It is a good time to remind ourselves…

It is a good time to remind ourselves that as this recession progresses, key selling and marketing jobs will typically take on increasing importance as firms begin to position for a recovery and strive to again break even by relying more on the top line. As we all know, there is only so much you can do with expense control & downsizing. Hence, key-existing and high-potential-prospective sales and marketing resources become crucial to the company as this recession ages. Not only do you want to keep your performers, but you do not want your competitors to have them!

A client recently asked me for advice on how to set 2010 pay benchmarks for their sales force. Let me share two of the points discussed:

  1. Make sure you pay equal to or better than the market or your competitors for sales talent. If the market will increase 2 1/2 % next year, make sure to increase your salaries or total cash at least that much, or by a greater amount [e.g.: 4-5%]. Remember, you can always build and maintain a premium pay structure if you (in truth) pay for performance.
  2. Do not underpay your sales talent. Act rapidly and aggressively to correct situations where people are found to be underpaid.

These are probably good rules for any and all key company jobs, but it strikes us that the sales force and marketing team need both assessment and attention, right now.

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