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The Top 6 Most Commonly Asked Questions by Sales Managers w/ Bridget Gleason [Episode 150]

My regular guest on Front Line Friday is Bridget Gleason, VP of Corporate Sales for SumoLogic. In today’s episode, Bridget and I discuss the most commonly asked questions by sales managers on compensation for sales reps, title creep, and termination.

Bullet Points:

  • Do you need to pay commissions to sales reps?
  • How does a company design an effective compensation plan?
  • Will one plan work for the entire sales team?
  • What is title creep and why you should avoid it?
  • When is it the right time to terminate an underperforming sales rep?
  • What are you as a sales manager doing to help your failing salesperson?

Should you pay commissions to your sales rep?

There is no clear yes or no answer to this question. It is a cultural issue. Managers may start creating a divide between sales and everybody else when sales get paid commission, or could be something that a company does in the earlier stages. It all depends on the different phases and situations.

Do you have one plan for the entire sales team?

It’d be good to have a simplistic approach when it comes to a compensation package. However, everyone in sales is not doing the same job. For instance, one salesperson may be doing all inbound vs. outbound. Having different plans for each person is OK.

Title creep is a bad idea.

If a sales rep conveys they want a title so the buyer will respect them, then he or she is the wrong person for the job. Buyers very seldom are fooled, they will know if the person deserved the title or if it was handed to them. People won’t stay around when their title is downgraded because the company grew and the person has not. Bring in your employees at a proper level, let them grow with the company and get rewarded.

When do you know it’s time to terminate an underperforming sales rep?

IMPORTANT!!! You don’t want anyone to be surprised. It is the sales manager’s job to set the expectations for the rep. The salesperson needs to be reviewed at least once a week to ensure their goals are being reached. Reps should be able to review their dashboard and see where they are at all times, using a CRM program. The managers have the opportunity to talk to the salesperson about their goals and make sure they are staying on target. Managers should know within the first three months if the person is going to be a good rep.

Managers need to examine their more experienced salespeople who are struggling. Is there a reason they are failing? Supervisors should first look at themselves, are they giving the proper guidance and tools to the sales reps to accomplish their goals?

More About Bridget Gleason:

My first job in sales?

Selling and networking products and desktop computers for Xerox.

My most powerful sales tool?

LinkedIn Navigator

One book every salesperson should read?

Winner’s Dream by Bill McDermott

Music that psyches me up before an important sales call?

I tend to go quiet and focus and role play the call instead of listening to music.