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The Sales Boss by Jonathan Whistman

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CHAPTER 17 Money Talks: Compensation Planning

Most people who make a career out sales do so because, among other things, they know that sales is where the money is. Your ability to design a plan that moves all of the right levers is intrinsic to your success. As we jump into a talk about compensation, I’ll make two initial observations:

  1. In some companies a jealousy develops between the other members of the company and the salespeople. The finance people and some of the other executives see the “outsized” paychecks of the top performers and don’t see them reporting into the office. As they see the salesperson’s compensation surpass their own, they get jealous. This behavior will show up in many ways. You might start noticing executives in the finance or HR department nitpicking each and every expense report. You’ll hear sarcasm from them when mentioning that a salesperson landed a nice size deal. They’ll say things like “Well, that customer was going to buy anyway. They didn’t do anything special.” When you notice these behaviors, you will need to be proactive. Your job is to make sure the entire company knows how tough it is out in the field doing sales, the sacrifice in time away from family, and other challenges the salesperson endures. They earn their money, and the entire company eats because the salesperson closed a deal. Make sure nobody forgets or begrudges the hand that feeds them.
  2. Make sure you aren’t overpaying. This may seem like a contrasting statement; however, ...

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