Consider Compensation to Keep Your Sales Superstars 

Friday, August 21st, 2015

In your company, are the sales people all compensated equally?

I often hear that, “we offer consistent compensation to level the playing field as we don’t want our people to find others on the team are earning a higher base salary and commission opportunity. We want to avoid turnover in the sales division.”

Typically, that kind of statement comes from a manager who may or may not have been in the sales trenches themselves for very long.

We’ll, guess what? The stars WILL LEAVE without an opportunity to earn high commissions and receive star treatment. After all, isn’t it all about RESULTS?

Actually being respected, gaining recognition and having “unlimited opportunity” are what most producers want. Compensation is a given.

However, motivation is the key to sales accomplishments and if your people aren’t motivated properly you are inviting turn-over, low earnings and morale.

Progressive sales companies seem to understand each individual salesperson’s needs are different. Few join a company at the same level as the rest. Some new sales people need extensive training and others seem to get it faster.

Should the fast-learners be held back to make it fair?

When trying to set goals that will motivate each individual, take this into consideration:

  1. What has the sales person earned in their past?
  2. What type customers have they developed in the past? Retail? OEM’s? Wholesale? Fortune 500? long cycle/short cycle?
  3. How important is opening new doors in your requirements?

ALSO, when setting up sales goals for the team, you may actually de-motivate them if you don’t shoot high enough or set the bar too high…

Why do sales incentives work?

Because as a rule, sales people are motivated by peer pressure more than sales managers. Hopefully your environment is friendly-competitive so you can post results and individual performers will self motivate in a competing atmosphere that rewards results.

Try to keep your stars, create new challenges for them to grow. We occasionally discover companies who seem to be growing quickly and demonstrate excellent customer service.

We like a “home run bonus” of sorts that will keep everyone working through the end of year.

Call me if you’d like ideas on creating comp plans that work.  

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