Compensating Salespeople for Digital Jobs: Is This Still a Problem? Yes
One critical move to the transformation process was introducing accountability in the form of productivity quotas, according to Gardner. They measured pass-through dollars and value add. Activity is also monitored and measured. Face-to-face meetings, with both existing accounts and new business opportunities, is also being monitored, measured and tracked.
But while the roll-out did not go as planned, he says the focus needs to be directed toward cultivating new and existing clients, and having the infrastructure in place to be sure that salespeople are being supported by the entire organization. HP has also played a large role in working with the Hudson Printing sales team to identify opportunities and to illustrate how other printers have found success.
"We are very determined to have a culture of accountability around sales in this organization, just like we do in manufacturing," Gardner states. "I sold print and prepress on commission for 15 years, so I get it. I understand it's messing with their families and their lives when an employer creates that lack of focus or lack of clarity. Their job is to sell and ours is to build that support structure around them to take care of the customer once they make the sale."
Expand the Client Conversation
Gardner also appreciates that salespeople are loathe to break into new territory with an existing client, out of fears it could disrupt their current book of business. Heatset web printing is Hudson's wheelhouse, and digital is still a work in progress. Still, that doesn't absolve the sales reps from having new conversations with long-term clients, not to mention making new contacts within those accounts who may be more fluent in the language of digital.
Hudson also has a member of its leadership team join sales reps on many in-person calls to reinforce to the rep and help give the customer that level of clarity on the company's direction.