For every 1 Marketing Associate making a salary of 60k, there are 3 good Salesmen starving on 20k. Eventually this disproportion in compensation must be addressed. That’s because a marketer who doesn’t directly sell is really just another administrator, and any halfway decent salesperson is already his own master-marketer.
So, while a compensation plan based on 100% commission is extremely motivating to those seeking riches, what does it do to those who aim for the top of Maslow’s hierarchy? It forces them to change direction. Either to seek work in a different field or stay in the same industry, but as entrepreneur who aims to be your future competition. See, the problem with telling your salespeople they are only as good as the numbers they bring in (and I’ve been told that literally) is that it forces them to start viewing their clients as strictly numbers. Who loses? The customer loses a dedicated consultant, and the company effectively reduces their products and services to commodities.
What happens when an industry goes from added value to commodity trade? We all lose. Being in sales is no easy gig, period. Just look at any account executive or account manager job description and you will see this truth; we do everything that you do and we happily take on more to develop more business, expand our base of accounts, and exceed our quotas each month. I am hereby declaring the second Thursday of each October as National Salesmen Appreciation Day (I realize it’s not politically correct but it sounds better than Sales “person”, so deal with it).
And to those lucky few salaried “Marketers,” I congratulate you on reaching the Mecca of our trade, and advise you to stay as long as you can. (but you probably already knew that)