Want Your Sales Reps to Pay Attention to CRM Data Quality? Tie It to Commission
This is a guest blog written by QuotaPath Chief of Staff and Interim Head of Sales Graham Collins.
Bad data. It’s RevOps Enemy No. 1 and one that can throw significant wrenches into forecasts, processes, and productivity.
It can even impact the outcome of a deal closing if the CRM data isn’t “clean.”
For example, if the deal info in the CRM is not up-to-date, the rep might miss opportunities to follow up with the customer, make a mistake during the negotiation process, or waste time focusing on deals less likely to close.
Yet, despite these risks, reps struggle to remember, or straight up dismiss, the need to update deal data. Maybe they don’t see the value in it or they don’t know how to make changes in the system. But most likely, it’s that they aren’t making the time to keep the CRM current.
So, how can you get them to care about CRM data quality?
Tie it to their earnings potential.
We’re not suggesting reps get paid (or not paid) based on their CRM cleanliness. What we’re saying is to show reps their potential commissions per sales opportunity so that they can see how their future checks change according to their updated pipeline.
Why you should tie CRM data quality to rep commission
By showing potential commissions based on CRM data quality, you immediately deliver a direct incentive for reps to maintain their pipelines. Those “hypothetical numbers” in the CRM become more tangible by showing how the data shapes their future paychecks.
Additionally, you’ll make it easier and more visible for reps to track how they’re trending toward their financial goals. That’s important because when reps can see how close they are to a higher commission tier, their motivation increases to bring the next deal in.
You can also create a deal-scoring system that only shows commissions once a deal advances to a specific stage. In doing so, you’ll encourage reps to continuously update their deal statuses (and move deals forward) to reach the score that unlocks potential commissions.
Now, if the deal closes and the CRM isn’t updated beforehand, the rep still earns commissions.
We do not recommend holding commissions hostage if the CRM data isn’t 100% updated.
I’ve seen this before and, to put it frankly, it sucks for your reps. However, only making visible their potential earnings upon passing a deal through a specific stage motivates reps to keep their CRM data quality high.
Overall, tying earnings to a CRM can help improve CRM hygiene by creating a direct incentive for sales reps to keep their data up-to-date.
How to tie commissions to your CRM data
So, how can you actually attach commissions to your pipeline? The smartest way to do this is to enlist the help of sales compensation software.
QuotaPath, for instance, integrates directly with CRMs, like HubSpot and Salesforce, to provide real-time views into existing and forecasted earnings and attainment. That means that QuotaPath’s data depends on CRM data quality, and, as a result, encourages reps to keep their CRM current.
One SaaS RevOps leader, for example, noted an uptick in CRM cleanliness after implementing QuotaPath and showing his reps how the two systems correlate.
A finance leader, too, didn’t realize the value of reps being able to forecast commissions until seeing it first with QuotaPath.
“Now that I’ve seen that reps have visibility into how their pipeline translates into earnings, and how powerful it is to be able to forecast deals, I’d absolutely consider this feature a requirement,” said Prefect Head of Finance Thomas Egbert.
Why? Because it’s motivating.
Joe St. Germain, Blackthorn’s VP of Sales, said that once his reps began to toggle in QuotaPath to the forecasted earnings view, they ran “what if” scenarios to see how they could optimize their commissions.
“Our reps realized they could run scenarios and see how much they could earn from our monthly kickers,” Joe said. He added that the team scored the highest sales records in company history in three consecutive months after adding QuotaPath to his sales tech stack.
All that to say, tie commissions to your CRM data quality. Use a solution like QuotaPath to automate it for you and enjoy updated data and more sales as a result.
Additional CRM data quality best practices for your sales reps
In addition to encouraging good CRM hygiene through commission visibility, here are a few more best practices that you can do as RevOps leaders:
- Coach your reps to set aside time each week to clean their CRM. Even if it's just 15 minutes.
- Create a data checklist for entering data correctly that includes items like contact information, sales activity, next steps, and deal status.
- Host office hours that encourage reps to come to you with questions about the CRM in case they struggle with how to use it optimally.
- Use SetSail's free CRM Health Grader to identify your biggest CRM data gaps.
QuotaPath is the only sales compensation software that offers a free 30-day trial. Sign up, sync your CRM, build your comp plan, or use one of our free adjustable templates, and invite team members to track commissions before even chatting with a member of our team. Sign up for your free trial or schedule time with a member of the team to learn more.