Inside Sales Best Practices – Kill the “Sunny Day Salary”

Visibility--do you have it?
Time Waster #3 of our classic 15 Time Wasters of Marketing and Sales is what I call “Sunny Day Salaries.”

A “Sunny Day Salary” is a pay plan or commission structure that can only be met when “every single star falls into alignment.”

When every decision maker acts exactly the way we expect, when every sale goes according to plan.

As long as there’s no obstacles, no off-the-wall objections, as long as “Everything’s bright and sun-shiny,” the sales rep can meet their quota, and earn their performance bonus.

As every sales rep knows, real life doesn’t work this way.


Long-time marketing insider Ken Krogue says that “Poor performance management,” where a sales team lacks “clear objectives, fair goals, simple priorities, and immediate feedback,” will kill a sales team faster than anything other than poor hiring practices and bad marketing strategy.

To wit:

  • “Sunny Day Salaries” happen when managers shove most performance measurements under the almighty “Closed Deals” and “Total Revenue” umbrellas.
  • “Sunny Day Salaries” happen when managers send reps out the door each day with a head pat and a “Go get ’em!” only to go postal at the end of the quarter when revenues aren’t up to snuff—while providing zero useful feedback or insight into how to improve performance.
  • “Sunny Day Salaries” happen when rep expectations are set, but managers don’t optimize the preceding processes—prioritizing and routing leads, immediate response to new inquiries, identifying key sales stages and prospect “drop off” points, targeting the best verticals, decision-makers, and leads lists to drive success.
  • “Sunny Day Salaries” happen when sales managers think that tough goals automatically measure who performs and who doesn’t. Good “performance management” isn’t about how tough the sales goals are, it’s whether the work you’re asking the reps to do actually produces the desired results.
  • “Sunny Day Salaries” stop happening when management and reps have a complete, total view of the work they do—calls made, appointments set, conversions vs. leads generated, conversions versus click-throughs, end-to-end cycle time, lead source performance comparisons, and the list goes on.
  • “Sunny Day Salaries” stop happening when best practices are leveraged with technology—good sales management software and lead management systems—to achieve visibility.
  • “Sunny Day Salaries” ultimately lead to Time Waster #4—unmotivated reps, managers, and departments.

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