PODCAST Sales Team Dilemmas and Understanding Comp Plans

QuotaPath's Chief of Staff and in-demand "Resident Sales Nerd" Graham Collins recently appeared on Collin Mitchell's Sales Transformation podcast. Titled "Sales Team Dilemmas and Understanding Comp Plans," Graham shared his sales story, his experience and advice for sales leaders’ dilemmas, and how to understand your compensation plans as a seller.


  • Graham’s Sales Story
  • Startup Vs. Big Company
  • The Player-Coach Dilemma
  • Top Producer Vs. Proficient Seller
  • Innovations with Comp Plans

Notable Quotes:

Graham: “You can make much more of a difference at a large or a smaller company.”

Graham: “The major issue there is, you’re competing against your own reps, and that was the plan that I had for a long period of time and really struggled with, there were a lot of times where my team might hit quota because I was helping them close all of their deals.”

Graham: “People think that it’s about the amount of money you’re gonna make or what’s inevitable, but what it really comes down to is what motivates you and what you care about.”

Graham: “I fight for salespeople all the time, my three rules of competence are that they have to be simple, logical, and fair.”

Connect with Graham on LinkedIn and learn more about what he’s been working on!

Connect with Collin on LinkedIn and find out what’s new in Sales Transformation and other things he’s up to!

Graham also holds [free] 30-minute sales compensation plan consultation calls. To book one, schedule a time here.

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Talk to Sales

[00:00:55] All right. Welcome to another episode of sales transformation today. I’ve got an awesome guest for you. I’ve got Graham Collins. He is the. Well, he’s the chief of staff, but also referred to as the resident sales nerd over at quota path where he helps sales leaders and reps understand their compensation.

[00:01:14] Prior to that he’s led sales and SDR teams at several SaaS companies. He’s passionate about sales compensation, SDR work, sales management, craft beer woodworking, and petting dogs. Grandpa, welcome to the show. Thank you. It’s great to be here, huh? Well, I feel like I know. So much better after reading that yeah.

[00:01:33] it’s all true. All true. Yeah. You always wonder if somebody’s a cat person or a dog person. Rarely. Do you find somebody that’s both yeah, that’s true. I’m I’m firmly in the dog camp. I’m uh, I’m firmly in the dog camp. Yeah. So, so am I, so am I, what kind of, uh, what kind of dog or dogs do you have? Yeah, we have two, uh, Australian cattle, dog mixes.

[00:01:53] They’re both kind of. Cut some German shepherds, some border Colly but blue heeler, red heeler. They’re just kind of a generic Texas dog. Yeah. Lots of energy. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. One, five year old and, and can’t stop running, so, oh, wow. Yeah. We’ve we, we had two boxers before, before we had. Kids. And then we had to find them new homes cuz it was just too much.

[00:02:16] Yeah. Um, and we couldn’t give them the attention that they needed. And uh, and so now we have a little mini labradoodle, so there you go. Good, good family dog. But yeah, for sure. This is not the dog podcast. Um, but anyway, Uh, Graham, welcome to the show.

Give us a little bit of background. Like where did your sales journey start before you were able to own the title of resident sales nerd over at quota path?

[00:02:42] Yeah, for sure. So I, I started in sales, um, working at a shoe store in Maine. I grew up and currently live in Maine and, uh, I worked at a family owned shoe store, selling shoes and. Earned commission off of it. I was earning, oh wow. 10% or so commission off of, off of every pair of shoes I sold. And so UUG season was one of my very favorite, uh, teams of the year.

[00:03:05] That’s how I paid for all my Christmas presents growing up. So, um, did that. And then after college, I went to a little business school called Babson college in Wellesley mass. Um, after that got into the fast game, um, kind of fell into it. It was the. First job that gave me an offer and, and they said, Hey, we, we think you can make $65,000 this year.

[00:03:24] And I said, well, that’s infinity money. Um, in, you know, to a 22 year old. So took that job full sales cycle, um, AE and. Then moved into management after a while. And, uh, just, just never looked back, I suppose. Yeah. Wow. Shoe sales.

So, you got your start in shoe sales?

