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terminator 23-06-2016 07:15 PM

Sales job: International travel/Allowance
 
This is NOT a job advert. I just need help of fellow contributors who have some experience or know-how.

Hello, so I will be starting my first Sales job. Ok, I admit that I was ignorant of some aspects of compensation during the interview process so did not clarify. Basic pay is ok. My questions to fellow contributors:

A) Travel allowance/expenses: This job would require international travel. Flight and hotel booking will supposedly be done by the company so let's not consider these in expenses discussion here. P.S.: I do not own a personal credit card.
A1) Should company pay for my meals expenses during travel?
A2) If the answer to above is yes, besides meals, taxi fare, laundry, what other expenses should I be prepared for or expect the company to cover?
A3) For international travel is it normal for employee to pay first for necessary expenses during travel like taxi, meals, laundry, etc and then get reimbursed after submitting the receipts? Or should the company give advance before each travel? What should I expect and what is the acceptable way for such regular expenses: Advance or Reimbursement?
A4) How about medical insurance while overseas? What is going on in the industry for Sales-related employees?

B) Commission: Commission structure etc will be decided after probation or responsibility given.
B1) Which commission structure should I expect and which are better?

Question A3 is most important to me and kind of bothering me, because I don't want to end up paying huge bills during my trip, as I am no manager or high earner yet, so few hundred dollars per month matter to me as well.

Any help appreciated. Tks

Unregistered 23-06-2016 08:36 PM

Most companies I know of typically reimburse travel related expenses, i.e. you pay first and get paid later. Typically once a month. Some do twice a month. You should check with your company. The company should also get you health and travel insurance with international coverage.

Unregistered 23-06-2016 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terminator (Post 87611)
This is NOT a job advert. I just need help of fellow contributors who have some experience or know-how.

Hello, so I will be starting my first Sales job. Ok, I admit that I was ignorant of some aspects of compensation during the interview process so did not clarify. Basic pay is ok. My questions to fellow contributors:

A) Travel allowance/expenses: This job would require international travel. Flight and hotel booking will supposedly be done by the company so let's not consider these in expenses discussion here. P.S.: I do not own a personal credit card.
A1) Should company pay for my meals expenses during travel?
A2) If the answer to above is yes, besides meals, taxi fare, laundry, what other expenses should I be prepared for or expect the company to cover?
A3) For international travel is it normal for employee to pay first for necessary expenses during travel like taxi, meals, laundry, etc and then get reimbursed after submitting the receipts? Or should the company give advance before each travel? What should I expect and what is the acceptable way for such regular expenses: Advance or Reimbursement?
A4) How about medical insurance while overseas? What is going on in the industry for Sales-related employees?

B) Commission: Commission structure etc will be decided after probation or responsibility given.
B1) Which commission structure should I expect and which are better?

Question A3 is most important to me and kind of bothering me, because I don't want to end up paying huge bills during my trip, as I am no manager or high earner yet, so few hundred dollars per month matter to me as well.

Any help appreciated. Tks

Shouldn't you be asking your company HR for their policies on such basic matters?

I fail to understand why you are asking these questions here. Every company has differences in travel policy and commission structure, if you don't like it then just turn down the offer. They are not going to change such things just because some online forum tells you otherwise.

If you want to ask advice on pay maybe others who do sales can share, otherwise this kind of administrative procedures really depends on companies and there is no such thing as 'acceptable' or 'not acceptable'.

PS: I really don't think reimbursement procedures should be the driver of assessing an offer. You should be focusing on more relevant things IMO.

Unregistered 24-06-2016 12:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 87619)
Shouldn't you be asking your company HR for their policies on such basic matters?

I fail to understand why you are asking these questions here. Every company has differences in travel policy and commission structure, if you don't like it then just turn down the offer. They are not going to change such things just because some online forum tells you otherwise.

If you want to ask advice on pay maybe others who do sales can share, otherwise this kind of administrative procedures really depends on companies and there is no such thing as 'acceptable' or 'not acceptable'.

PS: I really don't think reimbursement procedures should be the driver of assessing an offer. You should be focusing on more relevant things IMO.

TS say he is starting on the job, so offer already sign no way to back out. Agree that he should just clarify with his company instead of asking here, no point also.

terminator 24-06-2016 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 87619)
Shouldn't you be asking your company HR for their policies on such basic matters?

I fail to understand why you are asking these questions here. Every company has differences in travel policy and commission structure, if you don't like it then just turn down the offer. They are not going to change such things just because some online forum tells you otherwise.

If you want to ask advice on pay maybe others who do sales can share, otherwise this kind of administrative procedures really depends on companies and there is no such thing as 'acceptable' or 'not acceptable'.

PS: I really don't think reimbursement procedures should be the driver of assessing an offer. You should be focusing on more relevant things IMO.

