In my sales career, I’ve consistently noticed five common afflictions that affect sales teams, each of which reduces morale and sales performance. Any one occurrence of these problems does not necessarily hurt the sales effort, but if allowed to progress to extremes, they can be harmful. Here are the last two afflictions and how to counteract them.
Affliction 1: Capping or reducing income. Powerful companies have managers who are envious when large paychecks go to the sales force. Managers who are resentful of this often respond to rising sales income by reducing commissions, capping earnings, reducing territories or removing products. These are all practices to be avoided because they destroy morale, which hurts sales.
When it is absolutely necessary to cap or reduce reps’ earnings, it must be done carefully. If it’s done carelessly, management sends the message that future earnings for the sales team have been limited. Powerful salespeople want to leverage today’s efforts into greater sales and income for tomorrow. If their commissions are reduced, earnings capped or territory is removed, they feel like that ability has been taken away, and the high performers quickly look for employment elsewhere.