How Sales Leaders Get Paid What They Are Worth

February 1, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Are you getting paid what you are worth? Are you making as much or more than your peers? You certainly hope so. Find out your value with this tool. An automatic value score will be calculated for you.

sales leader value assessment tool 3

Why Does this Matter?

You have paid your dues. You have 15-25 years of experience starting as a sales rep. You became a Sales Manager, followed by a Sales Director.  You are now running a multi-state region and have a big quota. You are one step away from the big job. You want to be paid fair market value. If you are an ‘A’ player, you expect to be above market value.  Here is the challenge: Who determines your market value?

What is Market Value?

Most companies are using the wrong definition of market value. Here is how it unfolds:  The CEO and CFO gives your boss the new yearly number. As part of the yearly planning process, your boss tells HR to research compensation in the market. He is using it to build plans. HR doesn't have time to do a compensation benchmark properly. They go online for free resources to understand "market value". gives them a generic output of how much regional sales leaders earn. Between this and your current pay,value is set. Ouch.

A New Definition of Market Value

You deserve credit for the value you create in the sales force. Sales leaders need to reshape the definition of market value. This exercise will give you evidence to what you are worth. I am regularly asked by VPs what they need to do get the top job. Making the number is table stakes. Why? CEOs know bad leaders with great territories or great products make the number. High tides raise all ships.  Conversely, CEO’s know there are high growth guys in low growth companies running in place.  These guys are victims of circumstance.

Sales Leader’s Value Levers

There are 6 areas where sales leaders of today can create personal market value. This tool will give you the results. All you need to do is answer a few yes/no questions. You will receive a rating. It will tell you if you are worth more, same or less than the market. Below is a snapshot of some of the questions.  There are 18 in total.

  1. People
    • The new hires in your region reach full productivity faster than the company average?
    • You have at least 1 manager per year promoted from your region?
    • Did you have less than 5% ‘A’ player turnover in your region last year?
  2. Customers
    • Have you shifted your sales force to sell the way customers wants to buy? (Note: this typically means much more self directed)
    • Do you know how much of your customers buyers journey rests with marketing vs. sales?
  3. Field Execution
    • Did you spend 50% of your time in live coaching situations?
    • Did all your first year managers go through a development program driven by you before promotion?

To complete the value assessment click here.

So what do the results mean?

sales leader value wheel
  • 16-18 = you are creating excess value in the market. You deserve to be paid above market rates. Typically 25% above the median pay in your company for your position.
  • 11-15 = you are creating good value in the market. You deserve to be paid the market rate. Typically, the median in your company for your position.
  • 6-10 = you are creating some value in the market. You deserve to be paid 10-15% below the median.
  • 1-5 = you are creating little value. You are miscast as a sales leader.

How to Communicate Your Value 

  1. Reframe the definition of value with your boss.
  2. Gain agreement on where you have and have not delivered.
  3. Pick the area that has the biggest value creation opportunity for you

 Three great outcomes. You position yourself for promotion. You outpace your peers. You make yourself more attractive to the open market.

If you are looking for a few ideas, this report has some of the best.

You have complete control of how valuable the market perceives you. If you have any other ideas, jot them below.

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Topics: Sales Leader, Director of Sales Resources, Sales Compensation

Posted by Matt Sharrers

Matt Sharrers

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