using their allocated crawl budget.

A few reasons your site might be slow include:

Your host:  Cheap hosting offers are attractive but can slow your pages down.

Your images are too big: Aim to keep your images under 100kB and make sure they are progressive in order to keep your load times down.

Externally embedded video: Video is essential nowadays for any marketing strategy, but embedding your videos on sites like YouTube can slow you down. Sometimes this is necessary, but if you can, host them on your own server.

Inefficient code: If your HTML/CSS is not efficient or too dense, it will lower your page speed.

Equilibrium Consulting has an organic SEO program that can help with all these items, give us a call at 843.712.7129 to discuss your website and SEO needs.

Its All The Buzz – Become a MSSP!

If you’re an MSP who’s looking to expand business, consider becoming an MSSP. This change can make you more valuable to your customers, increasing business and profit.

Today’s small business owners are overwhelmed by the amount of cybersecurity they need to keep their data and their customers safe. As a result, they are investing in additional security to protect from various cyberattacks. And the industry is seeing the changes. In a 2016 Managed Security Service Market report, it was revealed that the managed security service market size is estimated to grow from about $17 billion in 2016 to nearly $34 billion by 2021, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.6 percent during the forecast period.

Managed security not only helps companies decrease the risk of cyberattack, is also helps those in other industries, such as healthcare, financial services, or retail stay up-to-date with industry regulations. Small and medium-sized It organizations are turning to MSSPs to lower their investments in security management and monitoring equipment.

Expanding your offerings as an MSP to MSSP can help you provide more services to your existing clients, and reach new clients who may not have been interested before.

Business owners are becoming increasingly concerned with their cybersecurity, so now is the time to become and MSSP.

  1. Your clients are struggling to hire IT security talent

The IT industry is suffering for great talent. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Intel Security polled a group of IT decision makers who are involved in cybersecurity within their organizations. The results found that 82% reported a shortage of IT security skills at their company. Important missing skills included: intrusion detection, secure software development, and attack mitigation. And unfortunately for business owners, this shortage is driving salaries for the few qualified candidates, making it even more difficult for small-medium organizations.

As an MSSP, you can fill in the gap. One qualified IT security candidate can provide services to many clients, but still receive a competitive salary. Plus, as and MSSP, you can build a roster of specialized security experts who can help you expand your company’s offerings.

  1. Your clients are ready for the as-a-service sales model

Today, most businesses are subscribed to many software’s and IT services that require monthly or yearly payments. Necessities like Microsoft 365 and Salesforce have made small to midsize businesses understand that this model gives them access to enterprise business features while staying within their budgets. Your clients may already be wishing they could add a monthly payment to improve their cybersecurity, and are ready to work with you.

They know they need protection year-round, so they may welcome the idea of an investment that offers protection against the latest attacks for a monthly fee.

  1. Your clients need help with cybercrime

New attacks are popping up constantly, and small businesses don’t have the means to keep up.  Between ransomware, malware, and emerging IoT security concerns, it’s a long list of issues they aren’t equipped to handle.

By stepping in as an MSSP, you can provide that needed education and give your clients peace of mind that they’re protected. MSSPs know first-hand what products work and work best together; the most efficient ways to manage multiple solutions to defend against existing and emerging threats; and become the go-to resource when new threats do rise up. By working closely with your clients, you can be their lifeline to internet security.

Making this move will help you be a more valuable player in your industry, and provide services to clients who otherwise might look elsewhere. No business owner wants to put their data at risk, so help ease their fears by making the switch to an MSSP.

Need help marketing your MSP, give us a call at 855.202.2550 and we can assist. 



6 Steps to Setting Smarter Sales Goals

If a few of your employees aren’t hitting their sales goals, it’s likely that their techniques are the problem. But if most of your salespeople aren’t hitting their goals – it’s the system that needs improving. It’s not enough to just hope to “do better.” Goal setting needs to be well-thought-out, specific, and tangible so the whole team can work towards them together.

A Harvard University study found that setting specific goals increases motivation, and students who stuck to a goal-oriented plan performed 30% better than those who didn’t.

