14 February 2024 |

want SPIF budget?

By Gabrielle "GB" Blackwell

Get that Money Honey

Last week, I shared my thoughts on how great SPIFs can be when they’re done intentionally. 

Today, I’ll share some tips on how to secure SPIF budget once you know what kinds of SPIFs you want to run.

At a high level, you’ll need to build a business case comprised of the following:

  1. The problem and/or gap a SPIF can help resolve
  2. Explanation of desired behaviors + intended results SPIF would drive
  3. Rules and parameters, i.e. timeline of SPIF, eligibility, etc

1. The Problem

Real quick on the problem front, I want you to know this – saying “we need more productivity” is NOT a problem! 

A problem should take the form of a gap as well as the negative impact of that gap existing.

To figure out what the problem is, start by asking some questions such as:

  • What level of productivity does my team need to be at for us to hit our goal?
  • Where are we at right now? 
  • What’s the delta between where we are and where we want to be?

Hint: the delta = the gap! 

Once you have that, it’s time to start identifying the negative impact of that gap existing. (*Cough* this is the time where you get to lean on some FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt *cough*)

To get to the negative impact, start asking questions like:

  • What won’t you be able to do as long as that gap exists?
  • What’s the toll that gap will take on performance?
  • What’s the toll that gap will take on morale?

🏀Assist: A key part of all this is the assumption that your reps are hitting their minimum KPIs, i.e. calls, emails, LinkedIn messages sent, etc. If your minimum KPIs are reasonable but aren’t getting met by your reps, a SPIF isn’t going to solve your problems. But if your team is pushing on all KPI expectations and still isn’t catching a break, that’s when a SPIF to test out a different tactic and/or approach can be most effective.

2. Behaviors + Intended Results

Once you know what the gap and the negative impact of that gap existing is, it’s time to start defining what kinds of “solutions” you and your team should explore.

For example, let’s say you sell into academic institutions and you know summertime is a tough time to sell since it’s your customer’s slow season, you may worry about keeping your team engaged and productive.

This is where you can start to identify the kinds of behaviors you want to see from your team that will:

  1. Keep folks engaged 
  2. Drive behaviors most likely to produce results 
  3. Set your team up to succeed once fall comes around

Maybe these kinds of behaviors look like:

  1. Hitting a certain number of weekly intro / demo calls per week
  2. Connecting with a certain number of prospects on LinkedIn
  3. Attending local and/or national conferences for educational professionals 
  4. Sending out a certain number of direct mail gifts to your VIP prospects

🤞Hopefully, there’s a rep or two who have done these things consistently and have the performance to prove it works. If that’s the case, use their results as the case study for driving intended results.

For example, you can say:

“Reps who attain or overachieve on quota have a conversion rate that is 2x higher than average. When looking at what these reps do differently to drive 2x higher conversions, here are the 4 behaviors they demonstrate that others on the team are not doing. If even 2 more reps on the team start demonstrating these behaviors, we’ll experience an X% lift in net new pipeline created in Y% of the time it’d otherwise take”. 

If you don’t have a benchmark yet, that’s okay. You can always have an educated guess and test out your theory of what will drive improvements. 

For example:

“During the summer months, our conversion rate drops by 50%, impacting our pipeline goals for Q3 and Q4. One way to remedy this and accelerate pipeline capture in Q3 and Q4 is through prioritizing nurturing and networking over Q2. This way we’ll be able to open up X% more net new opportunities in Q3, resulting in Y% more revenue in Q4.”

3. The Rules

The last component of your business plan is setting the rules parameters for the SPIF.

Parameters should include, but are not limited to:

  • Length of time the SPIF will run
  • Eligibility requirements to “compete” in the SPIF
  • Requirements to run SPIF, i.e. dashboards, reports, etc
  • Enablement needs to support SPIF launch
  • How you’ll track and measure effectiveness of SPIF

🏀Assist: While rules and parameters may be the easy part of putting a SPIF together, it may be the most crucial aspect of getting your SPIF approved. If your SPIF has no end date, this could potentially demotivate your reps over time while opening up your company to increased operating costs.

If that Doesn’t Work…

Now, you can create the absolute best business plan to request SPIF budget and still get diddly squat 😞. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still run a SPIF of some sort.

If your company really cannot afford – or just doesn’t want to cough up the mula – to run a SPIF, consider low- or non-budget options such as:

  • Giving your reps time off
  • Connecting your reps with 1:1 time with an executive of their choice
  • Doing the rep’s work for them (*cough* oh yes, make some cold calls for them *cough*)

Another option you can explore if you’re unable to clear budget on your own for a SPIF is to request for a SPIF budget as part of a larger coalition. Maybe there are other managers in the organization who also want to drive some impact, and if you can present in a group, you may be able to have more sway and more influence in getting the SPIF budget you’d like.