Advice: "I was promised a raise, but my boss gave me a 'better' job title instead. What should I do?"

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Dear Quota Team

I just finished my 2nd year as an AE at a large company. I'm not new to sales; I worked my way through college selling home appliances. But this is my first corporate sales job. I was a BDR for a year, but quickly proved myself and got promoted to AE and got a nice pay bump. 

I've been in the same role now for two years and have only gotten the small team-wide pay bumps that everyone gets (3%), even though I'm one of the top AEs. I brought this up to my manager last year, and he told me that if I kept performing I'd be rewarded. 

Well, the end of the year came around and he informed me that I'd only be getting the team-wide pay raise again but told me that I'm being "promoted" to "Senior Account Executive." This is obviously a cop out and a way for them to not pay me what I deserve. I don't care about what my company writes on my business card, all I care about is the number that's written on my check. I'm thinking of giving my boss an ultimatum. 

Underpaid in SoCal  


Dear Underpaid,

If you’re a top-performing AE, then you can basically write your own ticket as far as where you want to work. But don’t be too hasty. A year might feel like a long time, but in the big scheme of things, it’s nothing, and the older you get, the shorter a year will seem, especially in terms of your career.

There’s nothing wrong with asking your sales manager about your pay bump (or lack thereof), but the idea of an “ultimatum” sounds unnecessarily confrontational. There’s a good chance that if you challenge him too aggressively, he’ll call your bluff. 

Instead, be professional about it. Lay out what you bring to the table (using data) and show that you’re an asset to him and to the company. If you do it this way, you’ll increase your chances of getting what you want. And if not, then you can always find work somewhere else. Good luck.

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