Compensation--A Tale of Two Distributors
An in-depth discussion of benefit options for sales reps.
When BFL&S caught up with Chip Grayson, president of Systems Business Forms (SBF) in Savannah, Ga., he had just returned from 10 days at St. Simons Island off of Georgia's coast. "I'm as brown as a biscuit," said Grayson. "It feels good."
However, Grayson isn't the type of leader who only looks out for himself. He understands that his sales team sometimes needs, well, a day at the beach. This is where SBF's flex-time benefit kicks in. "I am not the kind of guy who gets upset and yells or demands anything," said Grayson. "My salespeople can pretty well do what they want. I'm not concerned about it, as long as they get their jobs done."
And, Grayson will be able to tell whether or not his sales staff gets its job done through the monthly evaluations he conducts as an open forum. "The open forum evaluations help shape up our salespeople in front of their peers," said Grayson. "I have found that it is an effective way of communication and lets everyone know where everyone else stands."
Although they were previously done haphazardly, SBF's evaluations now occur both monthly and quarterly. One thing that these evaluations have always been is frank. "We shoot it straight," said Grayson. "We call a spade a spade, and everyone is fine with it."
Instead of reporting each salesperson's gross profit figure for a particular month, Grayson reports the percentage of profit, compared to last year. "I inform the sales representatives whether they are plus or minus from the same month in the previous year," said Grayson. "It provokes a spirit of competition."
On the other hand, MAC Graphics Group, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., relies on the human element of greed and the lure of graduated commission to improve sales. "Successful salespeople need to be self-driven and, to some extent, greedy," said Bob Cronin, Jr., president of MAC Graphics Group. "There can be—and is—a direct correlation between good, hard work and financial success in sales."