If you are a sales manager who has pushed your team to peak performance over the last few years at your company, you have accomplished an impressive feat, given these economic conditions. You might think you deserve a raise for your performance and you likely do, but since so many good people are still out of a job, and things have been slow for many companies over the past few years, you might still feel the timing is just not right.

In many cases, you should be a little cautious.

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Even if you’ve had a great review and your team is killing it this year, there are plenty of factors to consider before asking that you or your team receive an increase in salary from management. Here are some things to consider.

If Yearly Increases are Cut, So are Performance Based Raises.

If your company typically gives out an annual increase to employees, but you’ve seen that cut back over the past few years, your company is likely reducing overhead just to be able to stay in the game. Meaning, if you ask for a salary increase, you may not be likely to receive good news.

In this case, patience is a virtue. Continue to demonstrate your importance to the company over time, work to make the company money and prove your worth, and a salary increase won’t be too much to ask when things are better financially.

Performance Based Raises Can Demoralize Other Team Members.
If you are promised a huge salary increase based on good performance, other team members at your level are likely to catch wind of it. When that happens, it demoralizes other employees in your company and could potentially cause problems between you and other staff members. Executives tend to avoid making decisions that will cause these kinds of results.

One way to handle this is to explain to executives what you have to offer the company, and how rewarding you now will benefit your company in the long run.

Your Bosses Want to Know They’ll Get Their Money’s Worth.

The value of a dollar expands when times are tough. If your bosses need to know that you are going to bring more value to the company if they pay you more money, tell them that – and how you plan to do it.

And when they ask if you won’t bring that value without a raise? Tell them you’ll certainly continue to add value to the company, but that you hope you’ll be considered in the future.

If you’re ready for a raise, and you think a financial incentive will help you manage your team more efficiently and bring in more sales, you don’t have to be concerned about mentioning it to management – but definitely be ready to let them know what’s in it for them, and how it will change your role in the future.


Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting
Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless.

Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.

He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.

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