Champagne bottles and snorkeling in Costa Rica: What motivates sales pros at 5 tech companies

by Justine Hofherr
July 25, 2018
sales
Photo via markforged

If you want to be successful in sales, you need to embrace your competitive side. Most companies provide commission as an incentive, but we’ve found that the top sales pros have extra tricks for staying in the zone. We caught up with sales professionals from five fast-growing Boston tech companies to find out what really keeps them grindin’.

 

Matt Balaschi, Nina Faulk, Caleb Baird
Commercial Sales Reps

A handful of sales professionals on the Markforged team shared the unique factors that incite them to sell their company’s 3D printing services with gusto. Think: Apple Watches and tropical vacations in Mexico.

 

How do you keep yourself motivated?

“Working at Markforged means you are at the forefront of the next industrial revolution,” said Matt Balaschi, commercial sales manager. “It’s already very motivating that the advancements we have made in 3D printing are transforming the entire manufacturing industry, but Markforged also rewards hard work. After recently crushing my goals, Markforged not only promoted me, but also sent me on one of the greatest tropical vacations I have ever experienced. I’m motivated to perform every single day, and I work hard to give back to the company that has already given me so much.”

 

How does your company motivate you to hit or exceed your numbers?

“I got an Apple Watch for winning one of the competitions we had going on within the sales team; it was such a great way to start a new job,” said Nina Faulk, commercial sales representative. “The bigger your deals get, the bigger the prizes are! I see the awesome deals my colleagues are closing every day and I think, ‘I want one!’”

 

What’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten after closing a killer deal?

“In general, Markforged has great sales incentives programs, but after recently closing the largest deal to date for the company, I won the quarterly contest and a long weekend trip in Napa Valley,” said Caleb Baird, commercial sales representative. “Beyond that, we also have great accelerators for those who exceed quota. Having recently had my first child with my wife, the ability to really exceed your expected earnings is a huge help. The opportunity to potentially earn 1.5 or even 2 times your commissions once you achieve quota is a huge motivator that keeps me focused throughout every quarter.”

 

Brendan McManus
Conversational Sales Advisor, Team Lead

It’s not always tangible items that motivate salespeople. For Drift Team Lead Brendan McManus, it’s all about the hypothetical. To stay focused, he thinks about the long term.

 

How do you keep yourself motivated?

“I keep myself motivated by fast forwarding 10 years and thinking back on my time at Drift. I try to picture telling the story of how we grew Drift from a small startup into a legendary public company. I try to picture being in another dream role and having a network of incredible Drift alumni all over Boston and around the world. Thinking long term like that helps push you through the short-term daily grind to hit your goals.”

 

How does your company motivate you to hit or exceed your numbers?

“The best thing I’ve ever gotten after closing a killer deal is a customer who wants to work with me across companies. I’m proud to say I've worked with multiple customers who have bought one product with me at my previous company and a completely different product with me at Drift. Earning those trusting relationships across products and time are the best things you can get.”

 

What’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten after closing a killer deal?

“We’re often rewarded with collaborative, fancy dinners. For example, the top rep net churn would get to go out to a fancy dinner with the customer success team MVP or the rep who closed the most business from webinar leads would get to go out to a fancy dinner with the marketing team MVP. It was a great way to drive alignment.”

 

Daniel Jette
Senior Account Executive

Daniel Jette is a senior account executive at Datadog who cites steak dinners, champagne bottles and trips to the Cayman Islands as just a few of the top perks he receives for exceeding his quarterly goals.

 

How does your company motivate you to hit or exceed your numbers?

Datadog provides an all-expenses paid trip to President’s Club for hitting your numbers (2017 was in the Cayman Islands). This was an incredible trip and motivated me to exceed my goals. Also, Datadog provides monthly spiffs where top reps are publicly recognized for their performance and given a nice bottle of champagne, which is cool.

 

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I keep myself motivated by monitoring the monthly and quarterly revenue numbers and striving to consistently be at the top. I’m also motivated by the personal and professional goals I set at the beginning of each year, such as buying a new house.

 

What's the best thing you've ever gotten after closing a killer deal?

After closing an “improbable” deal, I was taken to a classy steak dinner at Mooo Boston with the team to celebrate the win.

 

Samantha DeGroff
VP of business development

Samantha DeGroff, VP of business development at FareHarbor, said working at the traveltech company keeps her hungry for planning epic vacations of her own.

 

How does your company motivate you to sell FareHarbor’s product?

From the beginning, FareHarbor has structured the sales compensation to be directly correlated to the revenue you bring in. With uncapped earning potential, FareHarbor has created a culture of hungry, energetic salespeople that have the ability to create their own success. In addition, our sales team loves to come up with fun, creative games to help further spike our productivity.

 

How do you keep yourself motivated?

There’s no better feeling than having your hard work pay off.  When you’re dealing with a big, complex project and it finally closes, it really shows what you’re capable of. I love to challenge myself to continually set the bar higher to help take FareHarbor to the next level. The nature of our company is very transparent as well, so it’s amazing to see how your individual contribution is helping the entire company grow.  

 

What’s the best thing you’ve ever treated yourself to after closing a big deal?

I’ve always been passionate about traveling, and speaking with so many great tour and activity providers on a daily basis has only heightened my interest. The best thing I’ve treated myself to was a trip to Costa Rica, where I was lucky enough to go ziplining, river tubing, snorkeling and fishing with a few FareHarbor partners. Working in this industry, I think it’s so important to get out there and enjoy as many experiences as you can.

 

Rachel Baizen
account executive

Rachel Baizen has been on the account executive team at OpsGenie for over two years, so she’s had quite a bit of time to learn a thing or two about staying motivated to hit her numbers.

 

How does your company motivate you to hit or exceed your numbers?

At OpsGenie, you’re not just an “employee number.” You have a voice in helping to mold and shape the company; including creating your own perks and incentives to drive team-based motivation.

 

How do you keep yourself motivated?

The biggest motivator for me is that I own my own destiny. I am not capped by a standard salary. If I put 110 percent effort in I will get 110 percent back.  

 

What’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten after closing a killer deal?

OpsGenie does a great job of motivating the sales team with incentives. These incentives include weekly dart game prizes awarded to the top reps of the week. Prizes range anywhere from Apple TVs to Patriots tickets or even your own bobblehead of our CFO. Other incentives include daily gift cards, team lunches courtesy of OpsGenie and Sales Quota Club dinners and events.

 

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