21st Century Sales

Virtual vs. Physical

21st Century

A virtual team of dispersed reps working from home offices anywhere worldwide that Internet access is available.

Communicating exclusively electronically via email, IM, phone, conference calls, webinars, blogs.

20th Century
Reps work in cubicles at designated company offices.

Communication while often by email and phone, requires many time-consuming, often useless, in-person meetings at designated mandatory times.
 

Independent Contractor vs. W2 Employee

21st Century
Looser management structure with reps working independently.

Free-agent mentality where reps can come and go and management must work to keep them happy.

Encourages reps to act like adults instead of dependent children.

Independent thinking and action encouraged.

Self-starting initiative and self-reliance fostered.

High standards and inspiration set the pace.

20th Century
Command-and-control hierarchical management prevalent. Almost constant supervision and insistence on adherence to detailed behavioral and procedural rules.

Micro-managing leads to blind obedience.

Bureaucracy seeks to perpetuate itself and expand instead of focusing on profits.

Expectation that everyone sacrifice for the company and forego personal ambitions.

Go along to get along with groupthink and myopia the result.

Rewards obedience while stifling initiative and creativity.

Requires excessive babysitting and close supervision.
 

Commission vs. Salary

21st Century
Entrepreneurial mindset required and encouraged.

High upside rewards and instant punishment for non-performance lead to self-motivation.

Self-correcting system weeds out non-hacker posers early.

Better able to relate to business owner prospects.

20th Century
Salary plus commission requires reps to meet quota, but diminishing rewards to go much further.

Encourages posers to do the bare minimum and hang on as long as possible then repeat elsewhere.
 

Technology and Social Factors

21st Century
Flat rate and VOIP plans that enable cheap all day calling even overseas.

Many remotely hosted applications like CRM, websites, email, virtual pbx, fax, and blogs.

No physical offices required domestically or overseas.

Recruiting cost-effective with many established international job boards.

More cosmopolitan worldview in the U.S. due to widely expanded news coverage (online at least), cheap travel, and diversity of population from continuous immigration and foreign college students over recent decades.

20th Century
Monopoly or state-controlled phone systems with rates from 20¢ to over $10 per minute.

Technical infrastructure custom built, costly, time consuming, and complicated.

Physical office required domestically or overseas at great expense and time to set-up.

Recruiting so difficult overseas as to be beyond consideration for all but multinationals with huge budgets.

Provincial mindset with xenophobia and ignorance of the rest of the planet ubiquitous.
 

Advantages of a 21st Century Model

Sales Reps
Opportunity to earn “New York City” wages while enjoying life in low cost-of-living areas – anywhere from Kansas City to Costa Rica.

Higher commission rates mean significantly higher upside earnings potential.

No wasted time and stress commuting.

No expenses for vehicles, mass transit, parking, clothing, meals out.

Less exposure to accidents and crime.

Available always to family and other dependents.

Complete control of work schedule including hours, days, vacations.

Tax advantages of independent contractor status with easy operation as a corporation.

No micromanaging and constant surveillance while working.

Self-directed with opportunity to be more creative and work with own style and rhythm.

Free to be and express yourself.
Less exposure to senseless, debasing, office politics.

Company
Field large team quickly and for minimal cost and risk.

Capture market share first and faster edging out existing or potential competitors.

More attractive model for investors – minimal downside risk with much higher upside rewards – faster ramp means faster exit.

No office expenses – rent, utilities, phone, maintenance, furniture and equipment, insurance.

No employment costs – payroll taxes, insurance, benefits.

No legal exposure – no wrongful termination, sexual harassment, ADA and discrimination, and other lawsuits or coercive threats of legal action.