How to Make Each Sales Associate a Profit Center

By David J. Cocks, CEO

Are some members of your sales force subsidizing others?

In some companies, the top producers carry the burden. In others, it's the mid-level or lowest producing members of the group.

Either way, it's not fair.

Consider treating each sales associate as a separate profit center.

View each sales associate as if he or she were an individual company. (Your firm as a whole is then like a big conglomerate.) Does each sales associate bring in more revenue than it costs to have him or her on board?

If not, what can you change to generate a profit?

You might want to create a commission structure designed specifically for new hires that allows you to provide the training and intensive support services they need to be successful – while ensuring that you recoup those costs. When associates are ready, they can move up to a commission structure designed for solid mid-level producers.

You can create another set of commissions for top-producing sales associates who don't need a lot of support and want to do things their own way.

When you set up commission structures like this, you can do a better job of meeting the needs of the sales associates. You can provide a higher level of support to those associates that want it, while offering independence to others.

You're also virtually guaranteeing corporate profitability. When you make a profit on each member of your sales force, it's hard not to make a profit on all of them put together – which makes your company more stable financially. But what's more important is that you are treating all members of your sales force in a fair and consistent manner.