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July 04, 2010
Paying Sales Reps who Respond to Requests for Proposals

David Wudyka discusses sales representative pay issues in a BLR webinar entitled ‘Commission Pay Plans: How to Motivate Your Sales Staff in a Roller Coaster Economy’. While discussing Commission Pay Plans (CPPs), David Wudyka describes situations in which the sales force of an organization may receive lower pay for instances where the sales representative received and acted on a request for proposal rather than cold calling a potential client. In such circumstances, should the sales representative receive a reduced pay for getting a sale through the process of receiving a request for a proposal from the client? He provides the following information regarding pay plans based on the request for proposals and cold calling:

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  • Cold calling can involve more effort and can be rewarded accordingly because it can signify more of the selling effort
  • The request for proposal channel can be transformed into a support responsibility. Hence, if requests for proposals come in, there are not regarded in the same manner that cold calling sales are categorized
  • Also, request for proposals may be best handled by sales personnel of perform such tasks well rather than throwing open the opportunity to the entire sales force
  • Responding to requests for proposals can be considered a non-selling activity as opposed to the call calling activity
  • It should also be noted that the people who are responding to requests for proposal may actually be paid more because of their ability to respond to such requests

David Wudyka, SPHR, MBA, BSIE, is the founder and managing principal of Westminster Associates (, a Massachusetts-based human resource and compensation firm that specializes in pay, performance, and productivity issues. He speaks and writes frequently on HR and compensation issues, and he earned his master’s degree from Syracuse University.

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