One of the most alarming trends that I've witnessed and read about is the fact that there are consulting companies in our industry that are proclaiming that they can save dealerships thousands to tens of thousands of dollars by conducting an internal audit of the sales process for each dealership. These consultants (hacks as I call them) are charging thousands of dollars for the internal audit. It is in their best interest to return a favorable report to the dealer principals an analysis of the sales department. The audit takes certain benchmarks that they have data, such as salaries, commissions, bonuses, trips, cost of goods, training, deliveries, support, etc...
The end result is that they will return an analysis that states,
"You're paying your sales people to much money" and "we recommend these changes to your commission and salary structure", in return when you make these changes you will save "x" amount of dollars. In essence these hacks are presenting a new commission structure to the Dealer owners that pay themselves a hefty consulting fee and reduce the pay of every sales person in the Dealership!
The last time I checked, if I worked hard and over achieved I could make a very good living in this business. My customers are happy, my manager, the manufacturers rep is happy and the Dealer principal is happy.
These hacks (consultants) from what I've been able to tell are industry veterans that either lost their position with a merger or buyout and then ran to the feeding trough and declared themselves Industry Consultants. You know what, I don't blame them for attacking the sales process, most imaging sales people don't have clue of what's going on the industry outside of their dealership and the misinformed or the less knowledgeable would be the easiest target for any consultant that is looking make thousands of dollars by recommending to pay the sales force less.
For those us in the sales side of the business, we need to take a stand. Good sales people are hard to find (believe me), and extremely hard to develop. As salespeople we also need to be knowledgeable and not acting like sheep. We all need to track every sale, with revenue dollars, gross profit dollars, new accounts, existing accounts, bonuses, how many units sold, and new maintenance revenue that was generated. I can't emphasize how important it is to keep this data in a spreadsheet. If and when these "hacks" hit your dealership and a new plan is presented YOU need to run an analysis of the new comp plan vs the old comp plan from the last year.
There is no National Organization for imaging professionals for us, there is no one that will go to bat for you when you're about to get screwed. You need to stand on your own two feet and state the plan is not a good one and show then your audit of your sales from the last year. If hard pressed you will not have any part of it, tell them that you'd like to stay with the company but if this is written in stone, then I'm outta here.