Sales pro, comment please.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by YS2003, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    Finally I have arrived.....
    #1
    I am interested in hearing the comments from people who does "service" sales in part time or full time.

    Job: gain new accounts, gain additional business from current or inactive accounts, and some customer maintenance (but, strong emphasis in new account development) in wide territories.

    Do you go along with this arrangement?
    1. you burn your midnight oils to search prospects on directories (book or internet)
    2. you qualify it by initiating contacts.
    3. you develop business relationship with new contacts (including lots of on the road hours and traveling)
    4. you gain a first order of business
    5. you have to turn it over to someone else so that he/she can make it his/her own account thereafter

    Instead of keep developing more business from this account, you are asked to give it to someone else at the company (maybe a local smaller branch or some one who are not too good at reaching that successful first order)

    Because this is a complex subject, I just simplified it. I am interested in hearing from others on the "concept" of the above arrangement.

    My opinion: I don't like it. If I initiate and gain accounts for the company, there is no point letting someone (who are not above my rank in the company) who has not even earned this business to take over so that he/she can use this account to increase his/her own job performance (note: once you have a new order from a new customer, you have a good chance getting more orders and new businesses). Also, it would be counter-productive for successful sales management.
     
  2. ibook30 macrumors 6502a

    ibook30

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
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    2,000 light years from home
    #2
    I had a job similiar to this, it was an entry level position. A year later it lead to bigger and better things. If you are interested in getting on with the company, this may be a good place to start. It sounds like the position would require a lot of cold calling, and then handing off the account. This is not out of the norm from what I know. G'luck !
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    If it's a salaried job, what's the beef? You're getting paid for your efforts in making contact. If you really want a commissioned job with the rewards for sales and continuing customer relationship, then you will give up the security of a salary or hourly wage, and this isn't the job for you. (from what I can tell from the brief scenario).
     
  4. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    Finally I have arrived.....
    #4
    I heard the other party who is asking for the hand out is on salary and is supposed to do sales from the beginning to the end. Because they were not competent enough (or do not have guts for making initial contacts), they are trying to make this arrangement. So, if I go with this arrangement, I would be doing the most difficult part and this other party is getting the easy part (I think they are getting paid as much as I do). I prefer the other will also go through the tough part as the position required. Basically, the company does not have the structured sales organization and I am mostly pulling new accounts.
     
  5. DrStrangelove macrumors 6502

    DrStrangelove

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    #5
    I'm sure you're aware of this but there about a gazillion sales operation structures utilized in various markets. I don't know exactly how your company works, but with my company the structure "details" can change from quarter to quarter hopefully keeping the overall "meta-structure" (?) in place-- you've got to be able to count on the larger picture, yes?

    At any rate there are all sorts of sales individuals and all sorts of skill sets that people possess that make them better suited or less suited to perform specific sales functions. It seems like your company is more interested in your attainment of new accounts (going wide) as opposed to holding onto a handful of accounts and growing them for the company (going deep).

    At my company I perform something of a "hybrid" strategic account sales and major account management role. That is to say that to some extent I'm responsible for going deep and wide. I have a strategic markets target account list that I go after for new business. The newly signed account level (small business, mid-market and enterprise) determines what's going to happen after I close them.

    Small business and mid-market accounts, after signed (which I get comp for) are directly handed to junior account managers who are solely responsible for servicing and potentially growing the account. I hold onto all enterprise deals for 24 months after signing. That is that I get the initial pop and any other new business I can win from them over the next 2 years.

    On the major account management side, I have roughly 20 enterprise and what we'd call "strategic/marquis" accounts that will be mine, theoretically, forever. The idea is that the few of us in my role have been with the company for a much longer period of time, we've been in sales AT LEAST 10 years and we are simply better experienced to service certain customers (think: Nike, HP, Apple [yes!], Home Depot, Bose... the list goes on).

    The comp structure is different for new accounts and maintained accounts as well. For new business, I comp out at 15% of total revenue for the 24 month period. For the maintained accounts we apply a quarterly growth formula to the existing revenue (between 5 and 10% usually) and I'm expected to grow the account by that amount. The comp here is variable as there are different percentages achieved for different levels of quota attainment. For example-- I've got to make 80% of this quota to see a dime. I get paid a certain percentage between 80 and 90% and another percentage between 90 and 100%. If I go over 100% there are accelerators that can kick in with staggering results. The upside is large because the downside is large (again, don't hit 80%-- you don't make a dime).

