With all due respect folks, as long as you keep looking at salespeople as employees you will never build as successful a sales department as is possible in your company and industry. Why? Because Sales is a profession, not a job. It's also the highest paid profession in the world.
I regularly read the comments from CEO's whose startups have failed, and although they cite many reasons, 95% can be traced back to insufficient revenue, that is, lack of sales. And some of them had great products/services. They hired the wrong "salespeople." Probably because they viewed Sales as a job and filled the slots, not knowing that many "salespeople" are really good at selling themselves and little else. If you are not a sales professional then you'll have as much success as if you were trying to hire a doctor, lawyer, engineer, architect, accountant, etc, without having the experience to do so. Get professional help! Because no matter how great your product is, or how innovative and gifted your management team is, without revenue those great advantages are worthless.
If you cannot show a professional salesperson how they can make $500K plus in a few years with you and eventually cash in when you do then you won't get the superstars that can make all the difference in the world to your organization. I've managed many $500K+ salespeople in the five startups that I helped build in the 25 years that I've been in Sales, and some of them were even making $1mil+! And we built multi-hundred million dollar and multi-billion dollar companies all of which had successful exits. And everyone shared in those successful exits accordingly. What was the secret to all that success? The owners/CEO's made the Sales Dept. the center of the universe for their company. They realized that nothing happens until a sale is made and no one has a job until there is revenue coming through the door!
And to answer the equity question, you give all the employees and especially the key people a vested interest in your success. Owners work differently than employees and management should constantly remind them of their ownership. No one becomes successful by themselves