Compensating your sales people correctly can be a great challenge to the average business manager or owner. If you don’t compensate correctly or adequately, sales production may suffer, which will directly affect business growth and profit. If you do incentivize sales staff correctly but pay them too much, it could create future problems related to growth and or profitability of your business.
HR Knowledge, Inc., a leading human resources Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the East Coast with offices in Mansfield and Waltham, shares their “7 Key Points for Building a Strong Sales Team”:
1. Consider a Compensation Model prior to targeting and hiring sales people. It helps to have a good understanding of what makes some people “tick”, yet not others. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that there are a number of aspects that generate needs for any person, some of which may be of more interest to one person and less interest to another. Once you understand which aspect(s) motivate people, you can create a better environment to help create greater success.
2. Hire the right team of sales people. Before hiring, understand the type of sales person you need and then target them. Are you looking for an “order taker”? This is a person who can call on existing accounts and build great relationship with the client. Are you looking for a sales person who can “make it rain”? This person has the ability to create and generate business. If they are able to “find” business then they are the “hunter”. Understand what type of sales person you need and then target them in recruiting.
3. Adhere to the “Three A’s” when hiring. Once you understand the type of sales person you are looking for, remember the “Three A’s” when hiring for a sales position in your company. The first and most important “A” is Attitude. The right attitude is everything when hiring people. If they have the right attitude they will go through the wall for you to close business and follow the direction of the company. The second “A” is Aptitude. Ask yourself if s/he has the aptitude for the position of the company. Webster Dictionary defines aptitude as “capability; ability; innate or acquired capacity for something; talent”. The final “A” is Altitude, meaning, how high can they go? How high do you need them to go? Will they plateau at a certain point and coast?
4. Beware of complacency. The next concern when hiring sales people and thus managing them is complacency. Most sales people will reach a point of complacency and then coast in the job. Less work and more play becomes their mantra. The key challenge for management is to do all you can do to prevent complacency by your sales people. Most people become satisfied (and have obtained fulfillment of Maslow’s higher level emotional needs) once they attain job satisfaction or reach a particular level of income or status. With sales people, the challenge is to prevent this from happening.
5. Utilize your Compensation Model. It is vital to keep sales people motivated and “in the game”. From a managerial standpoint, it is far easier to compensate sales people and steer them in the direction the company wants them to go than it is to create compensation models to drive operations people, where you have to rely on coaching and management techniques. Sales people are experts in understanding compensation models and how they can maximize their income in the quickest time frame. They are usually very highly motivated and understand how the game works. This being the case, it is imperative to find a compensation model to drive the sales team to do what you want them to do.
6. Understand what your company’s objectives are and then create the compensation model to attain those objectives. For example, if your interest is to expand and grow your client base, then the compensation model needs to reward your sales team for new business and retention. You can create additional incentives to ensure that a large portion of their pay will be derived from new business acquisition. If it is imperative that your sales team be involved in the retention of clients, then you need to find a compensation model which will reward them for retaining and maintaining great relationships with clients. If they lose clientele, you must ensure that this will affect their compensation. This is a delicate area because if your operations team is not equally committed to retaining clients and the service or product you are delivering is not up to standard, then the sales team has no chance to retain the business no matter how great their relationship is with that client.
7. Do all that you can to ensure that the product or service you deliver is “remarkable!” Make sure that your company is setting the tone and the barometer in the marketplace for what you do. This will allow your sales people to confidently and comfortably sell your product or service. Without this, no sales person of any quality can survive and thrive in today’s business environment. Make sure that your operations team are as committed and passionate about clients as your sales team.
For more information about compensation, HR and or benefits contact Jeff Garr, CEO at HR Knowledge or 508-339-1300.
About HR Knowledge, Inc.
HR Knowledge, Inc. is a leading Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the East Coast. HR Knowledge has the experience and technology to efficiently provide best-in-class integrated HR services at an affordable cost to clients.
HR Knowledge’s leaders have more than 100 years of combined experience and provide expert guidance in Human Resource management, Group Benefits Brokerage, Payroll Processing & Managed Services, Financial Services and Recruiting and Hiring Process Management (HPM).
Through their comprehensive Human Resource Services, HR Knowledge helps organizations minimize operational risks, reduce administrative costs and better serve their people.
HR Knowledge has been recognized as a Gold Level Broker by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare. The company is headquartered at 905B South Main Street, Suite 203 in Mansfield and their second office is located at 890 Winter Street, Suite 208 in Waltham, MA. For more information, contact (508) 339-1300 or visit their website at www.hrknowledge.com