How to Hold Your Sales Team Accountable… and Why It’s Important

Want to Improve Your Team's Sales Performance?

Table of Contents

Perhaps the only thing more difficult than working as a sales rep is handling a team of sales reps. One of the things that you can control is keeping your team accountable. Even with a team of high-performing reps, you will need a way to keep them motivated to do their best work. 

Here are some of those ways and how you can implement them in your team.

1. Choose the KPIs that matter for your organization

No matter the industry, everyone cares about KPIs like deals won, calls made, appointments set and similar. However, each company is different and your sales goals could be vastly different from everyone else out there. 

For example, your sales cycle could be extra long and your main KPI at the end of the day could be the number of calls made.

Primarily, your sales goals should be SMART – they should hold your team accountable, make them more motivated, improve their success and give them clear standards that they can follow.

For example, if you want your sales team to have more control of their goals, you can make them activity-based, such as focusing on the number of calls that a rep makes every day. While they can’t control how many of those calls turn into sales, they can control how many calls they make. 

Even better, to keep that goal SMART, you can make it more specific, such as increasing the number of calls that a rep makes by 10 every day. That way, they have a specific target that they need to hit and a goal that they can work towards.

As an example from our own team, we asked our sales team to increase the number of demos they hold every week by 10. This was their April goal and they crushed it because they knew what to do to achieve it.

If SMART goals aren’t your cup of tea, you should know that there are alternatives out there that are just as good.

For example, you can use CLEAR goals (collaborative, limited, emotional, appreciable and refinable). This method emphasizes the emotional and collaborative nature of getting tasks finished and it just might be the thing that your sales team needs for better goal setting.

Once you set these goals for your sales team, make sure to actually follow up with them and that your team has them on their minds.

2. Keep your team aligned with their goals

If you want your sales team to stay motivated and working hard, make sure to regularly update your team about what they need to do. If you set sales goals for your team, make sure to clarify them and give them some idea about how to achieve them. If training is necessary, provide the resources.

The goals you set might get readjusted every month or quarter so make sure to keep your sales team in the loop. Sending out an email may not be the best way to make this known, which is why using sales software like SPOTIO may be a better idea.

A sales rep with enough experience (in general and in your team) will know whether the goals you set are attainable or not. If not, make sure to give them the resources they need to make those goals into a reality. 

For example, for a sales representative who’s just starting out, getting two clients per month is a realistic goal. Getting twenty per month is far from realistic for a beginner, but it’s easy work for someone with a lengthy sales career.

You can use your favorite project management tool to create a sticky note with their most important goals for the week, month, or quarter. Out of sight – out of mind.

3. Set and Track Key Sales Activities

Besides goals like sales, you should be tracking activities too. After all, someone could be making incredible sales with moderate or poor activities – which means that there is room for improvement.

The sales activities that you should be tracking are those that your team can influence.

These include the following:

  • Number of calls made
  • Number of emails sent
  • Number of leads created
  • Number of follow-ups made
  • Number of logged visits
  • Number of social media connections
  • Number of scheduled demos
  • Number of proposals sent
  • Etc. 

If you want to go the old school way, you can log all of these numbers and activities in Google Sheets or something similar. While this sounds simple, it’s actually tedious and both you and your sales team will hate it.

Instead, try using sales tracking software like SPOTIO which will automatically log all of the metrics that you want and keep them in one place where it’s easy to review. Similarly, using proposal software will ensure that this part of the sales process is tracked to the very minute details, such as how many proposals were opened and signed.

4. Establish Rewards and Consequences

If someone is doing their job well, they should be rewarded. But what does “well” mean and how is it quantified? Have a clear system of KPIs and establish rewards for reaching them. At the same time, don’t be afraid to let an employee go if they have a hard time meeting their minimal KPIs. Everyone should know where they are at all times and what they can expect from the results that they provide. 

If you want an easy way to motivate your sales team to do more, you can introduce a great commission structure. The number one deciding factor for sales reps choosing a job is the base salary.

However, if you choose an attractive commission structure, you will make it easy for any rep to significantly increase their salary. From commission only to revenue commission, you can create a rewards system where those that sell the most get paid the most.

As for the consequence for not selling enough – the worst consequence is staying at the base salary.

5. Keep Your Sales Activities Transparent

If there’s one thing that will push your sales team harder, it’s being informed about what everyone else is doing and what kind of results they are achieving. Instead of reporting to their manager at the end of the day, each sales rep should have their results shown publicly on a dashboard. That way, everyone will know what the rest of the team is doing, which will push them to work harder and be accountable for their actions.

For example, a sales leaderboard is one of the best ways to keep your sales team in a healthy, competitive spirit. At any point in time, everyone can see what the rest of the sales team is up to and which place they have on the leaderboard. Managers can step in and monitor and communicate with the best and worst performers.

If you’re getting to the end of the quarter or year, a sales contest with a leaderboard is a superb way to kick-start your sales numbers and get your team to work harder and reach their goals.


Accountability is all about setting the right goals, being transparent and encouraging a healthy competitive spirit. No matter what industry you’re in and what you’re selling, these tips will help you create a stronger, more versatile and successful sales team.

Perhaps the most important is to set SMART goals, let them be well known and track them using your sales software. Equip your team with the tools and resources they need just to sell while your software takes care of the rest.


Author Bio

Adam Hempenstall is the CEO and Founder of Better Proposals, simple proposal software for creating beautiful, high-impact proposals in minutes. Having helped his customers at Better Proposals win $120,000,000+ in one year only, he’s launched the first Proposal Writing University where he shares business proposal best practices.