OK, the Rock Star really hit a nerve with his recent post – A Commission Plan Gone Bad. I’m having flashbacks to a comp plan that still makes the hair on the back of my neck bristle.
When a comp plan becomes counter-productive -and the sales team is talking – you’ve created a monster. I can only think of one thing worse – have the paychecks bounce!
The profile for the most productive sales people tells us that messing with compensation and the perception of deception is the beginning of the end for retention.
Sales people want and need to believe that they are being treated honestly, fairly and with respect for what they do. The compensation plan should be designed to direct and motivate the sales group specifically and clearly.
The sales team should be discussing ways to “manage” the comp plan for maximum rewards, rather than grumbling amongst themselves about the latest raw deal from management. The dis-incentive of a bad deal for sales will lead to distractions that will drop sales revenue like a brick – and take months, if not years, of recovery to stabilize.
Playing the games described in Rock Star’s post will most certainly lead to retention and job satisfaction issues. Guaranteed . . . resume time!
So what do you do? Communication (as usual) of very clear company, management and sales objectives needs to be understood by EVERY employee at every level of the organization. Everyone needs to be moving in the same direction. Specific details need to be spelled out to the sales group along with the corresponding rewards. A level of trust and security for the sales group needs to be assured from top to bottom in the organization. The assurance of a “fair and clear deal” for sales will lead to increased revenue, profit and retention for the company.