The War Room
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Is there a way to reduce an employees salary without forcing them out of the door?

One of my AEs joined 6 months ago on a big salary + commission, to be the senior salesperson on a team of 4. It's not a huge team, and despite a lot of support and guidance, their performance has been below expectations and is trending further downwards. I would like to keep them, but it's getting more difficult to justify their salary as it is 40 - 50% higher than the rest of the team. Has anyone had experience of a similar situation?

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πŸ’° Compensation
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6
drendo
Politicker
+8
Enterprise Account Executive
I think it depends where you are as far as the law goes, but in the UK if you're keeping someone on to do the *same job*, it's illegal to lower their pay. The other option is to make them redundant but offer a similar role for less pay but they can walk away.
foxy206
Good Citizen
+1
Sales Manager
Thought that might be the case, thanks for the suggestion.
Adored
Valued Contributor
+5
Sales Director
Why do you want to keep them?

For human/ethical reasons and you're a good person? Or because you see their potential etc.?

Either way, you're in a tough spot trying to protect them. The key question is - why are they struggling?Β 

Once you get down to the cold hard truth, you can help them better.
foxy206
Good Citizen
+1
Sales Manager
That's a Q I've been wrestling as well. If they had joined at the same level as the other AEs, I would say there's potential there that can be natured, it's the expectation setting before they joined that they would be a rockstar and haven't lived up to that, which makes it more challenging.
UserNotFound
Politicker
+9
Mid Market Manager
I am tempted to lean on the idea that maybe your company hasn't offered the *right* resources. I don't know a single sales-rep that can sell themselves as a high performer and not back it up. However, I do know high performers that were unable to reach their potential because of lack of training, resources, comfortability asking questions, leadership, etc.Β 

Have you tried having a conversation and asking the individual point blank "how do you feel like it's going vs how you thought it would go?" Create the space for them to tell you either A) its going well and I'm super happy with my performance (red flag!) or B) Actually I think I could do a lot better if I had X.Β 
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Jbeans
Praised Answer
+3
Director of Sales
I’ve tried this- offered them a diff position, they left with their pride. It was technically a lateral move but removed commission opportunities. Before that we tried more coaching mentoring etc, but sometimes it’s just not a good fit. I think you need to sit them down and reset expectations with a clear time line as a last effort? Lay it on the line and honestly this person most likely is aware they aren’t living up to expectations which can really f with their mindset - it’s a lose lose if not addressed ASAP. Ye
foxy206
Good Citizen
+1
Sales Manager
Good advice, thanks for the suggestion!
looper1010
Celebrated Contributor
+13
Account Executive
Thats a great suggestion! Everyone keeps their pride and walks away unashamed.
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
Um, you made an agreement. If that person can't hold onto his/her end, then everyone needs to act like an adult. You need to but him/her on plan and if said person can't cut it, you need to let him/her go. Trying to cut the agreed upon salary is bullshit though.
foxy206
Good Citizen
+1
Sales Manager
Fair point, and I don't think we are blameless in the situation, just considering all options.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Senior Account Executive
Eek that's a tough spot. I'm in the US but I'm sure someone here can offer guidance.

Btw love your name 🦊
foxy206
Good Citizen
+1
Sales Manager
Hah thanks, you too! Think you actually more flexibility in the US than we do in the UK on these issues.
Beans
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
What is your PIP structure like?
foxy206
Good Citizen
+1
Sales Manager
Complex and no real previous instances of it being deployed successfully in the UK unfortunately, but that is a route we are investigating
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