Social Question

poisonedantidote's avatar

How would you set up a sales team?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21544 points ) December 5th, 2012

If you had a product or service to sell, and you could afford to give 50% commissions and small annual bonuses for sales.

If you had people willing to work cold calling, for commission only, how would you structure it?

What could be done to maximize sales, and make sure it works as best as possible?

Is there any reading material related to this that you know of?

Thanks.

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3 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Does it have to be commission only or could you do a base plus commission? I’m thinking commission only might discourage some people from signing on, like people with families. But they might be more reliable in the long run to stay with the team. Just a thought.

KNOWITALL's avatar

What our company does with our sales team is a guaranteed salary for the first 6 months of $_____ (let’s say $2k a bi-monthly pay check). We give them a client list allowing them to work and earn that for us. I don’t believe any individual gets a bonus, but if the group meets monthly goals or over each month of the year, the entire team may split a bonus at end of year. (Most choose days off as their reward.)

After 6 months they are full commission, since they should have built a client database of their own at that point, or washed out, one or the other.

Our commission is very detailed, but basically 12% of cash they bring in. We have daily meetings about where they’re going, presenting, cold calling, etc… and they have 10 daily new appts to meet as well as other requirements, 10 new cold calls per day, how they plan to grow certain accounts, etc…

There is tons of stuff online that our company uses, such as the late great Zig Zigler’s marketing classes.

wundayatta's avatar

Well, I’d think about developing long term relationships. I want them to serve the customer first, and sell second. I’m sure this is pie in the sky thinking, but as a customer, I want my sales person to be on my side, not just trying to sell me as much as possible, whether I can use it or not.

So if I could, I would support salespeople who were developing that kind of relationship. I’m not sure how to provide compensation for that. I think team support is helpful, so I’d want sales people to share commissions. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to allow people to ride on the success of others, so I’d want some individual commission component, too. I’d want everyone to support each other, instead of competing with each other, but also not taking advantage of each other.

It also depends on the product. It depends on whether installation is part of the deal. It depends on whether repeat custom is common or unlikely.

So in the end, I’d design a program individually for a company and a product line and the people involved. I’s set up principles in terms of the amount of cooperation and customer centered-ness and how agressive and how long term my thinking would be. Probably other factors as well.

Then I’d hash it out with the team, and design a system we were all relatively happy with. I’d share information about costs with them. I’d let them know what profit I want, and even entertain a discussion of the fairness of the profit vs their compensation. Perhaps develop profit sharing as part of the deal.

That’s how I would do it in general. That should lead to specifics that fit the company and product line.

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