[00:03:47] Yeah. This was the, uh, it was called it’s called Lamy. Well Ahan and, uh, in Maine. So shout out to LA Han. Okay. All right. Got not your family. Just to be clear. yeah, just a family. Uh, you know, when you said shoe sales, it reminds me of, uh, do you remember ed Bundy?

[00:04:08] oh yeah. Oh yeah. I got the ed Bundy, uh, yeah, a lot. Uh, when, when selling shoes. Did you ever, did you ever, yeah, he always had a hard time with the women’s shoes. You know, some getting, getting some shoes on. It was mostly, you know, mostly what I sold was UGS CROs, and then old people shoes and kids’ shoes.

[00:04:24] And that the, I knew, you know, from way back, I I’ve always known. How to maximize the amount of money that I make in sales and yeah. You know, you’re selling $160 pairs of hugs. They’re, they’re easy. You can crank through ’em quickly. The sizing is kind of wash wishy-washy. So you can say, oh, you’re a seven, we’ll give you an eight or a six.

 What was your first sales job in SaaS as a full cycle?

[00:04:42]Yeah. So, um, worked for a company that sold into the public relations department. It was a company called myEd info, which is not a, okay, not a great company name, but that was, I was only there for a short period of time before they were acquired by Thompson Reuters.

[00:05:10] Um, so I worked at Thompson Reuters for a period of time. And then my division of Thompson Reuters was spun off to NASDAQ. So I ended up working at, at NASDAQ, uh, for a period of time before I said, all right, that’s enough big company for me. I need to get back into the, into the startup world. What is it that you prefer about startup versus big company?

[00:05:31] And, and it’s funny people talk about startups. There are a lot of different stages in startups. Yeah. My, my favorite is so I was the 10th employee at a company called Trendkite. Um, after I left NASDAQ, I was the fourth employee at QuotaPath. I. It’s, it’s just, you feel like you can make much more of a, a difference at, at a large, at a smaller company.

[00:05:49] I had a LinkedIn post a while back about my employee number at, uh, at NASDAQ. And that’s how I had to log into everything. That’s how I, like I would be identified by that number. Um, and that’s just not the case at startups and everything you do can have a 10 X impact in the long run at a startup.

[00:06:07] Whereas, you know, I remember one time at NASDAQ. CEO or the VP of sales or somebody sent out an email that about how, if every single person made one more dial every day, like what a gigantic impact that would have on the business. And I’m like, I don’t care about that. I don’t care about one extra dial times, the 500 or a thousand sales reps.

[00:06:28] That doesn’t mean anything to me. And so, you know, I’m more interested in each person on the sales team on a five person sales team making a hundred extra dials and, and the, the impact that you see there. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I got it. Y

When did you get your start in sales leadership?

[00:06:46] At, at trend kite. So I, I joined there as an individual contributor, but knew that I was always interested in management, um, stepped into the dreaded player coach role for, uh, for about 18 months, which is just a nightmare. I, I swear that is one of the worst roles still very common though, especially in startups, right?

[00:07:05] Oh yeah. Oh, absolutely. I mean, it’s a necessary evil a lot of the time because it doesn’t make sense to hire. A VP of sales just to lead a three person sales team. And so, right. Um, yeah, so I did, I did the, the player coach model for about a year and a half, um, and then moved over to the sales development organization.

[00:07:20] So ran a, a SDR team, um, built that team from, it was about six when I joined, grew it to about 45. So I had four managers and 40 reps underneath me by the time I left. Got it. Okay. So I want to dig into. Player coach, um, you know, the dreaded player coach role. It fucking sucks. clearly we, we, we, we totally are getting what you’re throwing down there.

[00:07:47] great. That’s uh, no, no rainbows in pots of gold. It is not where that’s going. Definitely not definitely.

What advice do you have for people playing the player/coach role?

[00:08:09] yeah, no, no, again, it’s a necessary evil. You gotta do it sometimes. And so I’m not, I’m not faulting people. And if you’re in that role right now, God bless you. But, um, it’s, it’s all about allocating your time and allocating your resources and defining what your job is. Uh, and so I talk about this. I actually had a conversation with somebody, uh, earlier this morning at eight 30 this morning, I had somebody in London who needed help with a compensation plan, a player, coach compensation plan.

