Anyone who is interested in the Watergate scandal remembers the famous phrase from the drama-documentary “All the President’s Men”. It’s that moment when Deep Throat advises Bob Woodward (played by Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (played by Dustin Hoffman) to “follow the money.”
But does that same advice apply to sales?
We all seen them – the employment ads promising 6 figure incomes, or uncapped commissions. We see dollar signs and decide to apply to those positions. Sometimes the job postings are accurate and sometimes they are dishonest.
But should you always follow the money?
Here is the dirty little secret in sales – compensation plans change all the time. Yes, technically speaking, compensation plans should usually change about once a year, when managers adjust quotas or commission percentages. But in the real world, that’s not always the case.
I’ve known situations where compensation plans change once a quarter, or even once a month. Like it or not, the manager (or most likely the owner) is controlling the purse strings. If he feels the salespeople are earning too much money, he will “adjust” the compensation package to ensure that you’re not earning too much money. I know one owner who feels that it’s important to keep salespeople “hungry” so that they don’t become too complacent.
Why? Because hiring and retaining employees – even salespeople – can be expensive. Owners must consider an array of expenses, including rent, leases, office supplies, utilities, etc.
So what should you do? Should you follow the money?
Or, should you instead follow the manager?
You see, here’s another dirty little secret in sales – good sales managers are hard to find.
And if you find a good sales manager, chances are, you will also find a fair compensation and benefits package, equitable distribution of leads and prospects, and valuable coaching and advice.
Where do you find these good sales managers?
Word of mouth.
So next time you go the job hunting, ignore the dollar signs. Instead, find a good sales manager. Because when you find a good sales manager, and you prove your worth to the company and sales team, trust me, the money will follow.
Because here’s my final dirty little secret in sales – good salespeople are hard to find.