Salespeople have a tough time of it.
Why is it that they don’t always sell more and occasionally not achieve their quantitative goals even though they are on a quota with a variable pay component, et cetra et cetra?
Shocker: Most salespeople do not care for the money above a certain level and are more concerned with something else. What is that ‘something else?’ Acceptance, promotion and stability. Yes, those things should coincide with hitting the quota, but understand that beyond a certain dollar amount most salespeople are ‘okay’ with not making more. That variable amount changes depending on the level or seniority of the salesperson, but most sales folk are concerned with looking good to their bosses, getting love and admiration from their company and winning with customers.
Consider that when you think about motivating the sales team. And think about that when asking yourself what the base/variable compensation mix should be.
Also, consult the salespeople on product direction and marketing efforts and customer feedback. Not only are they the frontline, but also they want to feel wanted. You could be getting a 2-for-1.