Don’t Give IT Marketing Salespeople Ultimatums You Can’t Backup!

IT MarketingAll actions, or the failure to complete required actions, even in the realm of IT marketing have consequences, right? If you run an IT support service, chances are you place certain expectations on your sales reps. For example, each month, you may set a certain sales goal for your reps. This provides them with something to “shoot for.”

The problem is, many IT support company executives and managers don’t back up these requirements with incentives or consequences. While they may issue an ultimatum, such as, “if you fail to meet the required sales quota, you lose commissions,” when the time comes, these consequences are usually not carried through or backed up.

What Happens when Consequences aren’t applied?

The first time a sales rep thinks they “get away with it,” meaning they don’t meet their sales goals and no consequences befall them, they may begin to believe this is how it is going to be each sales cycle. At this point, their motivation to work harder and sell more is shot. Trying to restore this “need to” attitude in a salesperson who has seen no real consequences of their under-performance is difficult, and in some cases, an impossible task.

In fact, once one sales rep figures out that no real consequences apply to missing requirements, they may begin to “spread the word.” In the long run, this can have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line and profitability. If the trend continues, it can result in the complete failure of the IT support company.

Incentives and Consequences: The Motivation of any Good Sales Rep

Regardless of how much a manager or even the executives of an IT marketing company want to remain friends with their employees, it is essential to offer motivation to sell. This is often in the form of incentives for meeting sales goals; however, in some cases it needs to show up in the form of consequences for failing to meet requirements, as well.

Knowing that failure to meet certain quotas is not acceptable provides the motivation for these individuals to work harder, do more, and go after “the prize.” For those who exceed expectations providing rewards is a great incentive. Incentives that seem to encourage more sales include higher commissions, higher salary, or even time off with pay. Those who don’t meet the minimal requirements need to also receive the promised consequence. If these individuals are ignored or not addressed, it creates a sense in the company that sales goals are not important.

Building a Sales Rep Army that Gets Results

While it may seem harsh, if a manager or an executive states there are consequences for not meeting sales goals, it can’t just get swept under the rug when certain people don’t perform. This type of ultimatum only results in more sub-par efforts from those on the team.

Ultimatums are extremely useful when you stand behind them. When the statement made is backed up with action, your sales reps take notice. If this never happens, they see that as well. Don’t let your business suffer simply because managers and executives aren’t standing behind the claims they make.

The Key to Creating Highly Successful Sales Reps

The good news is, creating highly efficient and fruitful sales reps is not an activity that is extremely difficult. Quality management and leaders can craft sales people who are definitely go-getters. From cold calls, and lead generation, these are individuals who know what to do, how to do it, and who are on fire to get amazing results.

What to Do with Sub-Par Sales Reps

If you continue to notice the same IT service sales reps are not performing to the level that others are, stand behind any ultimatums made. However, also take the time to provide additional training and help along the way. If they are still sub-par, it may mean it is time to cut them loose. Selling anything is an art, there are some who simply can’t do this, or who don’t have the drive to find success.

If you want your IT marketing sales to continue to go up, taking action is a must. When an ultimatum is made, backing it up is a must. Failure to do this can cause issues for the entire business both in the short and long term.


Mark McGarvey

Mark McGarvey is president of One Click Solutions Group, a managed services in San Francisco and security provider serving small and mid-sized businesses with 20 to 100 employees in the Bay Area. Mark began his career in msp consulting, before living in San Francisco, in the 90s as a senior support technician for a then-small company in Austin, TX called Dell. After working for a number of organizations in desktop support/management and systems administration, Mark realized a passion for two things: Ensuring computer systems ran smoothly and keeping the people that used these systems happy and productive. This passion helped him get his IT business started in San Francisco!  As a small business owner, Mark empathizes with other business owners that need computer support in San Francisco and understands the things dearest to them: Increasing productivity and efficiency and keeping costs low and ROI high.