How can you maximize the profitability of your sales teams?

Discover the sales performance levers that Qobra, Modjo, Scaleway and Additi have put in place to maximize the profitability of their sales reps!

Antoine Fort
CEO @Qobra

July 28, 2023




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According to a study by The Bridge Group, 65% of B2B companies say that the productivity of their sales teams is their number 1 challenge! This statistic is hardly surprising, given that 2/3 of salespeople fail to meet their annual sales targets. (Aberdeen Group study)

But what are the levers and means available to companies to increase the profitability of their sales teams?

During a webinar on the subject, Antoine Fort (CEO at Qobra), Paul Berloty (CEO at Modjo), Doreen Pernel (VP Sales at Scaleway) and Jean Cumunel (SDR Director at Additi - Groupe Ouest France) discussed the various sales performance levers they have implemented to maximize the profitability of their sales teams.

Following the webinar, Qobra's experts decided to go into more detail on the subject in a dedicated article!

1. Understanding sales objectives when taking up a new position

To maximize the profitability of your sales teams, you need to get the most out of them, and to do that, you first need to define and set goals for them!

However, these same objectives can be difficult to grasp, especially when taking up a new position.

So to make it as simple as possible, here are the main steps to follow:

Taking stock 

It's a question of confronting what's in place, digging deeper with the sales teams, looking at how things work in the field, and observing what can be improved and developed on a large scale for 10, 50, 100... salespeople.

Setting consistent objectives

"When setting objectives, it's vital to set them according to each person's position within the sales cycle. We need to be sure that these objectives make sense for the whole team, i.e. that they are consistent between the BDR/SDR and the Account Executives."

Doreen Pernel, VP Sales at Scaleway

In fact, objectives must be virtuous between the different positions on the sales team, so that they motivate each other.

Although performance indicators vary according to the role of each member of the sales team, they must all point in the same direction, i.e. to increase the number of new customers and the company's revenue.

As an example, sales team members can get together around an industry family (e.g. Technology) and share a common revenue and expansion objective around this industry family. This is a way of federating and motivating the whole team towards the same objective.

"You have to set objectives to steer your business, not achieve a result as such. The result is above all the consequence of a multiplicity of commercial actions."

Jean Cumunel, SDR Director at Additi - Groupe Ouest France

To achieve your objectives, you also need to know your business statistics, i.e. how many calls, e-mails, etc. are needed on average to sign a new customer. 

Then, all these statistics need to be tracked and managed on a dashboard. This is one of the first steps in building a scalable business model.

Involve salespeople personally

It's vital to communicate a company's ambitions and objectives down to the sales people in the field. To do this, you need to be consistent with these objectives, and not change their nature every quarter.

"What's key and motivating is to set up a routine at the beginning of each quarter! At Modjo, the team objective is written on a board, and we ask everyone to express themselves in relation to this objective, to say what they are capable of doing vis-à-vis this objective by expressing the deals they are able to win to get there."

Paul Berloty, CEO at Modjo

Understanding the personal goals of each sales person, what motivates them in life (retirement at 40, investing, traveling around the world, etc.) is the best way for a manager to support them on a daily basis in achieving these goals.

2. Training and skills enhancement

There are many ways for a company to reach its sales targets: coaching, training, routines, etc. 

But which are the most suitable and easiest to implement for companies that don't have a team dedicated to this subject and that this role falls to the manager?


Sales training starts right at the onboarding stage - and that's the best time! It's vital to take the time needed to train your new employees right from the start.

Among the training courses to be given right from the onboarding stage, it's advisable to give priority to workshops and training on the product and/or service being sold, as well as on the best sales techniques adapted to your sector and activity.


Another tried-and-tested lever is self-training!

In fact, since it is inexpensive for the company and requires very little time, encouraging employees to self-train is a way of making them more competent. 

"At Additi, we encourage all our sales people early on to subscribe to newsletters, read white papers, watch webinars or listen to podcasts. We even provide them with a list of the best in the field."

Jean Cumunel, SDR Director at Additi - Groupe Ouest France

Setting up a compulsory, regular self-training slot is a virtuous way of making collective progress. 

Employee training

In the same vein as self-training, companies can set aside a slot on a more or less regular basis for one of their sales team members to share his or her expertise and skills on a subject such as handling objections, cold calling, and so on.

"Every week, all the sales staff have to listen to certain calls again and evaluate them. Then, during the weekly review with the whole team and the manager, they go back over it and study together how this call could have been better, or, on the contrary, why this call worked."

Jean Cumunel, SDR Director at Additi - Groupe Ouest France

This exercise enables the whole team to identify areas for development and to iterate regularly to continuously improve their approach.

"At Modjo, we realized that we were losing around 50% of our post-demo opportunities. So we looked at the top performer's statistics, and analyzed what he was doing during his demos so that other collaborators could be inspired by his best practices."

