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Thanks to shifts in how customers shop and buy, the field sales rep’s role must change. But you can’t change the role of the field sales rep in your organization without also taking a good hard look at your sales compensation plan.
My colleague Mike Emerson leads our sales compensation practice; he also led the research we conducted for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors on the subject. One of the major findings from that project, summarized in our book What’s Your Plan? Smart Salesforce Compensation in Wholesale Distribution, was:
If you want your salespeople to sell hammers, but you pay them to sell shovels, you will sell a lot of shovels.
How you pay your reps matters. If you want them to change how they work, the common approach – paying on a percent of gross margin – won’t work. Your pay plan needs to clearly align with your strategic objectives. And when redesigning your compensation structure, you must be sensitive to today’s market shifts.
Sales compensation is one of the critical topics we’ll be tackling at MDM and IRCG’s upcoming Sales GPS 2017 event for distribution executives March 1-2, 2017, in Austin, TX. Learn more or register today to take advantage of early bird pricing.
Watch this video to learn more about why and how your sales compensation plan has to shift as the role of the sales rep evolves: