Nickel-and-diming a new sales rep in compensation will most likely leave you scrapping the bottom of the barrel for exceptional sales talent. Our attrition rate in Radio sales is 80 percent to 90 percent for first-year reps. What kind of future top-notch sales rep would want to give up an annual salary, healthy bonuses and a company car for a three-month draw against commissions - unless the person is desperate for a job.
Are benefits from companies like UPS tough competition? Absolutely! So we don't have a United Parcel war chest to hire from, what can you do - First, change your mindset. When we give someone a 90-180 day draw or guarantee, are we telling that person, "We think you're going to be here for the long term?"
Start by giving them an annual salary with personal-performance objectives. Average what a first-year sales rep in your market would earn, not in Radio, but in any sales field. Do your homework; call around to other companies. We're not just comparing Radio stations here. Put their annual salary at 80 percent of that figure. Leave the other 20 percent for when they hit performance objectives on a quarterly or annual basis.
- The first 90 days should be activity goals only. No sales quota here. (Northwestern Mutual does not let a rookie sales rep make a solo call for six months).
- 120-180 days: Specific weekly itinerary ?-calls, objectives, pending business, account list management - segmentation-strategic planning/projections and sales quota.
- 180 days to end of first year: Everything involved in 120-180 days plus continuous training by sales manager, activity in sales meetings with presentations.
Every major Radio company has announced it will be hiring hundreds of new salespeople. The key to their success will be the way you pay them and teach them. The days of telling them "Here's your desk; look at this as your own business; and here are all the crappy accounts nobody else wants" are over.