Everybody has their place in a company. Everybody makes contributions to the business to make it.
From the early arriver who hits the lights for the first time to the janitor who hits the same lights at night.
Everybody has a role.
But what’s the most important role?
If you ask around, everyone wants to argue why their position is the most important.
But the sales professional? They’ve got a legitimate argument…Every. Single. Time.
“They’re the highest paid, and they know it.” Said Wendy Alexander, an independent hiring consultant.
“They know that without sales, nothing else goes. Nothing happens until something is sold.”
But Alexander also says it’s not the talent of a salesperson. Many times, you’re paying for their connections.
“They’re networked in, and you have to pay for that,” she said.
“In a weird way, you have to pay for all the relationship-building people made during the years.”
But in the end, she agrees there is a talent and craft to high-level sales, and the compensation that follows is a must.
It’s a people-person, but it’s also a people-person who can close.
“You’ve found something rare,” Alexander said of that mixture of people-person, who’s also a hard closer.
“You’re paying for their networks. You are also paying for all the painstaking relationships they have built over the years.”
Many CEOs and Executives understand the value of a strong sales person. They don’t hesitate to compensate their sales professional.
At the same time, others don’t get it.
A strong sales force can move the needle on revenues for a company. But there’s always that concern about the return on investment into an employee.
Some of the excuses to keep compensation down for a sales person, even if they are meeting and exceeding goals, are perplexing and a real head-scratcher.
You will always hear executives trying to hold their sales professionals down. No matter the industry you are in. They think sales professionals don’t deserve to earn that much money.
No doubt you’ve heard that one before. Or, Sales professional should never earn more than the CEO.
Still to this day, we have a lot of old school thinking in the workplace.
How to hire competent sales professionals
Alexander scoffs at it and says you get what you pay for.
“You can try to pay at the low end of the pay scale to save money, but paying for experience will actually save you money.”
“Pay people what they are worth, and more often than not, those people will bring the highest quality.”
You can also do a lot of research about salaries online before hiring someone.
When hiring a new salesperson, it’s not always a compensation issue.
Many times, it’s finding that right person before worrying about compensation.
It’s an obstacle that’s stood the test of time in business:
It may cost you to find the right people, but there’s a reason for it.
Don’t look for sales professional on typical job search sources.
Salespeople looking for sales jobs are…well, bad salespeople.
The good ones are in the field, banging on doors, shaking hands and calling people day after day.
They are out selling.
If you want to attract those types of salespeople, you need a trustworthy brand. A substantial bonus structure, a good compensation plan.
When it comes to the bottom line, it’s best to pay your top salespeople what they deserve, and then some.
It could quite save you in the long run.
According to a recent study by the Aberdeen Group of Massachusetts, the average cost of replacing a sales rep was $30,420.
But finding that right balance is the key. Good salespeople are expensive, there’s no way around it. And it’s been made very clear that paying good salespeople will continue to drive your business.
How you pay them, however, can be tricky. There are many ways to choose from when it comes to paying your revenue producers. It’s salary vs. commission and finding that right balance is vital.
One thing to remember is that commission salary motivates people to sell harder.
Strong salaries, no matter the position, create loyal employees.