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Hi, Ann,

These are interesting issues that you have raised and here are my reactions.

Are the sales people compared to all other ees? I wonder what the picture would be like if they were compared to just certain segments of the rest of us, like HR professionals and financial analysts?

Wouldn't it stand to reason that sales people are more motivated by compensation, since more of their pay is contigent than it is for other ees?

There is also some evidence to suggest that productive people are more satisfied at work because they are productive. So your thinking about the nature of sales work driving commitment, etc., could be right.

Also, when I studied commitment and engagement, I found considerable overlap in these concepts. In some cases, people are using commitment surveys to measure engagement. See my workspan article "Employee Engagement - What You Need to Know" October 2007.



My impression from what I read of the ROW study is that they did, in fact, compare sales employees to all other employees. I confess to having the same thought as you: I wonder what it would be like to compare salespeople to other distinct professions - like HR or engineering. Or IT. Probably way too ambitious an undertaking, but the results would probably be fascinating.

It is an interesting sort of chicken or egg question, isn't it? Does sales work drive more engagement and commitment, or are engaged and committed people more attracted to sales work?

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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About The Author

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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