Thanks for the reply. Agreed that there is no right or wrong way. It might also depends on circumstances or situation.

However, there would be 50-75% international travel so I suppose that such regular/subsistence expenses(airfare/hotel by company beforehand) may not be insignificant. And if there is no written practice, as you know at times the management may choose or suggest the convenient way for themselves; that they prefer to reimburse rather than giving advance. Since I am new to this, I just want to know what is the trend or dominant practice in other places for such jobs? I neither want to look fussy/miser nor be shortchanged. And it wud not be matter of occasional or few travels, but an ongoing thing on my job.

Also, is it ok if i ask about this during first few days of job or only when the first travel opportunity comes by?

Thks to other 2 person who replied also. Further input would be appreciated.

Unregistered 24-06-2016 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terminator (Post 87634)
Thanks for the reply. Agreed that there is no right or wrong way. It might also depends on circumstances or situation.

However, there would be 50-75% international travel so I suppose that such regular/subsistence expenses(airfare/hotel by company beforehand) may not be insignificant. And if there is no written practice, as you know at times the management may choose or suggest the convenient way for themselves; that they prefer to reimburse rather than giving advance. Since I am new to this, I just want to know what is the trend or dominant practice in other places for such jobs? I neither want to look fussy/miser nor be shortchanged. And it wud not be matter of occasional or few travels, but an ongoing thing on my job.

Also, is it ok if i ask about this during first few days of job or only when the first travel opportunity comes by?

Thks to other 2 person who replied also. Further input would be appreciated.

TBH if such a thing (honestly quite trivial IMO) is really that important to you, you should have just asked the company before signing up with them.

Be that as it may, if your company doesn't even have a written policy on such basic administrative matters, then I suspect it's a very small local company culture type, i.e. more or less 99% guaranteed is you pay first then reimburse.

This kind of company you better be conservative no matter what the boss say verbally, buy cheapest budget airline and stay basic local 3* or below hotel first. Since they don't have any proper policy, you don't want to get into a situation where the company refuse to reimburse for 'excessive' expense then become a you say they say argument. You sure lose in the end like that.

Unregistered 24-06-2016 02:19 PM

Your company must have a travel policy. Ask for it.

Most companies require you to pay first and reimburse later, unless you are a very junior staff then you may request for advance payment. Once again depending on your company travel policy. Usually meals, travel, laundry, mobile phone expenses should be claimable. I have meals and drinks at reasonable places although my boss doesn't question me on the few occasions that I go to fancier restaurants while traveling. One of the companies I've worked for went on a per diem basis which was great.

Don't fret over it.. traveling for work is no big deal.

terminator 24-06-2016 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 87641)
TBH if such a thing (honestly quite trivial IMO) is really that important to you, you should have just asked the company before signing up with them.

Be that as it may, if your company doesn't even have a written policy on such basic administrative matters, then I suspect it's a very small local company culture type, i.e. more or less 99% guaranteed is you pay first then reimburse.

This kind of company you better be conservative no matter what the boss say verbally, buy cheapest budget airline and stay basic local 3* or below hotel first. Since they don't have any proper policy, you don't want to get into a situation where the company refuse to reimburse for 'excessive' expense then become a you say they say argument. You sure lose in the end like that.

Well, I did not ask about it during interviews as they didn't come across my mind, as I said I am new to thiss. However, now that I am exploring I get these questions. Noted from your and other people's reply that these are not to be worried about a lot as it depends on policy. I am just imagining that what if the company doesn't have a clearly defined policy regarding this? Or a written policy? Worst is they will ask the junior staff (me) to go by reimbursement route, rather than advance? If there is written policy that ok, reimbursement is the only way for all, then I am ok.
The reason its bothering me is that yes, it's a learning opportunity, so even if basic or commission low, not big issue, as low income is still minimum income. But if I end up spending own money during travel on things like food, taxi, etc and wait until reimbursement, this may lower the income I am left with?

By the way, it is really not a very small company. Its decent, but will see the real situation once there. Lol, from what I know, hotel and airfare will be arranged by administration, so lets not go into the scenario where I am paying first and then claim.

But thks anyway, I suppose you mean that I should not worry too much.

Unregistered 24-06-2016 03:22 PM

Ask the HR. You are entitled to know such relevant policies. Zero value in asking here, we have no clue which company or industry you are in to even give you a benchmark.

terminator 24-06-2016 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 87645)
Your company must have a travel policy. Ask for it.

Most companies require you to pay first and reimburse later, unless you are a very junior staff then you may request for advance payment. Once again depending on your company travel policy. Usually meals, travel, laundry, mobile phone expenses should be claimable. I have meals and drinks at reasonable places although my boss doesn't question me on the few occasions that I go to fancier restaurants while traveling. One of the companies I've worked for went on a per diem basis which was great.