[00:08:34] And there are two major and now we’re getting into compensation plans, but there are two major ways to, to play, to pay player coaches. One way is to say, this is your entire team quota. It includes every person on your team. And some for you, you get paid the same amount, no matter who closes a deal, you get paid 3% on every deal.

[00:08:52] If you close it entirely. It’s the same as one of your reps, the alternative is to say, you have your own quota, then you have your team quota, you get paid 10% on deals. You close, you get paid 2% on deals. Your, your team closes that one, one can be tricky, right. That one can be tricky. Um, because that player coach is kind of like, eh, where’s my time better spent.

[00:09:12] Yep. Closing, closing my own deals or helping my team close deals or supporting my team so they can close more deals. Yeah, you’re absolutely right. That’s the major issue there is. You’re competing against your own reps. And, and that was the plan that I had for a long period of time and really struggled with.

[00:09:27] There were a lot of times where my team might hit quota because I was helping them close all of their deals. And, you know, my team quota might have been a hundred thousand dollars and my team sold a hundred thousand dollars, but I did didn’t earn a ton because I personally didn’t close any deals because I was spending a hundred percent of my time on, on coaching and not doing my own sales.

[00:09:48] And so my, my piece of advice is to. Figure out what your job is, is your job to be a full-time coach. Um, you know, part-time sales person, or is it to, to split your time 50, 50, or even 60 40. And so for people out there building those comp plans, I would recommend the, the first one that I mentioned it’s expensive.

It can be very expensive, but if your long-term plan is for this person to be a sales leader, that’s the option for you?

[00:10:16] I think that, I think that it really depends on, you know, what they’re working towards right. Is, and I I’m curious, this is another thing that, you know, comes up a lot is, you know, um, transitioning from, from IC to, to sales leader. Right? Yeah. And you mentioned that you always kind of knew you wanted to go into management.

[00:10:40] Not every IC is cut out for that. A lot of times you see top producer promoted to manager and it’s a disaster. Um, were you a top producer or kind of, where were you in the pack and what made you feel that management was for you? And that was a good move. Yeah. I mean, I. I it’s not often a good idea to take your very top producer and, and make them a manager.

[00:11:01] It’s also not a good idea to take your bottom producer and make them a manager. So obvious reasons for obvious reasons. Yeah. I, I was always a proficient seller. Yeah. I, I, I, 75th percentile 80th percentile. I’m not. I’m above average, but I’m not the best seller on the floor, uh, by any means. So I think that you called it out there.

[00:11:21] Oftentimes people say, oh, you know, Sally’s the best seller on the floor? Well, let’s make her a manager. Um, she can teach everybody else how to be the, the, the best seller. Um, and oftentimes Sally, that’s what she’s come to expect through working in sales because people think of that, that as the only way up the, the chain of command and.

[00:11:43] Sally gets into a, a management role and sucks at it. And yeah, cuz Sally thinks that everybody should sell like Sally. Yeah, exactly. And, and oftentimes what it becomes is. Sally has a team of, of reps, but she’s just closing all their deals for them. And she’s running all the demos she’s sitting in on all of those, and she’s effectively closing all of those deals.

[00:12:05] And all of the reps are saying, you know, Hey, I’m, I’m a great sale seller because I’m, I’m hitting all of my quotas. But in actuality, Sally goes on vacation for two weeks and. All of a sudden nobody’s nobody’s doing anything. So I knew that I was a proficient seller, but much better coach, um, those who can’t do, uh, teach.

[00:12:26] Right. So I, I suppose it’s sort of, kinda like that. Yeah. Yeah. And so, and I think, you know, you kind of hit the nail in the head. You’re, you know, above average, you know, proficient, great sellers typically make better managers, um, than, than your, your, your top producers. Um, and you obviously wouldn’t take your lowest producer for, for obvious reasons, but most people think the obvious choice is your top performer should become manager and, and, and there’s.

[00:12:56] I for whatever reason, I don’t understand why people still think that, um, right. You know, there’s a lot of people that have seen that not work out and it’d be a recipe for DISA disaster, but you still hear of it happening all of the time. Right. For sure. And I think it’s just pure laziness from like the top where it’s like, rather than go out and find the right person or, or, um, you know, they just think like, oh, you know, we have this person, let’s just repurpose them into this.

