Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Who Gets The Sales Comp?

What a GREAT question! This dilemma has been going on for many, many years in the world of sales. Does the sub-agent get paid for subsequent sales, regardless of his involvement level?

Let me give you a for instance?

ABC Telecom Sales President Chris Producer brings your company a new customer, Eagle Machinery, with a signed contract in hand to purchase 5,000 widgets per month for 2 years. Under your existing agent contract, ABC Telecom is compensated 15% of the monthly purchase price on the duration of the contract. Standard business, right? Right!

Two months after the contract is executed, Eagle Machinery contacts your company directly and asks for pricing on a new product line of sprockets your company has just begun advertising. Your Sales Department sends Eagle Machinery the pricing, it’s accepted, and a new contract is signed to purchase 10,000 sprockets each month for 2 years. Who gets the sales comp? Your Sales Department, ABC Telecom’s Chris Producer, or both?

Over my 20+ years in sales, I have experienced many scenarios just like this one. I believe there is ONLY one answer. The agent, in this case, ABC Telecom, absolutely gets comp’d. Your sales department should be compensated on all sales made by the agent channels to begin with, thus eliminating the need to take comp away from the agent to pay your sales group. As long as proper profit models are followed, allowing for the costs of both comp to the agent and the internal sales department, it shouldn’t matter who sold the subsequent business. Everyone should be comp’d.

Establishing an honest, reliable agent channel is perhaps the greatest way for a salesperson to increase their production. Each trusted sales agent working underneath a trusted Sales Manager, multiplies the opportunities brought to the company with very little overhead.

Remember my first rule of a successful sales philosophy….. it doesn’t matter who physically received the signed document, the business was won because of the relationship of the initial contacting party, in this case Chris Producer from ABC Telecom. Without the initial sale, there likely would not have been the subsequent close…..

Remember, always pay your agent channel appropriately…..and watch as the agent feels obligated to you and brings you more business opportunities as your reward. Short change the agents and watch not only your business returns, but also your business reputation head south. And quickly too….!!!

Check out the link below from Phone + magazine for some additional insight on sales and sales ethics…

I’d love to hear from all the sales professionals and agents out there on this…..How do you feel about this topic?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Affiliate Marketing and LEC Billing

Affiliate Marketing and LEC Billing – An Easy way to grow your Digital Goods Business

Affiliate Marketing? What exactly is affiliate marketing?

In today’s internet world, thousands of companies are trying to expand their sales domain by getting individuals looking to make a little extra money to place banner ads on their websites, blogs, twitter and facebook accounts, etc, which refer business to the e-commerce provider’s website. Many of these companies are start ups within the digital e-commerce world. The easiest payment method to get these companies started with seems to be Paypal.

Anybody who searches the web for digital goods quickly becomes familiar with Paypal. Paypal requires folks to submit a credit card for account setup, and down the road offers a standalone pre-paid account direct with their company. Many folks are hesitant to share credit information and often walk away from sales requiring this payment method. As time goes on, and more and more people walk away from credit card purchases, the digital goods vendors are looking for an easy, alternative payment option for their products.

Guess who’s got a ready made solution? Give up? Your good old fashioned local phone company provider. Phone provider you say? Yes! The local phone providers (Verizon, AT&T, AllTel, Century Link, and hundreds of other companies) allow “LEC Billing” for digital products.

LEC Billing”? Local Exchange Company billing has been around for many years for phone related products and has recently been expanded for digital goods. LEC Billing allows consumers to purchase digital goods on the internet by placing a charge on their home phone bill. No credit limit issues, no identity theft concerns, nothing to worry about. Just a clean, simple, easy to use payment method!

This expansion has opened the doors for start-up companies to offer a low cost, secure billing method that accesses more than 140 million households in the United States!

If you’re a digital goods company and are looking to rapidly grow your business by closing those sales which walk away from your checkout page because they don’t want to use a credit card, consider adding LEC Billing and watch your profits on average increase by more than 25%! It’s that simple!

Give it a try and see how LEC Billing will grow YOUR business!

Contact me at to find out how LEC Billing can help get you on your way to bigger profits……

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

3rd Party Landline Billing

Lot’s of press these days…some good, some bad on landline phone billing as a payment option for digital merchants. Let’s face it, in today’s recessionary economy, credit is getting tighter and tighter…banks are lowering credit limits and raising interest rates on credit cards. Maybe our parents had it right…my father once said ”Dave, whenever possible, don’t use credit…it only gets you in trouble. If you can’t afford to pay for it, you don’t need it”.

More and more, today’s consumers are looking for alternate methods to pay for their purchases. This has led to the onslaught of new payment options, from Paypal, to pre-paid subscription cards, to Google checkout, to Amazon Payments, and yes, Bill to Landline.

One common factor in all these alternatives other than Bill to Landline is that they all ultimately refer back a credit or debit card provided to the processing company. While Paypal, Google, and Amazon all deal with the consumer settlements for the merchants, the funds are still ultimately under control of Mastercard, Visa, or AMEX.

Bill to Landline is the only true alternative giving the consumer the option to purchase a digital good WITHOUT the use of some type of credit card. Merchants that use Bill to Landline must go through an extremely thorough background review, including company and officer background and fraud checks, marketing material reviews, sales and sales verification script reviews, post-sales confirmation reviews, and customer service policy reviews.

I know, you might ask “Can an unscrupulous merchant sneak through the approval process and cause bad social media reviews for a Bill to Landline company?”

Unfortunately, as it is with all the other methods, the answer is “yes”. It happens. Not all people are trustworthy and occasional a bad merchant might sneak through and cause bad press for the billing company. Today, please be assured that the billing companies are working hard through social media monitoring and engagement to deal with these issues as quickly as possible and to shut down any merchant found to be in violation of their set of standard billing & practices policies, up to and including issuing refunds to the consumer on services and goods not received or not properly authorized.

That aside, the Bill to Landline service offers a great revenue stream to merchants, helping to capture a sale from a consumer who otherwise would have left the checkout page without ever purchasing the digital good.

To find out how Bill to Landline can help grow revenues for your e-commerce company, please contact me at