My Medical Device Sales Career
Companies construct commission plans based on their culture! Meat eating culture or Vegetarian Culture; the Commission Plan will tell you! A company who wants you to go out and slay new business and grow their market share aggressively has a Meat Eater Culture. Their softer cousins are those companies that value a steady growth centered upon cultivating and steadily growing the business (usually through heavy relationship building of current clients), hence more of a Vegetarian Culture.
Now don't get me wrong; there are elements of gaining new business and also cultivating and growing current clients in both cultures (they are not isolated acts only found in one culture of the other), but is the EMPHASIS that is placed on those activities that shape the core culture of a company. The Commission Plan is built in every company to drive that core culture and is centered upon several factors:
For now, we will center upon the Commission Plan, it embodies all those factors mentioned and more...so why not go to the bottom line and see what it tells us about their company culture?
Commission Plan = Company Culture
a) Low base and High uncapped commission; even as low as 35K to 55K, but promising stock options or % commission from the first dollar of sales (which that may be what it is....you are going to sell the first dollar of sales for that company!). It is either that method of compensation, OR...
b) Paying you a higher base of like 80K to 120K flat and you are use to making 160K., BUT they are giving you stock grants, options, a small % ownership opportunity or end of year large potential bonus pay out determined by total company sales or performance markers. In addition, sometimes they will offer a large payout if the company is eventually sold...you make out like a bandit! This is a VERY AGGRESSIVE gambling Meat Eaters Culture....Hunt or get Hunted mentality! You are not taking this type of job for the current or even near future salary plus commission earnings; you are betting on the future pay out! It is gambling at it's finest!
Commission Plans are a telling story to a company's culture. Your job is to decide what your appetite is and pick the company that appeals to your palate! A meat eater is never happy with a strictly vegetarian plate and certainly a die- hard vegetarian will become ill at the thought of eating a side of beef! So goes selecting a company culture that is best for you. Knowing what you like having on your plate and understanding what your company (or future company) is serving up can be the recipe made in heaven for you!
©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved
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