    So back to your original question. I don't see it so much as "is this a good plan" in as much as I think you should be asking the question "Is my skill-set being used to its maximum potential in this job?" When you determine this you have two options. 1) Make a case to your employer that you feel you're better suited to attain AND manage new business or 2) go find another sales job that best suits your skill set.

    No matter what, if you're actually a good salesperson you're in a great line of work. Sales people that perform will always have a job or easily be able to get a replacement job if necessary. It's a skilled profession that others take for granted and even often mischaracterize as "easy." Lots of the folks that are critical of salespeople in my company wouldn't be able to get out one sentence successfully in front of a $500MM company with C level employees staring at them from across a boardroom table. Good luck!
     
  6. DrStrangelove macrumors 6502

    DrStrangelove

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    #6
    True that there's a lot left out from his description, however... the pay structure that you've outlined isn't always so across the board. Especially at larger companies serving a higher-level sales role.

    I have a VERY decent base salary as well as a comp plan that if achieved can double the base.

    But as a general rule you are right-- the less upside on the salary the more upside on the comp (and vice versa).
     
  7. DrStrangelove macrumors 6502

    DrStrangelove

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    #7
    Don't equate one particular skill (cold calling) to any level of difficulty or ease. What may be difficult for one may not be for someone else.

    I know plenty of great cold callers that can qualify and prime a prospect with great success, yet they couldn't manage a 6-12 month sales cycle to save their lives.

    Conversely, I know some absolute cracker-jack long-term sales cycle managers that wouldn't have the first clue as to how to successfully break-thru to a prospect. We're lucky at my place-- our leads (most of them) are pretty warm. By the time I call in it's already generally accepted that these people have a need for our services and have a desire to speak with me.

    Then... every so often.... you meet that one type sales person. They've got the cold call down, they manage a decent sales cycle creating need and showing value... yet they just can't close the deal. In many instances it comes down to the simple fact that they do everything EXCEPT ask for the business. At some point, you've got to recognize that the sale is complete and hand them the pen.

    Ultimately... all sales people have to be closers. It's just that simple if they're going to be successful at all.
     
  8. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    Finally I have arrived.....
    #8
    I was mainly referring to the complete sales cycle (from the beginning to the closing). In my industry, the closing for one business would lead to closing for additional business. Typical agreement does not cover all the business as each part of the business is different and requires the different negotiation. So, once I close one business, I can get additional business very easily as I have already build up the solid base with the new account.

    If someone (who is at the same rank as mine) starts asking for hand-out because he/she cannot secure new accounts, I prefer they would be recognized as incompetent in the sales field instead of getting hand-out from me so that they look good in the eye of the management.

    I agree some people are inept with looking for new customers (I see many people at my previous employer's sales department waiting for the sales leads--I call it restaurant-patron-syndrom, meaning waiting for the leads to be served by someone). Or, Some are unable to close the business.

    Managing customers would be handled by customer service department; so, my focus has been gaining new accounts, additional business from those new accounts, and sales & marketing management of those accounts so that Customer Service will implement that program.

    Since sales vary greatly depending on the company, organizatonial structure, industry, compensation structure, and etc, this is a complicated issue.
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    Well, the problem you have is that you appear to be trying to exert managerial discipline on the other employee where it is not your position to do so. You seem to be especially rankled that they are getting the same pay and underperforming.

    This is something you definitely have to take up with management. It's their call whether the other employee gets disciplined, retrained, or spoonfed. Your feedback is important in that decision, but be aware that they may not agree and come around to your point of view. Although employee satisfaction is important, maximizing production is also a management priority. Maybe they willl offer you a bit of a raise and recognize your additional responsibility?

    You have every right to not go along with a change in your contract or work assignment, but you have to decide whether standing your ground here is worth losing your job over. Ultimately, if management says "do this" and its legal and within your general terms of empoyment, then your option is to do it or leave.
     
  10. YS2003 thread starter macrumors 68020

    YS2003

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    Finally I have arrived.....
    #10
    I think you have been reading my sentiment so well. Even though I like "harmony" at work place (meaning I don't get involved in company politics), I have been on the good side with the management (as I am the most productive in the department) and I decided to press on this matter to make sure the slacker won't be a parasite on my success in my job performance. So, it resulted in my favor (actually, to the company's favor, in the end, because it is the company's interest to promote the employee who can perform). I have the full control on account management (which, of course, benefits the company).
     

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