Being a person who spent much of the first 25 years of my working life in various sales roles (Sales Engineer through Director of Marketing at major multi-nationals) I have to say that I've been very surprised at what sales people seem to think (and presumably with good reason) what a sales person should be paid today.
I have been reading the resumes of people applying for corporate sales positions with Exetel which we advertised on our Forum and in one of the on line employment sites. It must be my total ignorance of what has become the "norm" for people who sell communications services to businesses because I was completely astonished at what some applicants were asking for as an expected remuneration package. It seems that a salary of $120,000 pa + commission + a car + a laptop + a mobile telephone is a reasonable expectation (and this is for people with very, very 'iffy' track records).
I suppose my surprise was coloured by the fact that I've built Exetel's revenues to well over $30 million a year based on no sales people/advertising/marketing and only using a web site. I also have some detailed current knowledge of what very competent sales people are paid by Telstra and Optus and the sorts of track records that those people have. I'm undoubtedly also influenced by my previous decades of employing and training so many sales personnel who became extremely successful in selling IT equipment and services (from PCs to the largest mainframes delivered in Australia).
So - bit of a shock.
The other 'shock' was the apparently very low volume of business that some of the applicants thought was worth the $14 - $15,000 a month that their requested 'package' would cost Exetel. Looking at the resumes the highest annual sales achieved was $1,500,000 but most were well below $1,000,000.
Either the companies that previously employed these sales people had massive margins or they didn't last very long - probably the latter given the length of time the applicants seemed to spend in any single job. I don't know what other communications companies remuneration as a percentage of revenue is but Exetel's is lower than 7% (and that includes all director's salaries and 'dividends'). An OTE of $140,000 for delivering a total billable revenue at the end of a full year (which assuming an even quota achievement is $80,000 of revenue a month) is around 25%.
Looked at another way, Exetel's net profit after tax is less than 8% of revenue which means that we could only make a very significant net loss from employing any sales person on such a package.
Like so much else in this industry at the moment I really must be missing something.
Maybe I should increase all of our business service prices by 50% and then Exetel could afford the remuneration at least some sales people believe is expected in this industry?
Maybe I should apply to be a sales rep with one of the companies who offer such remuneration? (I could obviously earn a lot more than I do at the moment).