You Can Afford To Pay New Salespeople A Lot More

by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

The painful truth.

The painful truth is you are burning through far more salespeople than you should be burning through. So are your competitors.


It is destroying your brand.

You, like everyone else, are hiring B and C salespeople thinking you need feet on the street and the worst hires will weed themselves out. This sales hiring "strategy" is a recipe for mediocrity.

Alpha sales wolves produce a multiple of that of B and C salespeople. One alpha sales wolf can produce that of five to ten B salespeople and ten to twenty C salespeople.

The truth is you CAN afford to pay your new alpha sales wolves a LOT MORE than you currently are and you must. Your future depends upon it.

You just need to stop hiring B and C salespeople who destroy your brand more than sell. Use the saved recruiting, sales training, and wasted compensation to increase the base compensation of your new alpha sales wolves. Your sales wolves will love you. Loyalty will increase. And your competitors will be forced to match your high base compensation.

What are you waiting for?

Your newly-hired salespeople look promising.

Your new salespeople are excited to begin their career with you.

Your recruiters are proud. They have worked hard to find good salespeople.

After the happy talk and warm fuzzies melt away, tension inevitably surfaces. Every salesperson wants to be successful. At least I like to believe that. The irony is while there is hope, there is also pain. Until commissions are earned, the low base compensation you have bestow onto your new hires is slowly killing them.

I call this critical time period "the gauntlet". 


The gauntlet is a very dangerous time.

The "gauntlet" is the period from the moment your new salesperson begins employment with you to when they are productive and earning a sales commission on top of their low base compensation.

What makes this time period particularly dangerous is the psychological damage being done. Every salesperson will forever remember the lean time where their base compensation barely paid the bills and they were fearful of not making it; especially your alpha sales wolves.

The damage caused by being forced to live frugally reduces or completely destroys future loyalty. The psychological trauma of barely getting by will never be erased from the mind of your best salespeople. and when a competitor comes calling with a stronger base and commission package, your best salespeople will be all ears.

The "gauntlet" is where each new salesperson eventually "sinks" or "swims".



If your new salesperson comes to realize that they will never make the commission necessary to augment their low base compensation to make their desired income, they "sink" and quit. 


If your new salesperson comes to realize that selling is something they truly enjoy and their sales funnel looks promising enough, they stay with you; they swim. 


The gauntlet is a relic of the past.

In the "old days" you needed a way to weed out the low performers. You hired fast and fired slow. You hired salespeople you should not have hired (because you "needed" them) and used the low base compensation to weed out the weak because that is what everyone else did.
You used the gauntlet to cull the herd.
Many still do.
It is bad strategy.

Starving alpha sales wolves is extremely short-sighted.

The smart money is on sales management who realize that starving alpha sales wolves is not a viable strategy. When you starve your alpha sales wolves because you hired crappy salespeople you also had to pay until they quit or were fired, your remaining alpha sales wolves are susceptible to a competitor wooing them because you didn't love them enough to pay them well in the first place.
Do not make your competitor into a hero by helping them hire and properly compensate your disgruntled and starving alpha sales wolves who made it through your gauntlet.

Your alpha sales wolves deserve to be paid more.

They are alpha sales wolves. They are going to produce a multiple of your average salesperson. Are you nuts? Pay them like you love them. 

You can afford to pay your new salespeople more.

In the old days three salespeople were hired and at the end of six months or a year only one remained.
Think about what I just said to you. Better yet, get out your pen and paper. Use your own math.
  • You hired three salespeople.
  • You paid a recruiter to engage 25 sales candidates to get to the six who were interviewed.
  • Six sales candidates were interviewed by sales management. Some sales candidates were interviewed more than once.
  • Six sales candidates went through reference checks and background reviews.  
  • Five sales candidates were made offers.
  • Four sales candidates accepted your offer.
  • Three sales hires completed the sales training.
  • Three sales hires were paid a low base compensation for six months as they ramped up.
  • Three sales hires were coached and mentored by their sales managers.
  • One or two of the three hires had their sales manager say the words, "Fred is not working out. I think we need to cut him", to the VP of sales, 
  • A year later, one salesperson made it through the gauntlet.
Look at the carnage and the wasted resources along the way. This is what the typical sales hiring strategy reaps.

ONLY hire alpha sales wolves and PAY them like you love them.

I am going to share the very same advice we provide to our Clients.Never_starve_your_alpha_sales_wolves

You can afford to pay your alpha sales wolves a lot more than you are now. You just need to stop paying the losers in the first place.

Stop hiring from your gut. Use a sales candidate score card and a validated sales personality and aptitude test that measures Behaviors, Motivators, Acumen, and Skills to ensure you are hiring a salesperson who fits the job benchmark. 


Let your competitors hire the B and C salespeople.

Provide your alpha sales wolves a base compensation that enables them to live like the alpha sales wolves they are. Yes, hold them accountable. They want you to hold them accountable. Yes, make it a draw against commission. Help your alpha sales wolves live well while they ramp up and they will love you for it.

When you objectively hire the best salespeople in the first place you no longer waste the lost wages paid during training nor do you waste valuable sales management time interviewing and coaching the uncoachable.

Take the money you formerly wasted on B and C salespeople compensation and training and PAY your new alpha sales wolves you hired the kind of compensation that others alpha sales wolves would kill for.

Your alpha sales wolves will appreciate you and they will tell other alpha sales wolves about you.

Better yet...


Make compensating your alpha sales wolves well a profound competitive advantage.

Paying your newly-hired alpha sales wolves well becomes a serious competitive disadvantage to your competitors. If your competitors are still using antiquated sales hiring strategy (their gut) to make critical hiring decisions, they will hemorrhage money when they are forced to match your starting compensation.

Paying B and C salespeople the big base compensation will destroy your competitor's bottom line. And there is more. This strategy is the "gift that keeps on giving". If your competitor pays B and C salespeople a higher base compensation and they do not have the intestinal fortitude to cut low performers, they get the gift that keeps on giving - a serious cash drain.



You just have to decide.

Intellectually and morally, you know that you must hire the best salespeople possible. Use a validated sales personality and aptitude test. Hiring only alpha sales wolves and paying them top dollar for their initial base compensation is good for you, good for your new alpha sales wolves, and very bad for your competitor.