Paul Berloty, CEO of Modjo

Ongoing training

Self-service content is a must!

In fact, it's a way for companies to enable their sales reps to train on their own, simply and at any time. Existing innovative formats include internal online academies with playbooks, training sessions, recorded calls, etc. 

Then, to follow up and assess sales staff knowledge, some companies like Scaleway organize regular quizzes with all their sales staff. 

Because a product or solution is constantly evolving, it's vital that new and old employees alike are involved.

3. Giving sales teams a sense of belonging

"Sales performance is not just the sum of individual performances, or a series of tactics and sales methods. A large part of it has to do with a sense of belonging, a spirit of mutual support and collective success."

Antoine Fort, CEO at Qobra

Today, the main challenge for companies is to make their sales teams last, to make them want to invest and commit themselves fully.

To achieve this, several actions can be taken:

  • Create team rituals (weekly or monthly meetings, breakfasts, monthly activities, etc.).
  • Create a competitive spirit, a team spirit between the different sales teams (SDR/BDR, Sales, etc.).
  • Give employees the opportunity to progress within the company. This can be achieved by creating a transparent evaluation grid, available to all at any time.
  • Valuing employees by regularly showing them the added value they bring to the company.
  • Create and gamify the Sales culture by celebrating each victory, for example by setting up a gong to ring for each new signature, or a Slack channel or teams to announce new customers.
  • Maintain a special, personal relationship with each employee. Be available to discuss topics outside the workplace for employees who feel the need to do so.
"We all celebrate together the personal talents and victories of each employee, whether athletically, culturally, etc. It's unifying to see everyone's talents outside of work, it's a way of showing that we're not just Sales, but human beings above all!"

Doreen Pernel, VP Sales at Scaleway

4. The impact of commissions

"Whether your CEO or Sales Director, the sales compensation plan is probably the most powerful tool you have to drive sales strategy."

Mark Roberge, VP Sales at Hubspot 

The disadvantages of a poor commission plan

Although a commission plan is often beneficial to the company, it must comply with certain rules to deliver the promised benefits.

Indeed, otherwise, a poor commission plan can backfire and have repercussions: 

  • It creates a chill effect among sales reps. In concrete terms, they will conserve their performance to unlock bigger commissions.
  • Push the best salespeople to quit because their commissions are capped above a certain threshold, or they don't benefit from bonus accelerators above a certain amount, and therefore have no incentive to go beyond their targets. 
"Communication and transparency around a commission plan is paramount! Yet too many companies still use Excel to manage commissions."

Antoine Fort, CEO at Qobra

In fact, a tool such as Excel for managing commission plans will limit earnings due to its lack of transparency and complexity. It's difficult for a company or a manager to know what's going on in real time for the sales team, to understand where they stand in relation to the target.

The benefits of a good commission plan

In contrast to the previous point, a good commissions plan encourages sales people to outperform, not to question their salary. 

"A good commissions plan encourages the best salespeople to stay with the company. On the contrary, it's uncomfortable for the less successful salespeople, mechanically forcing them to question themselves."

Paul Berloty, CEO at Modjo

In other words, a good commission plan must respect and incentivize performance!

The benefits of a commissioning tool

Opting for a commission calculation and management solution is a real boon for sales organizations, and more generally for the entire company (finance department, HR, etc.). 

The main benefits include :

  • Considerable time savings (automatic retrieval of sales data, automated commission calculation, easy configuration and modification of commission plans, simplified inter-user communication, automated data analysis and processing, automated sending to payroll, etc.).
  • Commission reliability
  • Reducing mental workload
  • Simplified data access
  • Transparency and visibility of commissions
  • Easy to understand commissions
  • Improving sales performance
  • Building more effective commission plans
  • Data security
  • Etc.
"A tool like Qobra lets sales reps know when they make X% of their targets or X€ in sales, what the concrete impact is on their pay at the end of the month! But also to see an impact on a possible bonus accelerator being unlocked. It's very challenging and motivating for sales people!" 

Jean Cumunel, SDR Director at Additi - Groupe Ouest France

The last word...

Improving sales performance is a major challenge for companies facing productivity and sales target achievement challenges.

The first crucial step is to define coherent objectives, adapted to each role in the sales cycle. Once these objectives have been established, it is essential to make them understandable and motivating, by involving sales staff personally in their achievement. 

Training and skills development also play a key role in helping teams achieve their objectives. Corporate culture and team spirit are also essential to the collective success of sales teams.

Last but not least, a well-designed commission plan is a powerful performance driver, encouraging sales staff to exceed their targets while fostering loyalty within the company.

The use of modern, automated commissioning tools, such as Qobra, offers numerous advantages by simplifying commission calculation, improving transparency and providing real-time visibility calculations. This automation also reduces errors and eases the administrative burden, allowing sales teams to concentrate fully on their performance!


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