Creating an equal sales department

Equality is often toted as a given for work environments. Companies are quick to note that they are "equal opportunity employers" and say they offer equal promotions and performance advancements to everyone.

However, when it comes to sales, this is seldom the case. Sales departments are very much run based on the performance of the individual, with top sellers being given bonus incentives and better financial payouts than their co-workers. These incentives exist to encourage people to try harder and strive to hit higher goals.

That said, one of the leading challenges of running a successful sales department is being able to manage inequality in a fair way. People tend to be proud of the work they do, but when they see specific co-workers always making more money than they are, it can be discouraging. This leads to lower morale and poor retention rates, as well as even worse performance in the future – it's a lose-lose situation for both the employee and the company.

Businesses need to strike some sort of balance between creating a fair workplace where everyone can achieve the goals they set for themselves, while also rewarding those who go beyond the expectations of employers. The idea is to avoid creating a divided work environment where the same employees are always treated and compensated much better than their peers.

This issue can be addressed as companies create their sales performance management plans. Establishing a consistent plan that lets salespeople gain the compensation they want and need is key. That way, you won't have one representative feeling as if he or she doesn't have the same means to perform as well as his or her co-workers. It's acceptable for inequalities to exist in the sales department as long as everyone understands the underlying reasons and knows how to get to the levels of their co-workers.

Another strategy that businesses could deploy is sales coaching. If agents feel they don't have the skills to achieve the same performance, then companies should consider helping them develop these traits through training initiatives. Not only will this improve performance, but it will also enhance the company-employee relationship by showing workers that businesses do care about their professional development.