It’s time to put more time and effort into your goal-setting so you can get your team on track. Here are six steps to set smarter sales goals:

  1. Start with Numbers

Tangible, number-based goals are easier to understand and reach. Start with your company’s annual revenue target ,then work backwards to determine the monthly sales goals. Once you have that number, calculate how much your department, teams, and individual reps need to sell to meet that goal.

  1. Break Them Into Activities

Knowing they need to make $X more in a week can be helpful, but doesn’t necessarily tell your team how to achieve it. Convert a financial target into a series of activities.

First, look at the rep’s performance in the past to figure out how many emails, calls, and meetings they need to hit the target. If they need to increase their deals by 20%, determine how much their demos need to increase, as well as their calls. Now, a large revenue-based goal is turned into smaller, more manageable goals. Plus, your reps can easily know whether they accomplished these smaller goals or not.

  1. Focus on What Your Team Can Control

No matter what you do, you can’t control how much people will buy. Phrase your goals so they are things your reps can control, actions that encourage buying behavior. Prioritize tasks such as how many calls they make or how many demos they schedule. Your reps will feel empowered that they can achieve their goals no matter which difficult potential clients they might be working with.

  1. Set Gradual Goals

If you want your reps to start sending 100 emails a week instead of the current 50, don’t have them leap immediately to that number. Instead, raise it by ten or week. Gradual goals are better for morale, because they make the goals more easily attainable. Your team will be more nervous and less motivation if they keep missing goals. By moving slower, your team will produce higher quality work and won’t get burned out.

  1. Prioritize

When all the goals are of equal priority, your team might not be focusing on the right things, or may get overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once. Determine which goals have the highest value, and make sure your sales team is meeting those first. By prioritizing the goals, your team can focus on meeting the ones that are the most important, either for the company’s revenue, or their professional growth.

  1. Revise and Repeat

Always keep the door of communication open between you and your team. If the goals aren’t working for them, you might need to try something else. The same goals might not work for every rep, so be prepared to be flexible. At the end of the day, it’s in your interest to ensure every salesperson is motivated appropriately. Some reps might be motivated by hitting revenue targets, others might be more interested in hitting professional growth checkpoints. AT some point, you might realize that no matter how many people a salesperson is calling, no one is moving forward in the sales funnel. At that point, you can know who you need to have a conversation with. When you have clear goals, you can more easily track the progress of your reps, and they can know where they stand as well. Everyone will be happier when goals are more transparent, and catered to them.

Using Video in your Website and Social Media

Video is one of the most underutilized types of content you can use on social media. But it is highly effective. It’s been found that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it on video, compared to 10% when reading it in a text. The increase in click-through rate with video is as high as 96%, and videos are shared 1200% more times than links and text combined.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have all have updated their sites to make it easier and more beneficial for users o share video posts. Using video on social media allows you to engage with your audience on a much deeper level. With video, you can show you care and create a strong connection with clients. It helps your audience see you as a person, not just a business.

You can also upload video to YouTube, and then repost on the different social media platforms. If you’re making a video blog series or creating something with a higher production value, YouTube (or Vimeo!) is the way to go.

There are two ways you can add videos to social media:

  • Record: You can record, edit and share videos from within the app
  • Upload: Upload a video from your device to post to the platform. It could be a quick video you took on your phone, or something that’s been edited.

If you’re interested in giving it a try, here are four great social media video techniques:

  1. Share Live Events

“Going Live” is a great way to showcase your business as you attend a conference, community event, or just a special day at the office. Just start creating a post in Facebook and click “Live Video.” Your audience can be there with you in real time, even if they couldn’t attend your event in person. It lets you field questions and provide a unique, interactive experience with your followers. Capture the best moments and post them on social media as they happen. You can even just do a live Q&A session to give insight into your business.

