Advice: "I found out the new reps are making more money than me. What should I do?"

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Dear Quota Team

I have been working in commercial roofing sales at the same company for two years. When I started, there were only two salespeople (that have been here for years and are established) and I was more like their assistant. 

A few months in, a new Director of Sales was brought in to begin building the sales department including adding an inside sales team that I was the first member of. Since he started, it has been a mess of trial and error for training, standard operating procedures, and business practices as the sales department has formed. I have seen more sales people in and out of this place than I could count on two hands, and I am the only person who has stuck it out (along with the two original sales people that were here when I started.) 

In the past three months, two more people have been added to the inside sales department. This week I found out that they were hired at a higher rate than I am currently making after 2 years with the company and a raise in that time. At this point I am training them on everything from sales techniques to roofing materials and everything in between all while they are making more money than I am. In this company there is clear verbiage in our handbook that we are not to discuss our pay rates with other employees but, I didn't go asking them what they made, they freely shared that information with me assuming I made more. 

Is it worth it for me to try to discuss this with my boss, or would I be better off leaving and taking my experiences elsewhere?

Underpaid in the Southeast


Dear Underpaid,

The work problems you described are not unusual, and definitely not exclusive to sales. The “not discussing pay with other employees” rule is weird, and doesn’t exactly paint your company in a great light.  

Our advice is to do both of the things you mentioned. First, start looking around for a new role. Dedicated salespeople are always in demand, and you can almost certainly get a nice pay bump if you find the right company. 

Once you’ve started interviewing or secured an offer (whichever you feel most comfortable with), go to your manager and ask for a pay increase. Don’t get combative, just stick to the facts. If you have an offer in hand, you’ll be in a stronger position to negotiate. Of course, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll actually get a pay increase. 

From there, go with your gut. And don’t be afraid to make a jump. Sometimes, the grass actually is greener on the other side. Good luck!

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