If customers call you to place orders, does that make you a sales rep? Should you be given a commission on that sale?
Many an outfit puts people on the phone desk and calls them sales reps. Customers call in and place orders. All these so called sales reps. do is take orders. That should not be a commissionable job. This is the function of an order desk, not a sales rep.
A sales rep. in my opinion is a person who makes the sale happen. He calls accounts, solicits orders, develops existing accounts so they buy more from the company and find new customers. Order taking is one part of a sales rep’s job and wherever possible, that process should be relegated to an order desk or a user friendly website. Sales reps should be rewarded for all orders placed by their accounts, whether they are placed on the order desk, website, or directly placed with the rep. This gives them the confidence that they will not be robbed of their commissions and will free up valuable time to develop accounts/territories.
To me, a sales rep is a skilled position and should be rewarded handsomely but it should not be confused with an order taker.
One of my pet peeves in the computer hardware industry is the lack of professional sales reps especially at third tier hardware distributors (smaller than $100 million revenues). They put whoever can speak English on the incoming phone line and call them sales reps. They are neither trained to be sales reps. nor have the mindset of a sales rep. They are order takers and behave like one. They expect the customer to call them and quite often gripe ‘You don’t give me much business’. I would if you once in a while call me and tell me what new things you have to offer.
Such companies survive simply because of their relationships with manufacturers from their home country. They try to sell on price alone – a tough way to survive in a highly competitive market.
If sales is your profession, you must develop your accounts. You do that by calling them, understanding their business, figuring out how you can do more business with them. You do that by sending them information about new products, holding webinars for them, introducing them to the rest of your company. Walk them through your website and help them place orders online. Encourage them to order online or call your order desk while you focus on growing your territory.