Compensation refers to the money that is paid to salespeople as reparation for their services. In the sales industry, this is not limited to basic salary. It usually incorporates additional elements such as commission, benefits and bonuses.
As part of the recruitment process, sales recruiters often ask the candidate what their current compensation plan is and what their expectations are at any new sales position. To sales candidates, this often feels like a trick question that may cause them to unwittingly negotiate against themselves. This is why it is important to work with a sales recruiter who you can trust to represent your best interests no matter the circumstances. Here are some helpful guidelines for sales candidates:
1. Be Straightforward
Recruitment, and particularly salary negotiations, need not be approached with the same caution and intensity that it takes to negotiate a minefield. For this process to be as painless as possible, it is important for both parties to be straightforward with one another. This is beneficial because:
It Saves Time for Both Parties
There are times when the compensation figure presented by either party does not fall within the ballpark of the other. In such instances, both the recruiter and sales candidate can walk away from the recruitment table early in the process, without losing any more time discussing that particular sales position.
It helps to Manage Expectations
Having a direct and candid discussion about compensation enables both parties to know what to expect. If the matter is not discussed, it remains unclear what the sales candidate is hoping to get. This in turn leaves the recruiter ill-equipped to recognize the sales positions that are best suited for the candidate, which ones can be presented for negotiation, and which ones are a definite no.
2. Make your Bottom-line Clear
Ideally, the relationship between a top-notch sales recruiter and a candidate is one that is based on trust. This requires the candidate to expose certain vulnerabilities to the recruiting professional. As a sales candidate, your bottom-line is defined as the least amount of compensation you would take from a professional position. Sales professionals usually arrive at this figure by considering factors such as:
- What are the specific roles and responsibilities of the position?
- Would the new position require relocation to a new home or city?
- What are the additional bonuses and commission opportunities that come with the sales position?
Due to the sensitive nature of salary discussions, the sales recruiter is responsible for building a rapport with the candidate before broaching the subject; making it more likely to get honest and straight-forward responses. The recruiter should create an atmosphere in which the candidate feels comfortable divulging this information. In addition, a recruiter who is representing the candidate’s best interests would be able and willing to provide insight into whether the candidate is over-reaching by being unrealistic in their expectations, or under-reaching by under- valuing their skills and abilities.