Sam Hillestad
Product Marketing at SetSail
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There’s a gym near me that costs $240 per month. They have eucalyptus steam rooms, free massages, and a boutique juice bar among other amenities in their “urban retreat”. Even if we weren’t in a pandemic, though, I’d never dream of paying $240 for a membership.

But what if they paid me instead?

That’s what SetSail does, but instead of rewarding exercise, SetSail rewards good sales habits.

A Match Made in (Product Marketing) Heaven

It didn’t take long for me to see that potential in the product. I “got” it, because I “get” sales teams. Not from the inside, like a BDR or an AE, but from working with sales managers as a product marketer.

We’ve worked together on everything from sales trainings to messaging playbooks to collateral. Whether we can get reps to take action on the trainings, messaging, and collateral, though, is another matter entirely.

It’s all contingent on their motivation, and it wasn’t until I learned about SetSail that I realized there’s a fundamental flaw in the way salespeople are motivated.

Motivation for Gym Rats and Sales Reps

Let’s consider the gym again. Intrinsic motivation in the gym is rare. More often, exercise is a means to an end: gaining muscle to look more attractive, for instance. Without immediate results, it’s easy to give up. If my gym paid me to keep coming, though, of course I’d go! Eventually I’d see the results and pick up the same habits as those intrinsically motivated folks.

The same holds true for salespeople. Your top reps are intrinsically motivated, and they work their butts off. But for most of them, the commission isn’t enough of a motivation (neither is the chastisement of their manager). Without results, they give up. If you incentivize them to do the little things right, though, and they start getting rewards, they’ll pick up the right habits and start acting like your top-performers.

“OF COURSE,” I thought. “Why hasn’t anyone done this before?!”

But nobody had, and the more I dug, the more fascinated I became.

The Machine Learning Twist

SetSail has a twist to its product: machine learning. SetSail doesn’t reward any ol’ behaviors. It rewards the specific behaviors that are proven to move deals forward, as determined by a machine learning analysis of your historical deals.

The gym analogy still works.

Imagine that the gym also gives you (for free) a complete evaluation that determines your optimal workout routine and diet regimen, and the gym pays you even more for following them! SetSail does the same thing but for sales reps — it uses machine learning to determine the optimal behaviors and pays you for doing them.

The most exciting part? We’re still so young that the product is only going to get more interesting and work even better as we grow, evolve, and learn more from our customers. I couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds for us.

As far as a gym that pays you to go to it, that unfortunately doesn't exist yet. But who knows? Maybe that’ll be my next business venture.

You can get in touch with me on LinkedIn or talk with a sales rep to see the product for yourself!