Don't fret over it.. traveling for work is no big deal.

Well, that is interesting piece of advice and encouraging too. Yes, I don't want to cling my thoughts on these and end up losing focus on real thing. That is why I need a clear perspective on this based on experience of other people.

You say junior staff can request advance payment? I thought it was other way round- can ask junior staff to do anyhow?

Yes I also find the per diem model seems nice. So did they give you per diem allowance upfront ?

I really hope they already have a generous/reasonable travel policy in handbook. And hope it's advance allowance, and whatever is leftover based on receipts, they take from me. Hope that they don't make a fishy/customized policy.

So may I ask you if you happened to travel overseas on public holiday(in Singapore)/weekend, then did you claim timeoff for that? And how about the medical insurance during overseas travel?

Tks

terminator 24-06-2016 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 87648)
Ask the HR. You are entitled to know such relevant policies. Zero value in asking here, we have no clue which company or industry you are in to even give you a benchmark.

I know it depends on policy but I just don't want to be shocked, confused or be ignorant when a policy is dictated to me. So that is why assessing from opinion, experience and advice of others, just in order to be prepared. Tks anyway

Unregistered 24-06-2016 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terminator (Post 87651)
You say junior staff can request advance payment? I thought it was other way round- can ask junior staff to do anyhow?

Depends on the HR travel policy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by terminator (Post 87651)
Yes I also find the per diem model seems nice. So did they give you per diem allowance upfront ?

Many companies don't practice per diem anymore. Back when I did get per diem it was always on reimbursement. Don't be surprised that your admin may book hotels for you but you may have to pay first upon check out since it is unlikely that your company will have corporate accounts with so many hotels in so many countries.

Quote:

Originally Posted by terminator (Post 87651)
I really hope they already have a generous/reasonable travel policy in handbook. And hope it's advance allowance, and whatever is leftover based on receipts, they take from me. Hope that they don't make a fishy/customized policy.

Don't expect generous travel policies in this current economic climate. What do you mean customized policy?? Your company can dictate anything they want but no reputable company will short change you over this kind of things la.....

Quote:

Originally Posted by terminator (Post 87651)
So may I ask you if you happened to travel overseas on public holiday(in Singapore)/weekend, then did you claim timeoff for that? And how about the medical insurance during overseas travel?

Depends on HR travel policy. Usually you get off in lieu but there are times when I don't claim. As a sales person you will be very flexi and you are bound to slack off during office hours so learn how to give and take. Don't "gek kao" everything down to the last min.... Medical insurance usually covered by company group policy.

IN short, FIND OUR FROM HR.

Unregistered 24-06-2016 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terminator (Post 87651)
Well, that is interesting piece of advice and encouraging too. Yes, I don't want to cling my thoughts on these and end up losing focus on real thing. That is why I need a clear perspective on this based on experience of other people.

You say junior staff can request advance payment? I thought it was other way round- can ask junior staff to do anyhow?

Yes I also find the per diem model seems nice. So did they give you per diem allowance upfront ?

I really hope they already have a generous/reasonable travel policy in handbook. And hope it's advance allowance, and whatever is leftover based on receipts, they take from me. Hope that they don't make a fishy/customized policy.

So may I ask you if you happened to travel overseas on public holiday(in Singapore)/weekend, then did you claim timeoff for that? And how about the medical insurance during overseas travel?

Tks

Just ask HR lah, how you expect ppl here to answer things like time off, public holiday, insurance. Just because you are new doesn't mean no common sense right.

Stop asking random stuff here. PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL YOUR HR!!!

terminator 25-06-2016 12:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 87655)
Depends on the HR travel policy.



Many companies don't practice per diem anymore. Back when I did get per diem it was always on reimbursement. Don't be surprised that your admin may book hotels for you but you may have to pay first upon check out since it is unlikely that your company will have corporate accounts with so many hotels in so many countries.



Don't expect generous travel policies in this current economic climate. What do you mean customized policy?? Your company can dictate anything they want but no reputable company will short change you over this kind of things la.....



Depends on HR travel policy. Usually you get off in lieu but there are times when I don't claim. As a sales person you will be very flexi and you are bound to slack off during office hours so learn how to give and take. Don't "gek kao" everything down to the last min.... Medical insurance usually covered by company group policy.

IN short, FIND OUR FROM HR.

Tks for your info. I am coming to realize that: reimbursements is a common practice. It depends on the HR's practice policy and if reimbursements is the way then I would just need to politely ask if advance is possible. But what you said about paying first for hotel and flights is disturbing. Because from what I think, travel will not be occasional but regularly. Even if they don't have corporate account with hotels/airlines then they still cannot pay first by company's debit/credit card via online booking? I think it is possible to do so.

