Tis’ the season for asking for a raise.
In the face of a labor shortage, sales professionals have more bargaining power than ever. If you haven’t initiated or been part of a compensation conversation already this year, you might want to have one soon.
I speak to many folks who get particularly anxious about these types of conversations. They are worried about how they are going to appear. But, any semi-decent manager respects an employee’s right to advocate for themselves. For that reason, it’s less about “can you ask” and more about “how you ask.”
The rational “how” for these conversations:
Start from a position of logic, not feeling. Have reasons other than “wanting” that should inform someone’s decision to give it to you. Those can include:
The market rate has changed.
It’s been “x” amount of time since your last increase.
Switching costs for your role drastically exceed the increase you will get.
You have stellar performance.
Your OTE (base + commission) is less than 20% of your annual revenue.
Respect that a decision can’t be made at the moment you ask. This process will have to go through a series of steps. Don’t get upset if your manager doesn’t give you the head nod or green light at the moment. It takes time.
Be professional. Collaborate with your leaders in a non-antagonistic way. You want them to champion for you, and the easiest way to lose a champion is to present as immature or non-deserving.
Don’t be greedy. Standard annual increases are 2.5-5% if you remain in the same role. In tech, that tends to skew higher to 7-10%. Ensure your expectations are set correctly on how far you can jump in one ask.
Set expectations and be direct. If a 20k bump will make you happy, you are just wasting your and your managers’ time by making them think a 5k bump will do.
Lastly, if you’d like to know a well-kept secret: leaders go outside of company policy all the time for the right people. If you think you are one of them, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
If you need help planning for these, we are happy to support you free of charge. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.