[00:13:22] Right. Yeah. And I think a lot of it as well is that those top producers think that that is the next step for them. . And so if they get passed over for somebody who’s not of as good of a producer, they say, what the hell? Like, I’m the number one rep, why wouldn’t you put me into the management position? Not realizing that I may weigh way less money than my top performer, uh, all the time, my top performers always made more money than I did and that, and so I think that, that people think that.

[00:13:53] It’s about, you know, the amount of money you’re gonna make or what’s inevitable, but what it really comes down to is what motivates you and what you care about. And for me, I care more about the people around me succeeding than me individually succeeding. And that’s not a, you know, I’m not, not a pariah.

[00:14:08] I’m not being selfless. Like, of course that’s what makes me money, but, and it’s not selfish to be the other way. That’s just as important. And so I, I think that, that people real don’t realize that. Being a, a sales leader is not a inevitability and it’s not a super fun task and you don’t make way more money than everybody else.

[00:14:30] Yeah. I mean, that is probably, I mean, I think that we need to be telling people need to hear that message more to be like, oh, you know, just cuz I’m great at sales doesn’t mean I have to manage a team. Um, there’s you know, other ways to, you know, other career paths, maybe it’s getting into enterprise sales, maybe.

[00:14:51] You know, time to move on to a different company where there’s more opportunity, bigger deals, um, where you can, you know, apply skills and maybe level up what you do. Um, there’s lots of options, but all right. I wanna go back to something you mentioned, cuz I think it’s important. Right? You talked about. Um, we spent a lot of time here on this player coach, but it’s because I think that, you know, something, we haven’t talked about a lot and, and I feel it’s pretty important and it’s relevant to a lot of people that are either in that position or thinking, Hey, I need to go to leadership.

[00:15:19] Or maybe they’re an IC that has somebody that’s a player coach and have seen, you know, some of the issues around that. So, um, we talked about the different comp plants, right? That you were talking about with somebody it’s like, Hey, you get, you know, a higher percentage on your own deals. Um, or, and you get a percentage off of your team.

[00:15:35] And it’s really puts people in a tough position of how to split their time. Um, but I hadn’t really thought heard this as, as much as the alternative is like, Hey, you get the same off of your deals as you do off your team deals. And so tell me a little bit more about that and, and what your thoughts are, and do you feel that’s a better option?

[00:15:54] And if not, if, if, if not, why not? And if so, you know, break it down a little bit. Yeah, for sure. I generally think that’s a better option. Um, there is a downside to it. And it’s that your deals oftentimes are much more expensive that way, because if a like, and by your deals, I mean, the, the company’s deals.

[00:16:15] So if SS, we’re talking about Sally, the manager here, if she closes a deal herself, well, the company only has to pay out her rate. They only to pay out for 3% on that because it’s a deal for her team. Whereas if. Yeah. John closes a deal. John reports up to Sally, they have to pay John 10% and Sally 3%. And so now this is a 13% deal, whereas, Hey, if, if Sally had just worked it, then, then whatever.

[00:16:42] And so what you often see is people encouraging the, the, the manager to work the larger, more complex, more. Valuable deals because the finance team is happy. They don’t have to pay out as much. Um, but on the flip side, what Sally does is there’s no incentive for Sally to close a deal. She doesn’t have any incentive to do all of the, the shitty work, you know, the, the follow up emails and the proof of concept and all that stuff.

[00:17:07] So what she does is she just kicks the, a deal over to. Over to John, she gets a good demo request. She says, Hey, John, join this demo. I’ll pass the opportunity over to you. You can run it, you can handle it, but I’ll do a lot of the work. And so again, that’s where you had where you have that, that conflict where it’s like, well, but then is John actually learning?

[00:17:24] And did John actually hit his quota? Because he, because Sally close a deal for him. Um, so there, there is some nuance. It’s not always the best option, but nine times outta 10. That’s what I recommend for organizations. Yeah. I mean, there really is no perfect solution, I think for that player coach role. Um, but I had a sneaking suspicion that, uh, that was your preferred comp plan in that situation.