  1. Respond to Questions with Video

This works best for Twitter, but can be utilized in Instagram stories as well! Instead of sending a regular text reply, try using video. Answer a question, thank someone for following you, or give a shout out via video. This is a great way to introduce the people behind your brand and connect with your audience on a personal level. Just a quick “Thank you for the follow, have a great day,” can show you’re willing to take the extra step. It’s far more engaging than a simple tweet, and just as easy. Send a message requesting questions about your product or a service you offer, and then do a video post that answers those questions!

  1. Educate with Vlogs

Turn your blogs into vlogs! Video blogs are a great way to educate your audience on the benefits of your service, information about the industry, and more. You could do a video showing the benefits of a service, interviewing an employee, or even follow one of your employees on the field to show what a typical day is like. These can be as casual or as professional as you wish. Vlogs can actually be less time consuming than written blogs, and let you show your personality as your provide information.

  1. Ask for User-Generated Content

Try running a contest and ask your clients to give video testimonials. This gives you more content to post to your own site, and gives you an opportunity to interact with clients in a new way. Video from real customers can be huge for attracting new business.

Take the leap and start adding video to your social media profiles – it might be just what you need to grow your audience.

5 Techniques to Motivate your Sales Team

Improving your team’s skills is a tangible process that can be done with coaching, presentations, and time. But keeping your team motivated to do well is more of a challenge. Adjusting your motivational tactics for each employee requires getting to know them on a personal level, and checking in to make sure nothing gets missed. Try the following strategies to get your sales team on track and selling at record rates.

  1. Get to Know Them on Personal Basis

Your team members will not want to you for help or motivation if they don’t trust you. If you lose their trust, they won’t be motivated to do well. And it will be difficult to speak to them about their goals if they don’t trust you. It’s a vicious cycle.

Engage your employees on a personal level, and focus on being nurturing. Get to know their work style and their preferred method and frequency of communication. Ask them about their personal and professional goals, and discuss how you can work toward those together. When you know what matters to them, you’ll know how to motivate them most effectively.

  1. Set Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals
  • Different sales people are driven by different things. That’s why creating a range of goals can help to find one that connects with each sales person. Each of these goals should come with a specific reward, whether it be monetary, experiential, or personal.
  • Daily goals: These help get a salesperson back on track. The reward for this goal should be small and fun, as it didn’t require much work to attain.
  • Weekly goals: This is a more tangible goal with defined business impact. Track improvement, and work with your sales team to create daily goals that will help them reach this larger milestone.
  • Monthly goals: These are the largest goals, and are accompanied by a larger reward. Something experiential or an item that will allow the salesperson to remember what they achieved every time they see it is a good idea.
  1. Communication and Recognition

Your whole team should be aware of each other’s goals and accomplishments. They can see who is doing well, how they can step up their game, and even ask each other for assistance. It can create some friendly competition as everyone works toward one exciting incentive, like a weekend trip.

You should also personally communicate with each salesperson so they understand how their work is valued. Give their efforts meaning. Salespeople who love their jobs often tend to be great at their jobs.

  1. Motivate the Unmotivated

Recognize when there are issues, and figure out how you can solve them. First, figure out if everyone seems unmotivated, or just a few players. That can help you figure out how to target the issue, and stop it.

If it’s just one specific salesperson, have an honest conversation with them. Make specific observations of what you’ve noticed, and open the floor to your salesperson to discuss their problems or concerns. Work to understand where they are coming from, reach an agreement on the nature of the problem that exists and what has caused it, and find methods to address it. If you’ve earned their trust and set a baseline for open communication, this shouldn’t be difficult.

If the whole team is having issues, you need to look at your overall incentive and goal strategy. Evaluate if you are doing your best to motivate your team on a personal level.

  1. Let People Pick Their Own Rewards

If your team seems like it needs extra motivation, ask them what they need to get to the next level. Ask what they think the objective should be, when they think they can reach it, and what they want the prize to be (within a budget). After all, they know what they want better than you do.

And make sure the rewards you give are valuable and exciting! They can be personal, like cooking the salesperson dinner or babysitting. Or, they could be a team-wide outing like bowling or a barbecue. And if you want to put yourself out there, you can offer to do a dance, wear a funny outfit, or d something else playful and memorable.

