B2B Appointment setting: BDR compensation plan structure

Your BDR appointment setting incentive system should have the following goals.

  • Keep an incentive always within a BDRs reach.
  • Pay top appointment setters significantly more than low producers.
  • Encourage callers to improve their behaviors to earn additional incentives.
  • Reduce your cost per meeting as the BDR earns more.

Table of Contents

Hi, this is Scott Channell, author of Sell the Meeting, Powerful Sales Scripts Sell the Meeting and a few other sleep-inducing books.

Today’s topic? What is the best incentive program for those that set sales appointments and discovery calls?

   Proven sales script (with analysis) for B2B appointment setting

This is a topic that requires a deeper dive, but let me give you some key points and the structure of what I think is the best comp system for those that set discovery calls.

BDR compensation plan should encourage improvement of behaviors that lead to more meetings

Your comp system should encourage the behaviors that tend to not only book more meetings but encourage more profitable accounts.

Some key concepts:

  1. Your comp plan should reward those that consistently book 10 meetings a week on average, a lot more than those that consistently book 2 meetings a week on average. A 20 or 50 dollar a week difference will not encourage behavior change among lower producing reps.
  2. The faster the incentive hits the paycheck, the more it encourages higher probability behavior.
  3. The fastest way to demotivate a caller is to make the size of their paycheck dependent upon whether someone else does their job.


Recommended BDR comp plan structure

Let’s assume that the callers get a base pay and that five to seven meetings a week is reasonable.

The first meeting booked per week earns no incentive, as the callers have a base pay.
The 2nd meeting booked per week earns $25.
The 3rd earns an additional $40.
The 4th gets another $75 and the 5th gets $100 on top of all that.

Cost per meeting goes down as BDR comp goes up

So, someone that books on average 5 meetings a week, sees an extra $240 hit their paycheck. Those that book only two, see $25.

If they book more than 5 meetings a week, those meetings go into a bank that can apply to any week that they book less than five.

So if someone books 8 meetings in a week, they get paid for five and three go into the bank.

If next week they book two meetings, they take 3 from the bank and get paid for five.
At the end of month any meetings in the bank get paid out at the highest rate. Here $100 per. There is no cap.

Your call center or BDR team has every incentive to improve their sales behaviors at every step of the process. If results increase, they benefit greatly, and it hits their paychecks quickly.

  • They will choose to focus on the result, not the activity
  • They will “dig in” to improve behaviors
  • They will qualify more as it costs them if they don’t

On top of that, the best systems, have a qualitative element based on revenue or gross margin.

Callers who generate meetings that lead to $5,000 accounts should not receive close to the same payment as those whose meetings generate $50 thousand or $500 thousand dollar accounts.

Core mistake that sales managers make appointment setting.

They reward and encourage activity, not the results sought.

You get what you ask for. If you prioritize and demand dials made, guess what you get? More dials.

Prioritize qualified meetings set and held that convert to sales. Guess what you get? More discovery calls that lead to sales.

Sorry to burst some bubbles here but there is no rational relationship between activity and results achieved in appointment setting land.

The most successful appointment setters do not make the most dials. Period. Why is that? Because they are focusing on what leads to meetings. They want those incentives.

Your incentive system should encourage development of the skills and discipline necessary to thrive in this role.

More dials will not improve results if you are calling the wrong targets, the wrong way and your sales messaging is poor. All you are doing with more activity is chasing randomness. Don’t get me going.

This is a topic that requires much more time, and is covered in detail in the Sell the Meeting book, but hope this got you thinking.

Have questions on your BDR compensation plan? Contact us.

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