HIRING, DEVELOPING, COMPENSATING — CULTIVATING SALES REPS
Clarity of company differentiation to its target markets. If the company message is unclear regarding value to customers, or not systematically communicated, sales reps’ best efforts may be neutralized against a smaller but more effective competitor.
Company support structures. Today’s younger generation is often smarter about what to expect from an employer. An RIT graduate was recently hired by a client for a key business development position. The candidate, however, was prepared for the interview process—asking about company objectives, examples of market differentiation, current and new technologies being implemented, frequency of education and training sessions, examples of the company’s self-promotion strategies and even frequency of written performance reviews.
This candidate had interviewed with half-a-dozen larger organizations—but elected to join a smaller organization—primarily because of the clarity of their management practices.
Sales rep income needs. There can be a need for a different remuneration plan for each salesperson. The bright rep who has three young children has need for a noticeably different plan from the rep in his mid-50s—who’s already a top producer.
Company culture. What’s the focus and priorities? Does the customer come first? What communication disciplines and standards are in writing, and expected? Are values clear such that three different people, in different positions, can be asked how a decision should be made—and all three give the same answer?
Is the plan in writing? Avoiding this issue does not make problems go away. If the plan isn’t written and available to reps to review and question, “there really is no plan.” As but one example, what do you say to the recent widow who comes in expecting to collect her husband’s quarterly commission check for sales to accounts he developed?