I understand from the replies so far that I don't need to be too much worried or fussy about all these expenses matter, especially the subsistence expenses. I believe the HR has been dealing with this in past so they should have some practice in place.

Regarding the "customized" policy thing: You make sense that a good/caring employer will not shortchange an employee over such matters. After all, they should know that if it gets burdensome for the staff then the staff may have second thoughts about the job. Taking pressure of workload and tough deadlines is one thing, but being worried due to money matters is another issue. I think it would just be better to politely discuss in case such business-related expenses get burdensome for me, like if I need to pay a lot of my own money first or that the reimbursements are being delayed, etc.

I would appreciate if you can advise if my thought process is ok??

terminator 25-06-2016 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 87656)
Just ask HR lah, how you expect ppl here to answer things like time off, public holiday, insurance. Just because you are new doesn't mean no common sense right.

Stop asking random stuff here. PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL YOUR HR!!!

This is random stuff but not irrelevant. I had clearly mentioned in my first post that people with knowledge or experience may advise. And so far the input has been great. I expect them to answer the things mentioned above because they may have dealt with same things on their own job or are aware of the practice in their company? I am not asking them to tell me what is the right way or how it should be with my future employer, just asking to share their own opinion/experience. Tks for the advice about asking from the HR, though.

Unregistered 25-06-2016 05:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terminator (Post 87683)
Tks for your info. I am coming to realize that: reimbursements is a common practice. It depends on the HR's practice policy and if reimbursements is the way then I would just need to politely ask if advance is possible. But what you said about paying first for hotel and flights is disturbing. Because from what I think, travel will not be occasional but regularly. Even if they don't have corporate account with hotels/airlines then they still cannot pay first by company's debit/credit card via online booking? I think it is possible to do so.

I understand from the replies so far that I don't need to be too much worried or fussy about all these expenses matter, especially the subsistence expenses. I believe the HR has been dealing with this in past so they should have some practice in place.

Regarding the "customized" policy thing: You make sense that a good/caring employer will not shortchange an employee over such matters. After all, they should know that if it gets burdensome for the staff then the staff may have second thoughts about the job. Taking pressure of workload and tough deadlines is one thing, but being worried due to money matters is another issue. I think it would just be better to politely discuss in case such business-related expenses get burdensome for me, like if I need to pay a lot of my own money first or that the reimbursements are being delayed, etc.

I would appreciate if you can advise if my thought process is ok??

OMG - Pick up the bloody phone and call HR and ask whatever thing you wanna ask!!! Happy with the answer take the job, not happy just sayonara. I really find it ridiculous that you are going on and on about something like this emoing and fantasizing about some business case as if you are pitching for a mutli-billion dollar deal.

You are not going to survive in the sales world with this sort of mentality. Successful sales people are bold, confident, go-getter and unafraid of any rejection. So far, you are displaying all the opposite traits.

Either wise up and change your behavior or go look for some other desk bound job. Hate to sound rude, but you are not going to last a year in sales with this sort of humjiness when you haven't even start work.

Jeezzzz

Unregistered 25-06-2016 06:29 PM

ts look like he need mama to follow him to office on 1st day of work...

Unregistered 25-06-2016 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unregistered (Post 87689)
You are not going to survive in the sales world with this sort of mentality. Successful sales people are bold, confident, go-getter and unafraid of any rejection. So far, you are displaying all the opposite traits.

Agreed. Stop bitching about it and pick up the damn phone and talk to HR. What is TS selling?? I'd be more concerned about closing my first sale than such trivial things.

Salesman 27-06-2016 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terminator (Post 87684)
This is random stuff but not irrelevant. I had clearly mentioned in my first post that people with knowledge or experience may advise. And so far the input has been great. I expect them to answer the things mentioned above because they may have dealt with same things on their own job or are aware of the practice in their company? I am not asking them to tell me what is the right way or how it should be with my future employer, just asking to share their own opinion/experience. Tks for the advice about asking from the HR, though.

Just sharing my experience in these fields, been with small and MNC companies before.

If it is a MNCs, I believed all budget will need to be approved through your company process software, your immediate boss will need to know the expense, and also the CFO as well. Once they approved, then you can proceed. Some provides (Japanese co.) fixed allowance per day, but exclude flghts, accommodation. In American companies, usually you have to pay first and claim when you are back in office. But claiming will also depends on the type of reports you are sending to them. If it is a good trip, they won't ask so much. But if it is not a fruitful trip, probably they will be picking on you.

If it is a SME, best is to check with HR first. Or someone you feel comfortable in the office (after your first day). If you are asking your boss, sure he will say take the most economical accommodation, flights, meals, etc.

For big companies, they should be an employee handbook which states the benefits, what grade of benefits are you entitled, etc...

So simple. :)


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