Making the dream work: What motivates 4 Seattle tech sales teams to hit their targets

by Quinten Dol
May 22, 2019

Sales is a grind and sometimes, you’ve got to celebrate the little wins. It’s great for morale and building those all-important positive vibrations within a team that’s battling to hit high numbers quarter after quarter. How different sales teams celebrate their wins — big and small — also provides interesting insight into a company’s culture. To learn more, we spoke with sales leaders at four Seattle tech companies to learn how they celebrate success and motivate reps to go above and beyond.

 

icertis bellevue tech startup
photo via icertis

Contract management is complicated business for sprawling corporations. To help them keep track of contractual obligations and maintain compliance, Icertis’ enterprise-ready software automatically monitors obligations, identifies risk and surfaces relevant documents at the right time. The Bellevue company also produces automated templates and clauses, configurable workflows and collaboration capabilities. The company’s technology earned it a spot on Built In’s 50 Tech Companies in Seattle to Know last year.

Director of Inside Sales Niko Pamboukas recognizes that major sales successes often result from the accumulation of minor wins.

 

Success comes in all sizes. How do you recognize the small wins? How do you pull out all the stops for the major ones?

It takes a succession of continuous small wins to get to the major ones. Setting goals that focus on doing the little things right helps break the road to major milestones down into easy-to-follow steps. Examples can include anything from finding out someone will be at an event to procuring a meeting with the right executive.

When a prospect says ‘no,’ it’s an opportunity to find out their perspective, and why they think and feel that way. Ask for another chance and roll out the white glove service to your prospect. They will appreciate that you didn’t give up when things seemed bleak.

 

Team incentives allow you to think of a large stretch goal and a prize that equally matches.”

Success is also both individually and collectively won. Talk to us about individual incentives you have in place, and ways you might celebrate as a team.

Individual incentives like ‘managed business objectives’ are great to help individuals prioritize daily activities. Other fun individual incentives that have been successfully used are gift cards, coffee and deal-based incentives that pay commissions to all involved in the deal cycle. Team incentives allow you to think of a large stretch goal and a prize that equally matches. Team goals we’ve won in the past year include a coffee machine for the company, after-work happy hours and Seahawks tickets for the team! Think big, put a line in the sand and go for it!

 

subsplash seattle tech startup
photo via subsplash

Subsplash is a one-stop shop for software tools that help churches and faith-based organizations reach broader audiences and receive donations. Those tools include digital television platforms, websites, mobile apps and e-commerce functionality. Organizations can house everything from music videos to a preacher’s latest sermon on its digital libraries, while an app helps the traveling faithful find congregations wherever they are.

Sales Manager Joel Wildeboer said his team tailors goals and rewards to individual employees.

 

Success comes in all sizes. How do you recognize the small wins? How do you pull out all the stops for the major ones?

As a management team, we want to recognize and incentivize wins of all sizes. It helps motivate and retain employees as well as increase sales. In our weekly one-on-ones, we make sure to highlight what a rep is doing well, including recognition of how that rep got through to a key decision maker, how they thoroughly developed a proposal or how they secured a sale.

In addition, if a rep does something extraordinary, achieves or goes beyond their goal, we as a management team recognize that individual in our entire company meeting and reward them with a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant.

 

Our reps have a great commission structure, but they can additionally achieve higher income through our bonus program.”

Success is also both individually and collectively won. Talk to us about individual incentives you have in place, and ways you might celebrate as a team.

Each rep has their own individual bonus and compensation structure that is tied to performance against a stated goal. Our reps have a great commission structure, but they can additionally achieve higher income through our bonus program. This adds bonus pay when certain levels of generated revenue are hit.

 

snap! raise seattle tech startup
photo via snap! raise

Kids and administrators alike get involved with youth teams and educational programs because they want to take part in group activities — and not because they love fundraising. Snap! Raise steps in to take fundraising responsibilities off administrators’ busy schedules, setting up web pages, pulling financial reports and tracking contributions. The company says that on average, program leaders spend up to four hours per week on fundraising-related tasks — time that, with the help of this Westlake-based startup, can be used to develop and run programs instead.

Senior Vice President of Revenue Chris Gellos said the company’s mission is a big motivator for his sales reps.

 

Success comes in all sizes. How do you recognize the small wins? How do you pull out all the stops for the major wins?

As a company whose purpose is to help kids and their communities, it’s easy for us to stay grounded in recognizing that all of our wins, small or big, are usually huge wins for those kids and their communities. It’s humbling, and we share their stories throughout our organization so that we can all stay connected to what matters. Even when a person might not be individually connected to that particular win, we are a team, so we strive to win as a team.

 

We are a mission-driven company, and our team members are really connected to our mission to help kids, coaches and their communities.”

Success is also both individually and collectively won. Talk to us about individual incentives you have in place, and ways you might celebrate as a team.

Probably the greatest incentive for our team members is being a part of something bigger than themselves. We are a mission-driven company, and our team members are really connected to our mission to help kids, coaches and their communities. Celebration is a huge part of working for Snap! Raise, and every day you will see employees recognizing one another for what some people might call our everyday work. There are financial incentives, a lot of team events and we chase goals just like a lot of companies do, but I am most proud to be a part of a team whose greatest motivator is what we do for others.

 

wrench seattle tech startup
photo via wrench

Instead of forcing stranded motorists to call a tow truck or limp their damaged vehicle into a workshop, Wrench sends a mechanic out to meet customers where they’re at. The company says mechanics can perform the vast majority of common tasks outside of a shop, and this allows users to summon a mechanic through their mobile app. The company also deploys its host of on-the-ground mobile mechanics to serve vehicle fleets, and partners with businesses to offer its services as part of an employee benefits package.

Vice President of Sales April Garbusjuk highlighted some of the team outings Wrench uses to celebrate sales successes.

 

Success comes in all sizes. How do you recognize the small wins? How do you pull out all the stops for the major ones?

At Wrench, we recognize that success comes in all different shapes and sizes, especially on the sales team. We work together to celebrate big wins and small feats while acknowledging each other’s hard work in and outside of the office.

One of the main ways that we celebrate each other’s hard work is during the biweekly sales team meetings, which involve a team member from each department including marketing, operations, partnerships and so on. Outside of normal business hours we like to host team-bonding events such as weekly lunches, monthly happy hours, holiday parties and even wine tasting events on the lawns of Chateau St. Michelle when the weather is nice.

On top of that, we recently hosted the first ever Wrench Sales Summit in March near our HQ in downtown Seattle. That was another wonderful time to get together and celebrate the big wins and small achievements on the sales team.

 

We have a very generous and competitive bonus structure.”

Success is also both individually and collectively won. Talk to us about individual incentives you have in place, and ways you might celebrate as a team.

We have developed a few creative ways to celebrate individual and collective success on the sales team. Every time a team member does something amazing or remarkable even on a smaller scale, we give them virtual “kudos” online or congratulate them in-person if they work in the Seattle office. When somebody goes above and beyond in order to advance a project, streamline a process or create something innovative, we often ring the “Gong of Achievement,” which is a symbol and acknowledgement of an individual accomplishment that impacts the whole company. On top of that, we have a very generous and competitive bonus structure in place to ensure that each sales representative is rewarded and incentivized for the number of active accounts that they bring on board.

 

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