[00:17:52] And I think, I don’t think there’s a lot. Maybe you, you might know this better than me, obviously, cuz you’re the resident sales nerd and you and speak comp plans all day. Um,

How many people are doing it that way versus the other, or, you know, do you have an idea or sense?

Um, well, more people, the more people I talk to, the more people do it that way.

[00:18:13] um, it’s, it is becoming more common, um, in early organizations like mm-hmm, , I’m talking to the VP of sales who has their own quota and two reps, um, and they know they’re gonna become. True. VP of sales build out a team of, of 20 sales reps. That’s where you more often see it, where you have a target. And that target is 1.5 million this year.

[00:18:39] Now, with your current headcount, you can’t hit that. And so. It actually also involves hiring and training and scaling up those reps. And so that’s more often where we see it in a, in an organization where, you know, you’re, you’re one of four managers and you just get promoted into this team lead role.

[00:18:58] That’s where it’s actually less common, um, where you generally still hold your own book, um, or hold your own bag. Also you’re compensated for your, your reps. So what I always say is it depends on what you’re, you’re hoping to get out of this. If you want to scale this person up, if you start them with one rep, um, each rep takes about, you know, say 20% of your time.

[00:19:20] Um, and so if you start with one rep, well, That person takes up 20% of your time. Your quota is reduced by 20%, but you’re still held to 80% of your own quota. That’s added to your reps quota. That’s your total team quota, but as you add reps, it actually phases out. And so by the time you have five reps, All of a sudden your team quota is just the sum of your, all of your reps, right.

[00:19:42] Because you’re, you’re dedicating all of your time to coaching those five reps. Yeah. Yeah. It’s a, it’s a, if everything works out perfectly, that’s how it should transition. Right, right. Yeah. Problem is it doesn’t always work out so perfectly. That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. And so, I mean, I, I think that, that, you know, to, to answer your question short in a quick way, It’s much more common to have the style where you hold your own quota.

[00:20:06] Yes, but it’s becoming more and more common to have just a total overall team quota. Based on how many people you talk to about this way of thinking , which is a lot I’ve done pushing 400 comp consults where I sit down with prospective customers or current in what, in what, uh, time period that’s since, since probably the beginning of 2020.

[00:20:28] So we’re at a year and, or no, two, two and a half years. So. It’s definitely, uh, you know, not quite one a day, but it they’re in January, January of this year, I did more than any, I think I did probably 45 or 50 in January this year. And that’s because it was all the people who went, oh shit, we don’t have a comp plan for this year.

[00:20:49] And I have no idea what I’m doing. And so they. Book some time with me grab some time we talk through it and we, we figure out a comp plan for them.

So sales reps, if you ever see Graham out, you know, uh, definitely grabbing a coffee because he’s the one building your comp plants.

that’s right, right. And I fight for sales people.

[00:21:07] I fight for sales people all the time. I. My three rules of comp plans are that they have to be simple, logical and fair. And that fair is, is one for, for my, for my sales reps, where simple is probably the most challenging one for a lot of larger organizations. Right. Like, I don’t know how many reps that I’ve talked to that just like don’t even understand their comp plan.

[00:21:29] Yeah. Oh, I see. 25, 30, 35 page comp plans. I’m like, how could this be so many words how, like this, there’s no reason to include this many words, so yeah. It’s, it’s definitely challenging. Yeah. And so I’d love to get your, pick your brain a little bit on just like,

What are some of the new, more innovative things that people are thinking about in the realm of comp plans? How are people putting comp plans together differently today than they were maybe in previous years?

[00:22:03] Or how are they making them more simple, more fair. And what was the last logical? Yeah. And more logical. Yeah. Um, than, than previously. Yeah. So, um, One thing is, is actually just kinda a structural change that we’re seeing is usage based or consumption based pricing. And with that comes a whole other layer of, of complexity of compensation, where I sign a customer.

[00:22:27] You know, you imagine I’m a, a corporate credit card company. I sign a customer, they don’t pay us anything. We, we use a corporate credit card company. We don’t pay anything for it. Yeah. They make their money off of the transaction fees. And so me as a, as an AE, I close a deal. Well, what do I get paid there?