Your team should be just that – a team. Get to know them and their goals, and you’ll be able to find motivations that speak to your salespeople on a personal level.

Overcome your fear of Speaking!

It happens. You step up to the podium or in front of your office and suddenly, your palms are sweaty, your heart rate increases, and you might even forget your speech. Even experienced public speakers can get nervous or afraid before a big presentation. Luckily, public speaking is a skill that can be mastered by anyone – it just takes practice!

Before you beat yourself up about your fear of public speaking, you should know it’s in our DNA. When our ancestors faced a risk, it was often life-threatening and required a shot of adrenaline to survive. Unfortunately, today that “fight or flight” response still manifests itself in risky (but not deadly) situations like giving a speech. The adrenaline creates those physical symptoms that exaggerate everything you are experiencing, like sweaty palms.

These five tips will help you overcome your fear of public speaking to feel confident during your next presentation.

  1. Speak from the heart

If you can, choose a topic for your presentation that you are passionate about. Even if it is a dry subject, include personal antidotes that will help you and the audience connect with what you are saying. If you don’t write a presentation that is easy to understand and relate to, your audience won’t listen, and at that point you might as well just send an email. Your enthusiasm is your best sales tool, and the more you care about it, the more your audience will as well.

  1. Practice for performance

Going over your notes in your car before you walk into a speaking engagement is not going to set you up for success. When you practice your speech, practice it the way you will perform it. Put on your planned outfit, set up your Power Point, and practice for a coworker or family member if possible. Practicing standing and saying your speech loudly and clearly, using whichever notes you plan on using, and even borrowing a conference room to practice is key. Simulating the performance space acclimates you to the demands of your speech. It will help you calm your nerves on the day of, because you’ll feel like you’ve already done it!

  1. Plan Ahead

If you get anxious about things going wrong during your presentation, make a game plan. Figure out what you‘ll do if your presentation gets turned off, you can’t find your note cards, you trip and fall, you need to take a sip of water, and other potential mishaps. When you have a plan of action, if it does end up happening during your speech, you’ll know what to do. In the end, your goal should always be to avoid drawing attention to what went wrong. Simply keep smiling and forge ahead!

  1. Distract yourself

Right before your speech, you might feel nerves starting to kick in. Try a technique of distracting yourself to burn off the extra energy. You could try:

  • Taking a walk/job through the building or parking lot.
  • Using tongue twisters.
  • Doing a vocal warm-up.
  • Speaking with your coworkers or whoever is in the room to get your mind off the speech.
  1. Breathe!

Being aware of your breath gives you control of your nerves. Do some deep breathing before and during your presentation calms your nerves, plus it adds power and strength to your voice. Right before you begin, stand with your legs apart and do five deep breaths in and out. Stretching side to side to loosen your ribs will also help you breathe better. When you warm your body up properly, it will be easier to breathe even as you get nervous.

The best way to overcome your fear is to face it, so offer to speak at the next company meeting and give these tips a try.

8 Things To Do Everyday to Become a Great Sales Manager

Being a successful sales manager takes more than showing up and occasionally giving your salespeople a pat on the back. As the leader of the sales team, you must work hard to keep the team motivated and moving forward. Great sales managers achieve their potential by doing the right things day in and day out.

Integrate these tasks into your daily schedule to improve your relationships with your sales reps, your customers, and help your company achieve their goals. These are the 8 things you should do everyday to become a great sales manager.

Set measurable goals

Goals are impossible to reach if they aren’t specific and measurable. A series of smaller goals is much easier to understand and commit to, as opposed to one larger quarter goal. Instead of saying “increase sales,” say “increase sales by 10%” or something similar.

Every morning, you should review these goals to review progress, and see what is helping you achieve those goals, and what isn’t.

Observe the team

You can’t know how your team is doing if you don’t watch them in action! Wander around your sales floor and simply listen – you’ll be able to learn more than you think. While you’re there, be available to your sales reps to ask for your input or bounce around ideas. Especially if you work remotely or in a different office, make some face time so you’re available for your reps.

