A key aspect of sales performance management is ensuring that representatives are consistently closing new deals and avoiding slumps. In many cases, a company's early days are some of its most prosperous and usually feature rapid growth. When a business is just starting out, it can easily climb to new heights and increase market penetration. Unfortunately, there are always plateaus and sales eventually stagnate. 

As a vendor expands, a clear system must be installed. Selling Power Magazine notes companies must implement bureaucratic procedures out of necessity. These processes are put in place to ensure that there are well-defined steps for sales. The news source goes on to explain that managers create detailed sales on-boarding initiatives because "consistent success demands formalized training." 

Additionally, challenges begin to appear. New software must be integrated with the current system, competitors start expanding, overhead expenses must be reduced and the bottom line must be improved. While all of these steps are necessary, they begin to hinder sales because they affect how representatives go about their jobs. Basic procedures become difficult and every decision has to clear the bureaucracy so agents don't have to wait before they can act on their instincts. As a result, sales will gradually slow and companies will earn stagnant returns. 

How to clear the sales plateau
There are a few tried-and-true methods to keep sales relatively high after a company has experienced a period of rapid growth. Sales incentives are critical for keeping employees motivated to generate leads and land new clients. Many agents work best when they're under pressure and know that they can supplement their income by closing new deals. According to Selling Power Magazine, incentive programs become powerful tools during expansion because "passion no longer comes from enthusiastic customers." As a result, managers have to find what motivates their workers. 

Financial incentives can be beneficial in most situations because many sales representatives are focused on their personal incomes. Additionally, tying pay directly to performance can ensure that staff members are constantly working toward new objectives instead of allowing their numbers to stagnate. Alternatively, supervisors can use other incentives to motivate employees. For instance, offering vacation time or special prizes is a unique approach that can cause agents to put forth even stronger efforts than usually. 

Overcoming stagnation is a critical part of expansion. Using incentives will ensure that companies are constantly reaching new levels of success.