What if our paycheck was based not on what we sell, but on the value we deliver to our customers via their performance improvement? As sales professionals, we often talk about, and we pride ourselves on, delivering value to our customers. In reality, most of us are focused on closing deals, signing contracts and the revenue/billings we deliver to our employer. After all, that's how we get paid! But what if we and our employers had to put our money where our mouths are?

What would change in your day-to-day life if you were compensated based on your impact to your client's bottom line? For starters, we would not be tempted to view the signing of the contract as the end of the sales process. In fact, we would be motivated to stay in very close contact with customers to monitor their implementation process. We would follow up diligently to ensure optimal impact. And being in such close contact, if there were a problem, we would know about and address it promptly. Across the board, we would probably have much more insight to our customer's business dynamic, challenges, performance and outcomes. We would explore to fully understand the role of our solution in the benefits realized by the customer and to identify additional opportunities to improve customers' outcomes.

The logistics of tracking customer performance to calculate sales reps' paychecks are such that it will unlikely become a reality; but when you think about it, that dynamic is already in play. Customers who don't see our contribution to their bottom line won't be buying from us for long. What kind of customer relationships and competitive advantage might we cultivate if we acted as if every paycheck depended on our customers' success?