Stay involved with customers

It’s important for customers to have personal interaction with you as well as the sales reps. Take the time to jump on a call, or check in with you reps to see how a client is going. It’s especially important to touch base with high-profile clients, so they can be reminded customers of the value you provide and the fact that you care.

Jump in when needed

Your sales reps need you, as the manager and experienced salesperson, to help them when problems arise. You are a teammate to your reps, so you need to know when its time to roll your sleeves up and get in on the action. Look for early-stage opportunities where you could possibly leverage past experience, a network connection or some other way of helping your rep close the deal.

Meet with the marketing team

The sales team can’t operate in a bubble. You need to meet with your marketing counterpart for a daily check-in. Talk about what kind of campaigns marketing is running this week and ensure that the handoff process of leads to sales is still running smoothly. Make sure your sales strategy is driving success for the company as a whole.

Then, bring the updates you discover to your team so everyone is kept in the loop.

Learn something new

Whether it’s reading a sales blog to discover a new trend, or picking up a book about sales techniques, every day you should be expanding your skills. You never know what you might find that could inspire you and provide you with tips to pass on to your team.

Communicate Effectively

Make sure your team knows what they’re working toward and what the progress is. When expectations are clear, everyone can work more efficiently. This also means providing coaching and fulfilling your role as a mentor, continually inspiring them to perform better.

Take time for yourself

No one can work 24/7. It just results in burn-out and lowered productivity. Take time to relax and recharge will not only help you, but your team as well. Your sales reps will follow in your example, so know when you need to take breaks, or leave work early for family obligations occasionally.

Want to chat on any of these or just get a quick checkup by giving me a call at 843.712.7130

The Handoff from Sales to Operations

The Handoff from Salees to OperationsIn a relay race, the baton handoff is crucial for a win. The same is true in business. The handoff from your sales representative to your operations team is key for your success. If the transition does not go as planned, you can quickly lose clients, wasting time and putting your bottom line at risk. They may see your company as disorganized or unprofessional, or perhaps won’t feel like they’re truly being listened to. This is not the way you want to start with a new client.

According to Bain & Company it costs 6 -7 times as much to acquire a new client as to retain one. This should be huge incentive to keep your clients on your roster, as opposed to focusing on only bringing in new names. Making a few tweaks to the client process can give you a big jump in retention. And improving your retention by just 5% can increase revenue by 25% to 95%.

Here are our best tips for creating a successful handoff from sales to operations:

  1. Educate the sales team

Make sure the sales team is educated on all the latest packages, services, and costs for your business. If they’re giving clients wrong information, it will cause problems right out of the gate. Have a meeting, send an updated document, or even give an online quiz to make sure each member of your sales team is well informed.

  1. Detailed notes

The sales team should take detailed notes during each interaction with their leads, and store them in a common place, such as your CRM. As soon as the lead is ready to sign, the sales team should share these notes with the operations team so that every employee can be an expert and fully understand the clients’ goals.

  1. Designate a Go-To Point Person

If the client is confused about who they should be speaking to, they might just pull their deal. Assign a go-to point person to lead the account, and have them lead the kickoff call. The salesperson should also know who the account lead will be, so they can personally brief them.

  1. Create a Checklist

Go over a checklist with the sales team, so they know what information they need to pass on to operations. The items should be personalized to your business, but these should be provided at minimum:

  • Client’s basic information.
  • Who else was involved with the deal.
  • What problem the client looking to solve.
  • Which competitors the clients considered..
  • What promises were made to the client.
  • What is their timeline for services.
  • What relevant systems they use.
  • Any potential concerns with the account.
  1. Design Appropriate Compensation

If you have a big problem with client retention, it might be that your sales team isn’t bringing in the right qualified clients. Your sales team might be over-promising or not properly communicating to the operations team because “the job is done” To solve this, revise your compensation plan to require salespeople to repay commissions earned from clients that cancel their services after a certain amount of time. These “claw-backs” make the salespeople incentivized to sell good, honest deals. They will be more motivated to conduct an excellent handoff to the account manager so they can protect their investment.

