Sales incentives for BDR’s: Linking sales behaviors to compensation

You want more sales appointments and discovery calls.
Your BDR’s want to make more money.
Does your incentive system improve the behaviors that lead to more meetings and therefore more sales?

Some guiding principles, stay with me here:

  1. Your incentive system for discovery calls must impact the sales behaviors that lead to more meetings, not just the setting of a meeting.

Influencing sales behaviors is key. The BDR that on average books 5 qualified meetings per week should make a lot more than the BDR that on average books 2. The rep that books 8 or more per week should make a lot more than the rep that on average books 5.

  1. The incentive must be significant enough to matter to the BDR.

Outreach is freaking boring. Same stuff over and over. If the sales incentive is significant enough reps will bear down on their call to call, hour to hour sales behaviors to get that extra money. If the incentive is not significant, they won’t bother to improve their process, as it makes little difference to them financially.

  1. The incentive must hit the BDR’s paycheck quickly.

Reps must be able to connect their improved execution to money that hits their paycheck. If they work harder, smarter, dig in, make the extra effort, ask the extra questions, win more close decisions and get more meetings because of it, and incentives hit their paycheck quickly, that encourages improved day-to-day sales behaviors that lead to more meetings.

  1. The incentive must not depend on someone else doing their job.

Want to chase away good BDR’s? Make their paycheck dependent upon whether someone else does their job. The BDR’s job is to get an appointment that meets certain criteria. Once they do that, they should be paid. If you start taking away incentives based upon whether it was a “good meeting” or whether there is a sale, factors which the BDR can’t control, they have less incentive to improve the behaviors that lead to more good meetings.

  1. As the BDR makes more money, your cost per meeting should go down.

As a business owner or sales leader, the number you should focus on is cost per meeting. The best incentive systems deliver outsized rewards to the BDR’s that consistently deliver the most meetings, while at the same time the cost of those meetings go down.

Remember this, good BDR’s have options. If their skillset and productivity is rewarded, they stay. If not, they leave. The not so great BDR’s have fewer options, so they tend to stay.