I speak with a lot of salespeople every week. Many are from the payments industry or the payroll space, but almost every industry has been represented in the past year.
I’m shocked at how often companies change the compensation plans of their outside sales force. Below are seven common sales organization practices that could indicate you are at the wrong company.
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1. The moving target
There are few things more exciting than not only hitting a sales target, but smashing it. If your company takes your stand-out performance and tacks on more and more for you to hit your bonus or randomly changes your quota, it might be time to consider a change.
2. The compensation plan is more confusing than folding a fitted sheet
When your plan is confusing, or worse, rewards contradicting behaviors, it should be tossed out. I’ve seen plans where the best thing for the reps earning potential is for all of their accounts to go to a competitor after a few months so they can re-sign them. Isn’t sales hard enough?
3. Floors and ceilings
No commission until you are at 90% of plan or no commission past a certain dollar amount? That’s a plan written for, yep, you guessed it, average performers. The rock stars get capped to pay the salaries of the under-performers.
4. Slow commissions
Working your tail off every single day for the elusive quarterly or worse yet, yearly bonus, is frustrating. It’s hard to stay focused on a target that is so far away. It’s just not as satisfying to wait 180 days. I like getting my rewards fast.
5. You need a calculator and Stephen Hawking to figure out your commission payout
I’ve hired reps that got paid a commission on revenue, but they could never figure out how their company actually calculated revenue. They got a percentage of “margin,” but no one told them what the cost was to determine the margin. If you can’t easily calculate exactly what you make on each customer you bring in, seek out some transparency from another company.
6. You can only sell in a certain vertical or you can only sell one product
I left a company because of this. I sold payroll and credit card processing and for some reason, they took payroll away from me. We have had reps who were incredible sales professionals have to pass on a deal because it was a retail store and they were only supposed to work restaurants. Channel your inner Braveheart! Shout freedom at the top of your lungs as you walk out the door!
7. Inside competition
If you’re putting up solid numbers and your company or your sales leader hires someone in your backyard, it’s going to be harder for you to sell.
When your company focuses its investment on developing an inside sales force… guess what? You, as an outside sales pro, are going to compete not just for leads, but with people at your own company on who own that lead.
At Beyond, we’re committed to following the Beyond Promises for Sales Professionals. Designed to take your career to the highest level, we offer fair compensation, full transparency and no surprises. Learn more about what we promise you.