12 Nov


Are we overpaying salespeople? The short answer is no.

A great friend of mine and I have this discussion on a regular basis. He works for a Fortune 1000 company and is sick and tired of the salespeople who make big commissions. “They aren’t that smart…  they are always out of the office goofing around… they whine about everything…” I am biased, but my question in return is always, “Then why don’t you get into sales?”

Salespeople usually have a “survivable” base income but they are in the game to make big money. They are the aggressive, persistent risk-takers that almost every business needs. There are a lot of bad salespeople who make the good and great ones even more valuable. Their territory, commission plan or even job can change at any point. So I’m not here to debate my friend’s question even if the average salesperson may be a little spoiled. My message is defending their importance.

A salesperson is easy to measure. What did they pull in that translated to net income? Was the bottom line larger or smaller than their expense? I love metrics. I would hate having to figure out the value of operations people who don’t have interaction with the client. It’s easy for all of us to see the return on salespeople. If their performance is accurately measured, an organization can see their ROI better than any other position in their company. If the numbers don’t add up then it’s time to retrain or fire.

What is the alternative? You can boost your marketing efforts, but can you offshore a salesperson? Do you want to hire untrained rookies at a lower price tag? Can technology somehow reduce your number of salespeople?

The consultative salesperson adds tremendous value to an organization and can hunt down opportunities that didn’t previously exist. Why are you worrying about paying them $200K this year? Intelligent leadership is willing to pay productive salespeople more than themselves because of their immediate return and ability to increase the overall value of the business.

  • Hire the best salespeople.
  • Pay them and DO NOT CAP their commission structure.
  • Give the higher level salespeople leads so they can spend most of their time in front of prospects closing deals.
  • Train them and retrain them. Inspire them with occasional outside help.
  • Retain them by making them feel important and needed.

Hiring, training, aiding and retaining salespeople is the only answer for most businesses. I hope you are one of the smart companies that recognizes this.

It’s time to grow faster.

~Drew Schmitz

"M@il" button (blue)









Twitter: @drew_schmitz

2 Responses to “Overcompensated?”

  1. Don't tell Me Not To.... November 15, 2014 at 1:48 am #

    You Rock Drew, I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. If those who are not in sales complain, tell THEM to try it!

    • Drew Schmitz November 17, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

      thank you very much for the comment! 🙂 ~Drew

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