Friday, July 5, 2013

No Honor Among Sales People

Sales commissions can drive you insane if you are the CFO of a company. These commissions can drive you crazy if you are not in sales either.

Why do they exist? Do they work and encourage sales? Do they prevent hoarding or thievery? Common saying is "there is no honor among thieves or sales people".

Even wonder about this and where it comes from? I may have a solution for you, it comes from this week's parsha. Think about these pieces of information:

The children of Israel are told to go out to war and they can keep the spoils of the war, subject to certain requirements, like a small piece goes to the priests, to Hashem as a thank you offering and some other items set aside for holy purposes.

Around 31:19-54, the breakdown of what went where and why is discussed but this sentence implies quite a bit at 31:53:
53. The soldiers had seized spoils for themselves.   נג. אַנְשֵׁי הַצָּבָא בָּזְזוּ אִישׁ לוֹ:
So even though it would all be split according to a purpose, there will still those that chose to take more. After all the livestock, metals and prisoners it wasn't enough? These guys wanted more.

Even when you compensate your staff in a way you deem appropriate, there will always be those that think otherwise. If everyone has the same compensation plan, that does not bode well for the truly great ones, nor for the bad ones. Every person should have a sales commission plan so IF they do help on any deals, they get some piece of the pie. A small price to pay in order to have a happy team work together.

Too often only the true sales people have any sales benefit plan. This causes some back office people and customer facing staff to not always perform at their best. However if they know they will get some benefit, however small, it is usually enough to bond them into giving it their all.

Saying a bonus is based on your ability to sell is not fair and neither is the shared group bonus. Include proper rewards for proper work and you will not have to worry about your soldiers taking spoils for themselves.

======================================================================== Parsha Matot and Massey in the book of Bamidbar, Numbers 30:2-36:13 It is said that the Torah or Bible could be interpreted in over 70 ways. More likely these days 100's of ways. In light of this idea, I am writing some posts that bring a business sense to what we can learn on a weekly basis. Enjoy, Shabbat Shalom