Calculate Your Hourly Rate – Part Two

By Mike Philie
In February 11, 2016

Here’s the story that plays out at companies on a regular basis – top level management and owners want the sales reps to be out selling more and the sales reps are reluctant to do so. Why would they be reluctant when they know they could increase their income if they sold more? I guess it’s not quite that easy as I hear from reps all the time that they feel they need to manage their work while it’s being manufactured, particularly from their better accounts. Many of the legacy reps grew up in the business managing their work and now are reluctant, or fearful of letting go. In many of the smaller companies, that’s just the way it is because there isn’t the customer service or project manager infrastructure established. And then the third response I hear is a trust and competency issue. The sales reps don’t trust the support staff to manage the work with the same level of detail that they would. The fourth issue is with established sales reps who are having a very difficult time navigating the newer sales models and adapting to the new buying processes. From a management perspective, this needs to be acknowledged and a plan established for those who want to be helped and a separate path for those who can’t or won’t change.

For any sales team to realize their potential and improve on your hourly rate, these issues must be resolved and a clear delineation of responsibilities established. This begins at the top. The first steps include setting clear expectations of what each team member is responsible for and by making sure that each team member is qualified to play their position. This is directed at both the sales reps and the support team.

When I hear of ‘trust’ issues between these two interdependent groups, there can be other factors that are fueling the situation besides competency. What’s the overall culture of the business like? Do employees of other departments all get along and work in a team environment or are there issues throughout? A final thought on trust, David Horsager’s book, The Trust Edge focuses on how to build the 8 Pillars of Trust: clarity, compassion, character, competency, commitment, connection, contribution and consistency. A good read and I recommend it for those looking to improve their business.

Increasing a sales reps hourly earning rate, and creating the fuel for a business to grow has to begin with a focus on the tasks and activities that only they are uniquely qualified to do. Comments and suggestions are welcome: mphilie@epicomm.org or 201-523-6302.

Mike Philie

Mike works with printing companies that are not satisfied with their sales and business development performance, and are looking to get objective advice and strategic direction on how to improve the results of their business. His engagements can range from providing input on the overall sales strategy to building business development pipelines while training the processes of “selling” in today’s marketplace. Mike quickly establishes himself as a trusted resource and advisor to the owners and senior staff of his client companies through his personal involvement, and very quietly and effectively becomes an extension of their staff.

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