[00:22:44] And, and do I have to wait the entire year to see what the spend was? And so that’s something that, that a lot of people are really struggling with. Um, and that’s more of just pricing models, nowaday. . Yeah. Um, I mean, even think about like, you know, cloud storage or server usage where, you know, customer could get signed and, you know, they’re just a little itty bitty startup and then get around to funding and.

[00:23:10] PO their business blows up and the comp plan was never built around usage. right. Yeah, exactly. I mean, that’s, that’s, you’re absolutely right. That’s, that’s one of the ways that one of the things that people are having to realize and, uh, or very inconsistent spend throughout the course of the year,

[00:23:31] you have eCommerce where black Friday may represent. 25% of your sales for the entire year. Well, how do you compensate for that? When I close a deal in January and I’m not gonna get paid for that until November, all the work that I did and until November. So, um, that’s, that’s one, that’s, that’s become a challenge.

[00:23:47] Um, I have some, some thoughts on that. I don’t know if we have time to cover all of my thoughts on, uh, usage based, but, um, give, give us a couple, give us a couple thought. Yeah. So the, the two kind of pure ways of compensating usage based are on true usage. So I sign a customer and then I get paid for everything that they do for the first 12 months.

[00:24:10] That’s right. Because it pays them. Exactly how much the, the customer uses the issue with that is it takes a full year to see all of that. And so what that means is it can take up to a full year to ramp your reps up because they have to build this book of business. They also then are responsible for account management or they’re not, and then there’s animosity there.

[00:24:29] Um, so that one is, is good and bad, and you’re gonna see a theme here. All of them are good and bad. Uh, all compensation plans. Uh, the opposite side is based entirely off of an estimate. I say, Hey, The customer told me they’re gonna spend a million dollars this year. So great. I get paid 10% of a million dollars.

[00:24:48] And. Obviously the, the good thing is, well, I wipe my hands of it and then I’m done and I move on to the next deal and I don’t have to wait a full year and I I’m able to ramp quickly. The downside is what if I’m wrong? What if I’m wrong on that estimate? What if they spend yeah, $500 or what if they spend $10 million then I’m, you know, I’m either side is gonna be bitter unless they spend exactly a million dollars.

[00:25:11] So. So it’s sort of adjustable based on there’s like, Hey, here’s a guesstimate gonna get paid sort of on that guesstimate. And then there’s gotta be some parameters like, Hey, are we on track based on this estimate or not? Yep. That’s exactly right. And so, so I generally recommend something in between. You know, maybe it’s you sign a new logo and you get a bonus for signing a new logo, and then you get paid a small, smaller percentage over the course of the year, or maybe you get paid for the first six months or the first three months.

[00:25:39] Um, or one of our, one of my, my, uh, friends that I worked with on this, they have different, uh, unlocked different locks on this. So they close the deal. They estimate a million dollars. As soon as the deal’s closed, you get paid a little bit of that commission. Yeah. And then as soon as they start. Spend, you know, as soon as this customer starts spending, you get a little bit more and then as soon as they hit 50% of that spend, you get a little bit more.

[00:26:03] And then as soon as they hit 75%, you get all the, the rest of it. So kind of unlocking and, and then, Hey, if they never hit 75%, well, you didn’t get it. You, you only got the, the first allotment. So, yeah. Okay. That’s a very interesting use case. So a lot of our listeners are, you know, in SAS, B2B, SAS, like, yeah.

What are some things you’re seeing with those comp plans? What are a lot of similarities?

[00:26:21] I’m sure you’ve seen some, not so good comp plans versus better comp plans. Um, can you give us some examples? Yeah, for sure. So the couple of things that I’m seeing recently, I haven’t seen a capped commission plan in a long time, which I that’s good.

[00:26:42] I’m very happy about if you Google capped commission, I I’m either number one or number two result is a blog post that I wrote about it where it says, should I ever cap my commissions first line is short answer. No . And so then it, you know, of course it, it, it goes into exactly why, but. Cap commissions.

[00:26:58] Haven’t seen that in a while. Wonderful. Um, another thing that I’m, I’ve seen less and less of are cliffs. The idea that you have to hit 50 or 70, or I’ve seen a hundred percent of your quota in order to unlock any of your commission. Um, I’m seeing less and less of those, which is also wonderful. I love, I love that.