  1. Improve communication

If your sales team and your operations team don’t communicate to begin with, you’ll never be able to improve the transition. If they sit in different areas of the office, try bringing them together for a lunch. Organize social events or other post-work extracurricular to help them develop a rapport. When they have more familiarity with each other, it will be easier to discuss clients more efficiently.

Follow these tips to improve your client handoff from sales to operations. Not only will this increase your client retention, it will also improve your revenue.

Give us your thoughts and post a comment below.

5 Best Practices in Developing a Sales Compensation Plan


Creating or redesigning a compensation plan for a sales team is one of the most challenging parts of owning a business. It requires all hands on tech, with contributions from HR, finance, a sales manager, and someone from the field to ensure it’s a plan that works for the entire company. There is no one way to design a compensation plan – every business is different and everyone has different goals and plans that work for them. As you determine how to move your business forward, follow these five best practices in developing your compensation plan.

  1. Have Clear Goals

When you know what you want, it’s easier to get it. Understand where you want your company to go, so you can design your compensation plan around those goals. For instance, if you want to bring in $1 million in new business, how many deals will you need to close to get there? How many opportunities will you need to actually close those deals? How many leads will you need to generate those opportunities? Determine if you prefer a few larger contracts, or more from smaller companies. Decide how important it is for you to get long-term contracts, or can you handle short-term deals.

Tying individual performance parameters to a company’s broader growth objectives is crucial for the success of any sales incentive program. It provides clear marching orders to your team, and everyone knows what they are working toward.

  1. Know Your Team and How They Work

You need to have insight on the members of your team and what their preferences are, as well as the structure of their sales. If the sales person plays a critical role in getting a customer to buy, they should be rewarded appropriately for winning that sale. If you want your team to sell more of a certain package, a commission boost for selling that package would be smart. And if your team is signing fewer big-ticket clients, then including a salary will help even out their income over the year.

Determine what you want your sales reps to do – and what they’re good at- and be certain that your incentive program is in sync. Know what motivates your team and plan accordingly.

  1. Think Outside The Box

Your company’s compensation plan is yours alone, so feel free to get creative. Consider non-cash rewards, like trips or nice dinners. Those can be just as appreciated as money for the right employees!

Contemplate a tier-based system that rewards your high-sellers with a larger commission percentage, which can encourage your beginner sellers to step it up.

Maybe you want to go more extreme and try a 90/10 commission structure. This can be highly motivating for your sales team, and will attract new salespeople who are attracted to this format. You could get your most aggressive year of growth ever!

4. Don’t Cap It

Under any circumstances, never place a cap on the amount of compensation someone can earn. If a salesperson reaches their quota, and there’s no more commission for them, they might not be motivated to make that sale until the next month. Why would you want to encourage reps to stop performing once they reach their payout limit?

  1. Make it Simple

An overly complicated compensation plan will just become a headache. Keep it simple and make it easy for reps to clearly see where they stand at any given point. When the goals and rewards are well-defined, your team will spend less time negotiating and more time selling. Plus, their performance growth will feel tangible and like something they can control.

The right compensation plan can motivate salespeople not only to sell more, but also to act in ways that support a start-up’s evolving business model and overall strategy. Create a company culture that encourages sales and happy employees with a compensation plan that works for everyone.

How do you prefer to structure your plan? Let us know in the comments.




Pete is a great strategist, trainer, coach and speaker. Over the past few years he has shared his insights and expertise to the ChannelPro audience and we are grateful for it. He excels at getting organizations to think, act and perform better – driving business value and improving corporate culture at the same time.

- Michael Siggins – ChannelPro Network, VP and Publisher

Equilibrium has been a fantastic partner who has helped our business grow. Their various experiences has helped to get marketing, sales and business managment tuned up. With Equilibrium’s help, we can focus more on service and sales knowing that other key areas of our business are covered.

- Jason Comstock – President, Clarity Technology Solutions

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