Negotiating a fair salary is a pain point for just about everyone. For the sales world, it gets even more complicated. Few sales team members are paid solely by salary, there are commissions, bonuses, and all sorts of goal incentives that need to be taken into account. Before taking on a new position, ask the following questions during your interview.
1.What is the compensation structure for my position?
Your base salary, or the fixed amount you will be earning, should be the starting point of the discussion. This will tell you if the position is hourly, yearly, etc., and on what basis you are paid (weekly, biweekly, or monthly). Don’t be alarmed if it’s low, a lot of companies prefer to deliver real earnings through sales bonuses.
Most salespeople’s salaries are made up of commission, so ask how the company structures these payments, including the percentages offered, payout frequency, and so on. Finally, ask about benefits, the hidden perks that can make your job truly worthwhile. Does the company offer good health insurance? Remote work? Free courses or learning reimbursement?
2.Is the salary negotiable?
Being a salesperson takes negotiating skills, so do not be afraid to use them outside of selling. Knowing if it is possible to negotiate is a great way to try and get the best salary you can. The only way to know if you can do it is by asking, so don’t be afraid of approaching the topic.
3.Is there a sign-on bonus?
Bonuses are often used in order to lure new employees to the company, especially if they would need to leave an employer in order to join. These bonuses can make a benefits package more attractive, and it is also a one-time payment, so if things don’t work out the company wouldn’t lose as much as they would have if they had agreed on a higher salary. It is usually negotiable, but make sure to ask if there are any conditions to it, such as having to return the bonus if you quit before a certain amount of time, etc.
4.Do you provide performance bonuses?
Don’t just ask if the company offers performance bonuses, also get information about how they work, what type they are, and when they are paid out. Some bonuses can be capped, for example, so you don’t want to be caught off guard. Also, just as there are bonuses based on high performance (accelerators), there are also those made to penalize underperforming salespeople (decelerators), which is why it is important to be aware of all of them before taking on a certain job.
5.Is there a commission cap?
Another issue to keep in mind is that for some companies the sky is not the limit, the commission cap is. Not all companies will match sales and commission, and some impose what is seen as a “limit” for salespeople on commission. It is important to ask about it, know how much it is, and even if it’s a weekly, monthly, or yearly cap. Whatever the case, this would tell you what would be the most you can make.
6.Is there a chance of annual raises?
Again, annual raises vary from company to company, so this is also something important to inquire about when speaking to the employer. When it comes to salespeople, many factors can be taken into account by a company when considering an annual raise offer, such as performance or even customer reviews. Understanding how annual raises work is key to knowing if you want to join a team to begin with, especially if you want a job for the long run.
While a decent salary alone is not enough to keep an employee in a company or make a job worth it, it is definitely an important factor to consider before joining a team. Covering all the bases will keep you from having any surprises or regrets after taking on a job. Ask these questions and whatever else you think is important to you when it comes to compensation – it is only fair to you and the company to do so.