[00:27:16] We’re we’re no longer seeing those. I’m fine with decelerator, but saying somebody, Hey, you hit 48% of your quota. And so you don’t earn a dime. Seems kind of, kinda wrong to me again, I fight for, for the sales people. Um, so that’s, that’s one, um, that I’m, I’m a big fan of, uh, I, I love accelerators as well. I see a lot of accelerators out there about 80% of the, the comp plans that we have in, in our app, uh, include an accelerator.

[00:27:47] And I think that’s the way that it should be. Yeah. Now you, you, you often hear a lot about, you know, sales reps signing up for a gig based on OT. Right. Then they get into the gig. Um, you know, what they were sort of promised or, you know, as the OT, like they never make that or not even close to it.

Why is that, do you think this has something to do with the comp plans?

[00:28:10] Like, is there, is, is there an issue with the way these comp plans are built, um, or is, you know, are they not simple enough for them to understand like, uh, there’s, there’s definitely some relation to comp plans. I’d love to get your thoughts on it. Yeah, for sure. So part of the, the inflating OTES feels like keeping up with the Jones.

[00:28:29] You know, I, I. Right. My current OT may be $200,000 and then somebody comes knocking on my door and says, Hey, I’ll give you a $250 OT, a $250,000 OTE like, Hey, why not make another 50 grand a year? Well, , but maybe I’m actually earning 200 in my current gig and I’d only earn one 90 going into this other company.

[00:28:52] And so it’s easy to attract talent because a lot of people don’t ask the right questions when discussing OTE. Um, what is average quota attainment? What is your, your average rep earning now? No sales people think, think of themselves as average. Um, so that’s an easy one, you know? Hey, well, The average rep is on a 200 K OTE earning 180.

[00:29:12] Um, but that’s the average and you know, our top performers are earning two 40 or, or what have you. And so these are things that that reps should be asking, but it’s also things that recruiters should know and, and hiring managers should know because that can be an advantage for you hearing that and being able to say that and rattle that off.

Is it an advantage for you, because then you say, well, go ask the other company, the company offering you $250K.

[00:29:34] Yeah. Are they, what’s their average attainment? What’s their average compensation. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and, and I’m, I’m gonna make a guess here, but a lot of these plans. Kind of hard to pull it off on Google sheets, right?

[00:29:53] Yeah. Oh yeah. of course, of course.

So, if somebody does need help with their comp plan. Maybe wants to be your 401st, comp plan consultation. Where might they do that?

Yeah, of course. Uh, quotapath.com. On quotapath.com the top, there’s a resources section. Um, and in there there’s a bunch of blog posts that I’ve written.

[00:30:18] I wrote, I, I continue to write a lot of blog posts on this stuff. Um, but then also there is a, the compensation, I think it’s called compensation plan, strategy session, maybe. Um, but you can book time with me there. Um, and then of course, while you’re at it, quote, a path helps automate the commission process.

[00:30:35] Awesome. We’ll drop the link there in the show notes. Uh, Graham, any final thoughts before we let you go here? No, I’m good. I feel like I, we covered a lot here. Everything from, from player coach to consumption based, uh, comp plans. Yeah. Yeah. There’s a lot for people to, uh, this might be one they might need to listen to more than once.

[00:30:54] And, uh, and if you didn’t listen to the episode, um, with AJ, they can go back and check that out as well. He was on the show recently. So appreciate you coming on today. If, if you enjoyed the episode, please, please write us a review on whatever podcast platform you’re on. It really does help us out to reach more sellers.

[00:31:10] They’re looking to transform the way that they sell. And also, if you have any feedback, we’re always listening for your feedback. You can go to sales, transformation.fm, drop us your feedback there, and we will get back to you. Hey, you stuck around that tells me you’re serious about your own sales transformation.

[00:31:27] If you’re tired of doing things the old way and want to get started in your journey with other people on the same path, head over to sales, cast.community, and crush your numbers on your leaderboard. Yeah. It’s free sales cast.community. Send me a DM with your best pitch and mention this ad. And I might even give you free access to our best templates.


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