HIRING, DEVELOPING, COMPENSATING — CULTIVATING SALES REPS
We’ve even experienced clients being “sought-out” by unhappy reps currently working for competitors—because the prospective employer was recognized as superior in its education and training resources for reps.
Personal Skills Development: What a person can personally do is critical to their professional development, and contributions. And each skill set tends to contribute to the others. For instance, anecdotal evidence shows that most sales reps do not have strong writing skills; yet, important written correspondence—including by e-mail—distinguishes one supplier from another in customers’ awards of work. Examples of important correspondence include: proposals, customized quote letters, and letters of introduction, acknowledgement and appreciation.
Organizational Skills: How an organization supports customer and revenue development is not just a “sales rep responsibility.” In recent World Cup matches, post-game analysis repeatedly reported how certain teams with “multiple stars” were soundly beaten by teams—who played unselfishly—as a team.
Ultimately, there really are no substitutes for clear standards of conduct, knowing the mission and priorities, and who is to do what, by when. Customers can tell the difference in suppliers. Yet, too few organizations educate and train on these opportunities.
Sales Rep Remuneration
There’s a refreshing reexamination of sales rep and sales team remuneration occurring in our industry. Folks are becoming aware that increased commission does not make a better sales rep. Additionally, “straight commission” can even be counter-productive to sales rep contributions to company performance. This last statement is frequently true if long-term customer development and retention are recognized priorities.
For most sales reps, the issue isn’t “percentage of commission,” but rather—“increasing opportunities to earn income.”
Issues to examine in developing a Sales Rep Remuneration Plan include:
Clarity of ownership’s objectives and goals. For instance, an owner over 55 without a succession plan can be expected to reinvest in the company differently from an owner who does have an achievable succession plan. If objectives and goals aren’t clear, then many other day-to-day tactical issues also won’t be clear, and sales rep income can be expected to suffer.