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Why Commissioned Sales Jobs Will Disappear from the Payrolls?

5/31/2015 Anant Goel

In the past, salespeople have been the growth engine of business… but I believe the tide is turning. This is true for many industries, but particularly relevant for emerging high tech companies.

The traditional sales jobs are endangered… because, today's buyers have access to endless information and customer feedback like never before. New data on B2B sales shows that 60% of a typical purchase decision is made before talking to suppliers and up to 90% of the buying cycle is done before buyers speak with sales reps.

At LeRumba.com we purposefully don't have a sales team nor do we pay commissions on new customers. That's because we believe it drives the wrong behavior and outcomes.

Instead, we have a Customer Success team that takes a consultative approach to engage independent Affiliate Partners and their teams. It's not just a new name, they are truly different. They are well compensated, benefit from profit sharing, and own Phantom Stock in the business. They have no quota, do not prospect, and do not know commissions. This means that they are free to focus on the only thing that matter, the customer's success.

What does this mean for traditional technology sales teams on your payroll? They are no longer required, and likely are hurtful to profitable long-term customer relationships and growth. It's not the commissioned sales people though and they should not be blamed, it's how they are motivated that's all wrong.

Here are four reasons why emerging technology companies will not look to commissioned salespeople on their payroll to drive their business.

Relationships
Business growth is about fostering trust and relationships, not pushing product. The goal is to show the value of the product and build a relationship with the customer. The only thing that matters is the customer's success.

Authenticity
People crave honest suggestions, and can tell when someone is pushing an agenda. They do not want to be cajoled to buy something, especially a product that is a poor fit. Being authentic accelerates personal and business growth and creates value for everyone involved.

Collaboration
It’s much more exciting to collaborate and understand the customer’s needs… instead of making a disjointed pitch when there is a bad fit. At LeRumba we hire experienced Customer Success Managers, and train our Affiliate Partners, who love helping customers build product strategy and execution road maps so they can build what matters. It's a rewarding two-way street that leaves both parties feeling energized.

Information
Today's customer can easily research an entire marketplace in minutes. This brings transparency to a process that was previously veiled. And this applies to everything from buying a car to new software. They don’t need someone to connect them with products anymore. What customers need is to be engaged, surprised, and delighted on their own terms.

We are players in a new world where innovation is going global and automated… and every aspect of daily life is impacted. We all have the opportunity to influence the future… and it's just not clear, that commissioned sales people will be part of it.

There will always be people who work with customers, but I doubt that in the most successful companies; such employees will have their compensation tied to the deals they close.

[Curated content based on excerpts from posts, blogs, media articles, and sponsored research]

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