As a sales leader, you’re always looking for ways to motivate your reps. You not only want your reps to attain their quotas, but also close deals even after it. Don’t you? 

One effective way to do this is to introduce accelerators in your reps’ commission plan. The trick though is to get your execution right.

So, how do accelerators work, and how to make the most out of them? 

Sales Accelerators: What are They?  

Sales accelerators are a higher rate of commission that comes into play once reps hit their quotas. It’s used to reward the star sellers and motivate them to keep closing more and more deals. 

For eg: If the commission rate of your rep is 8% until they attain their target of 100%, their commission rate increases to 12% for 100-150% of target attainment, and so on. 

The Problem With Not Having Sales Accelerators

Your rep’s commission structure would include a fixed pay and variable pay, which determines how much reps would earn depending on their quota attainment. 

If you do not introduce any additional component to the commission structure, reps wouldn’t earn any incentive for closing deals after they hit their targets. They wouldn’t be motivated to do so either and would push all the deals to the next quarter when they will receive the monetary benefits for closing deals. You can avoid this occurrence by the use of accelerators. 

The Sales Accelerator Framework

Here’s how you can segment the tiers as you introduce accelerators in the commission plan. 

Tier 1 

Basically, tier 1 acts as a hook for the second tier which is where you want your top performers to be. People who attain an additional few % above their designated quota come under this category. Use accelerators to show them that they are making more and could ideally earn even more if their performance further increases. They’re sure to keep pushing their boundaries.  

Suggested range of quota attainment:

Based on data, the usual range is 100 to 150% of attainment. Leaders will have as low as 120% and SMB reps will have 150%. The point is to define this based on how often people can get lucky and land into the range rather than sustained overperformance.

The kicker rate for tier 1 can be between 1.5x to 2x the base commission rate. 

Tier 2

This is the most lucratively rewarded tier. It is reserved for the truly top performers, less than 5 to 10% of your team. These reps are rewarded lucratively because usually they’ll cover for the shortfall of bad reps or ramping reps. Also, this shouldn't be a tier where reps can randomly hit their targets, but only through skill. 

Suggested range of quota attainment:

Usually, it is 2x of the rage that’s been used in Tier 1. If it’s 100 to 125%, this can be 125% to 160%, and for 100 to 150%, this can be 150 to 225%. 

The kicker rate can be 2x to 4x of base commission rate only for attainment above the Tier 1 range. 

Tier 3 and Outliers

There are always going to be reps who get one big deal and hit 400% of their attainment and defy all laws. It shouldn't be practically possible for your reps to hit above the range of Tier 2. If that's happening a lot, then there is a serious quota problem. 

With that in mind, Tier 3 and above should be capped and should definitely fall into the kicker rate of Tier 1 or even lesser. This is to ensure we don't break the bank and lose gross margin on the big deals. So, if Tier 1 is 2x, Tier 3 should be 2x or even less at 1.5x. You won't have pushback on these. 

Final Thoughts

Accelerators are indeed a powerful tool to have in your commission plans. When executed well, they’re sure to impact your sales numbers. While there are different methods to approach accelerators, the above-mentioned framework can be a great place to kickstart the proceedings. Implement it in your plans, and ensure to bring in the necessary changes to fit into your business.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Top Story