Free resources for Principals

Everything you need to know about sales agents – and how to succeed with them
Please feel free to browse our articles below.

Factsheet – Sales Agent Interview Questions

What questions should you be asking your prospective new sales agents when you interview them? Firstly, an important note of caution about ‘interviewing’ sales agents! Remember that sales agents are not applying for a job. It’s a very different relationship: […]

Factsheet – The Secrets to Hiring the Best Commission Only Salespeople

So, you’ve made the bold decision to recruit some self-employed commission-only sales agents. And naturally you want to know how to get the cream of the crop. Here’s our handy checklist for hiring commission only sales reps: Dangle the right […]

Factsheet – Working with Sales Agents – The Bare Essentials

Definition of a Sales Agent According to Terry James* A sales agent is a freelance, self employed sales person who works, usually alone, for perhaps several, non competing, companies and obtains orders for those companies and is paid a commission […]

Factsheet – Where do Sales Agents Come From?

It is essential to have a good understanding of the unique UK sales agent culture. Let’s start by looking at where commission only agents come from… The Path To Becoming A Sales Agent Not many people set out in their […]

Factsheet – Sales Agent Types : Selling Agents vs. Introducer Agents

There are two main sales agent types: Sales Agent Type 1: Selling agents Sales agents who actually deliver an order to you for fulfillment. This level of closure demands a higher (normal) level of commission. Sales Agent Type 2: Introducer […]

Factsheet – Number Of Sales Agents Required & Territory Setting

Typically about 10-12 sales agents are needed to cover the UK. This will of course vary. Self-employed commission-only sales agents tend to work on counties, although the most reliable method for the principal is postcodes. County borders are easy to […]

Factsheet – Sales Agent Profiles & Entrepreneurialism

Typical Sales Agent Profiles Sales agents are typically male, aged 40-70. The median age is around 55. A few self-employed commission-only sales agents are in their 30’s and hardly any in their 20’s. However many are well into their 60’s […]

Factsheet – Sales Agent Capacity & Portfolio

Sales Agent Capacity and Performance: Managing Your Expectations Sales agents cannot devote 100% of their time – or brain power – as they have several other principals, and the impact this has on performance both in terms of volume of […]

Factsheet – Typical Sales Agent Profiles

Sales agents are typically male. Females are very rare: perhaps only 5% to 10% of agents are female. Sales agents are typically aged 40-70, with the average around 55. Only a few self-employed commission-only sales reps are in their 30’s […]

Factsheet – Keep it Simple: The Sales Agent Management Mantra!

In general Keep It Simple (KIS) is an overriding principle when dealing with agents. Simple is good. Simple products/services are always best for sales agents. Self-employed commission-only sales agents tend to work best with simple products and arrangements. Complexity can […]

Factsheet – Threshold of Economic Viability between Sales Reps and Sales Agents

There is an old saying that is relevant here: ‘different horses for different courses’. Sales agents’ strengths usually lie in penetrating independent businesses. They find very large customers hard for a variety of reasons: Buyers are often transient, making it […]

Factsheet – Big Cities & Sales Agents

Very big city can be difficult areas for sales agents. You might hope and expect the opposite given the high concentration of potential customers. The worst by far is London, followed by Birmingham and Manchester. These areas are often poorly […]

Factsheet – The Sales Agent Strategy Statement

Before you embark on a sales agent recruitment exercise you should make a clear and concise statement of your sales agent package and policy. This will act as a reference point and guide for all staff working on the sales […]

Factsheet – Sales Agent Recruitment: How to Generate Interest

Information Required You need to put certain information in front of prospective sales agents for them to be able to evaluate whether they are interested in the agency opportunity. Your basic company details – name, brands Contact details: names, phone […]

Factsheet – Sending Out Information to Prospective Sales Agents: The Sales Agent Information Pack

When making an initial enquiry about a sales agency opportunity, it is usual for a sales agent to require some detailed information on the company, the products / services to be sold, and the agency deal.  You should prepare an […]

Factsheet – Do I Need a Sales Agency Agreement?

In practice, the issuing of a sales agency agreement can delay getting started.  The sales agent might want his solicitor to check your contract out, and come back with issues and amendments.  This will involve all parties in delays and […]

Factsheet – Sales Agent Management: Should I Set Targets?

Targets are a prickly issue!  What basis do you use to establish targets for self-employed commission-only sales agents that are fair and achievable?  Target setting traditionally lies in the domain of the salaried salesforce – which most sales agents have […]

Factsheet – Sales Agent Management: Should I Demand Reporting?

Sales agents generally do not take enthusiastically to any non-commission-earning activities, unless they are being paid of course. It is quite common for companies new to working with sales agents to expect them to behave like employees, and expect diligently […]

Factsheet – What’s in a name? Does it matter what you call your sales agents?

What’s in a name? Does it matter what you call your sales agents? Let’s take look at the various terms that sales agents are called, and how they’ve evolved over time.   Ten Percenters Self employed commission-only sales agents were […]

Factsheet – What Commission Rate Should I Pay My Sales Agents?

This is probably the most common question we get asked. Commission rate percentage rates are not always particularly important. Often it is the amount of actual money that this equates to that is more important. One way to think about […]

More Factsheets…

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