Negotiating Salary for Sales And Marketing

Negotiating salary is an area many hiring managers, HR professionals and even many recruiters are not as effective as they would like.

If you spend some time training and developing yourself in this area, you would highly increase your effectiveness in being able to retain top talent.

We have seen and heard many stories about candidates making it all the way to the end of the hiring process and then things fall apart.

Offers get turned down, counter offers get accepted, or something else happens that then has the deal fall apart.

This happens way too often with most companies and as the market is becoming more competitive, the risk of this happening is even greater than usual.

You owe it to yourself to really implement some strategies that will increase your closing rate and at the end of the day increase your bottom line.

KNOW YOUR LOCAL LAWS AROUND SALARY

First and foremost it’s important to know that many states now prohibit you from asking what a candidate’s current salary is.

You want to make sure to check your local laws and see if this is something that you are able to ask or not.

If you are legally able to ask, this can often be very useful.

The you can know where a candidate currently is in their salary in juxtaposition to their salary request or requirements.

If you’re not able to ask this question it’s not the end of the day.

Really what matters is what somebody is asking or what the requirement is.

COMMUNICATING EXPECTATIONS 

What is important is that early on in your process you find out what someone’s salary expectation is.

You want to know early on if someone’s expectation is close or not close to your budget for the role.

Being able to find out early is critical as well as checking in with the candidate throughout the process.

You obviously don’t want to go overboard with this, but you do want to check in periodically to make sure you’re on the same page.

It’s important that you know if their requirement is changing because this can affect how you view their candidacy.

WHEN YOU’RE LEGALLY ABLE TO ASK ABOUT CURRENT SALARY

Asking what someone’s salary is can often give you a lot of information.

Sometimes people are unwilling to give that information for a variety of reasons.

They may feel they’re being underpaid and don’t want their current salary to prevent them from getting what you’re offering.

Maybe they’re being overpaid and don’t want you to be scared away by the fact that they’re willing to take a bit of a pay cut. 

Sometimes they just don’t want to present that information because they feel it’s not fair or relevant.

Sometimes they feel their skills should speak for themselves.

Either way, you want to build a good relationship with people so that you can find out what their concerns are.

Being able to build that kind of trust with people will go along way to you being able to close them effectively when you do present an offer.

NEGOTIATING SALES SALARIES

Marketing and sales people are very much their own breed and there are certain tips that can be taken to negotiate offers effectively for each.

I wouldn’t lump marketing and sales people together as the compensation structures are very different so we will talk about them individually.

When it comes to working with sales people it’s important to get a very clear picture early on about what their expectations are.

Particularly from a compensation structure perspective.

For sales roles there are many ways to structure a deal and it varies a lot from company to company.

Some sales people are very heavy from a salary perspective and extremely light on commission or bonuses.

Some are the other way around and some are in the middle.

It really depends on your industry and your business model.

If your compensation model is very different than what the sales person currently has you may have a nonstarter from the beginning.

You don’t want to waste a lot of time sending someone through an interview process if they won’t be interested in your compensation model.

Also, with sales people it’s a lot more typical to ask what current salary compensation structures.

We also recommend that with sales people you have some way of them proving what their earnings were.

This is a true indicator of their sales effectiveness.

Often times asking if someone can show you a W-2 of their last year’s earnings is acceptable.

This is something you have to feel out on a case to case basis though and it may be something that’s very important for your company.

NEGOTIATING MARKETING SALARIES

Marketing people are being fairly highly sought after in many industries.

It’s extremely important that when you come in to make an offer that you don’t lowball people.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is coming in with an offer that is too low.

You want to be very sensitive to this as a lowball offer can turn someone who’s very interested in your company off in a major way.

This is a big way companies can lose quality candidates.

Many companies think they can start with a lowball offer as a beginning negotiating price and then work from there.

However they fail to realize that often times a lowball offer can sour things so much and actually leave people insulted.

COMING IN WITH A FAIR OFFER

You want to be hiring people that are going to be excited to come and join your team.

You don’t want someone who feels just OK about an offer or someone who feels like they’re settling.

It’s important that you manage these kinds of expectations correctly.

You need to come in with an offer with the expectation that somebody is very likely going to want to counter and come back.

So it is important to also not come in with your best offer as you want to leave a little bit of wiggle room for negotiation.

If there isn’t room for negotiation, most people aren’t going to feel like they’ve got the best deal. 

Someone who is able to negotiate a little bit and get a little more money is going to feel a lot better than someone who took the first offer.

STAYING IN THE KNOW WITH YOUR CANDIDATES

This is also important to keep in mind as most marketing and sales folks are entertaining multiple offers.

Something else to keep in mind is that you want to be finding out from your candidate if they are interviewing elsewhere.

You want to try to keep yourself in the loop about other offers they might be getting.

This is going to help to inform you about what you need to do for your offer.

INCLUDING YOUR ENTIRE BENEFITS PACKAGE 

Last, but not least, it’s critical that you educate potential employees about your benefits programs.

Often times it’s very easy for a candidate to focus too much on a salary number and not enough on a full benefit package.

This can have them lose sight of what the total compensation package.

This is especially true if there’s bonus programs involved at your company.

It’s up to you to paint a full picture about what the total compensation is going to be.

It’s likely that your benefits packages will add up to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a month.

You need to clearly communicate your entire benefits package to potential employees so that they can take the whole picture into consideration.

This is going to make a very big difference and go a long way.

CONSIDERING GROWTH POTENTIAL

It’s also important to spell out the true growth potential at your company.

if your company has fast growth and promotes people from within, you want to advertise this with potential candidates.

The millennial generation is especially interested in being able to grow fast, take on more responsibilities and contribute to something.

You want to make sure that you are getting this across to candidates as well.

IN CONCLUSION

There are lot of mistakes that many companies make and in turn lose a lot of candidates late in the the process.

You can avoid making these mistakes by implementing some of these key strategies for hiring marketing and sales people.

It’s really up to you to take some of this advice and put it into a practical application.

You can increase your effectiveness and your close rate when it comes to attracting the best talent.

Remember you’ve likely got a lot of competition out there.

It’s important to stand out from the crowd and have a very strong offer process.

This will get you the best people and at the end of the day increase your bottom line.


Here are some great tips for attracting millennials onto your sales team!

https://bit.ly/2NwiRjS

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