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From The Top Down “WHERE’S THE BEEF?”

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(Posted on Jul 28, 2013 at 07:01AM )
There have been a lot of postings and discussions over how best to improve a Sales Organizations performance. I personally have written many of them.
One thing that they all have in common is the need to have the right people in the right positions and the need for Leadership.
It all starts with Leadership because a true leader will posses all the qualities needed to do the things necessary to make a business successful. Because a true leader is always striving to hit that next level of success and surrounds himself with other leaders who have the same goals.
True leaders are the people who can leave the emotion out of the equation. All emotion stems from insecurity and has no place in running a business or in life in general for that matter. Insecurity gets in the way of truly clear thinking and objectiveness that is the benchmark of a true Leader.

And this is where we hit the first wall to climb because in my career I have not met many totally secure people who fit the true definition of a leader.

You can have all the systems in place that are designed for success but if you don’t have true leaders it won’t matter how well the system is designed it will not function properly.

One big reason that Businesses today lack the leadership needed to build a truly successful business is the lack of compensation. This for some reason lately has become a dirty word in some circles.

All this touchy feely talk about remembering someone’s birthday, giving extra time of and pats on the back in lieu of compensation is just placating the powers that be. Anyone who talks like this is either doing it so as not to upset clients or have never been in the trenches in commission sales trying to make a living-or both.
All this is good stuff but if it isn’t backed up with proper pay for performance you will never attracted the true Leaders that can get the job done.

And other members of these circles are comprised Darryl, Darryl and Darryl (For those of you who remember) who are quarterly driven publicly owned companies that will do anything for a buck for Top Line and Bottom line growth. Doing more with less for the Bottom line and ethically questionable things to grow the Top Line. We have all seen it.
Unfortunately a lot of private companies have adopted the same kind of practices to their own peril which brings me to to “WHERE’S THE BEEF”

You can have all the proven systems in place that you want if you don’t pay for performance the true Leaders will find another home in the same or different Industry. Because the real talent in sales can perform anywhere.
If you think about it and have studied or have been in the Automotive Industry long enough the forerunner of the 4 square, the track system, came along in the late seventies, early eighties.
This system owners thought, would give them the ability to hire any sales clerk off the street at lower compensation and get the same results as the real talent.

This didn’t last very long and I know because I was one of the salespeople who left when they lowered commissions. On top of that, in the early eighties, I was making much more money as a Manager “then” than is being offered today. Add the rise cost of living into that and it gets ridiculous.

Before I went back on my own in 2010 I was making much more as a salesperson than most managers without all the responsibility.

The Commission Sales Industry is a unique Industry in the fact that commissioned sales is one rung below being self-employed. There are a very limited number of truly talented professionals in management or sales who can make it happen consistently.

You give me a group of talented professionals with a pay plan that is going to draw them and I’ll take any system out there and make it seem like the best thing since sliced bread.

I recently wrote an article where I talked about compensation and even offered anyone interested in a "pay for performance" pay plan to e-mail me and I would gladly sent it to them.

I even gave an example of a Dealership who had this pay plan who had the highest front and back end grosses in their region and district and were growing sales.

I received “0” requests.

You can argue all you want about systems and team work but in the end if you  don’t get off that diet your on and put the “BEEF” on the menu to attract the real heavyweights you are doomed to high turnover and mediocrity.
Written By Bill Cosgrove
DealerNet Services
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