When it Comes to Compensation Sales is Not Like Baseball

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Dec 09, 2010 @ 05:12 AM

sales compensationRegular readers know that I follow - no - live and die by the Boston Red Sox.  I awoke this morning to discover that they have reached an agreement to sign Carl Crawford for $142 million on the heels of trading for Adrian Gonzalez and reaching an agreement with him for a contract extension worth $157 million.  If you like baseball as much as me and your team signed two of the best players in the world, you would have a little extra bounce at 5:30 AM!

Aside from the excitement of the signings though, the Red Sox committed to $299 million on 2 guys in 4 days!  You won't find that in sales...

Not only that, but Gonzalez is getting quite a bump. He'll be going from $6 million to $21 million annually.  How would you like to earn just one year's worth - $21 million - in the remaining years of your career?  Forget about the staggering totals for a minute.  Forget that they work part-time.  Forget that they get 4 months off.  Forget that they get endorsement deals, speaking opportunities (good to know that there's one area where I'm probably paid better than they are) and tremendous amounts of media exposure.  Simply consider the bump.  $6M - $21M.  More than triple!

The other day a client asked whether salespeople can make the jump from earning $85K to a position that could pay them $150K.  Sure they can.  But they have to be incredibly motivated to earn the $150K.  What happens with a lot of salespeople is that once they get past the "25% more" mark, or in this case, $106,250, they become complacent - until next year - when they might make another 25% jump to $132,812, become somewhat complacent again, and in year 3, make it to $166,015. 

You might be thinking, "I'll take that - a salesperson that improves by 25% year over year" but this client's questions was, "Can salespeople make the direct jump from $85K to $150K in one year?"

They CAN but most of them don't.  Once most of them have earned significantly more than they have ever earned before (25%), they take that deep breath and relax.  The moment they relax, their pipeline isn't getting filled at the same rate, the opportunities they do have don't move along as quickly as before, and the more difficult opportunities don't get closed.

Relaxing Kills Sales.

Complacency Kills Salespeople.

Sales Managers Who Leave Their Salespeople Alone Kill Sales Organizations.

A Dead Sales Organization Kills the Company.

Anything else you need to know?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, sales compensation, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Boston Red Sox, Baseball Stars, complacent salespeople

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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