When you run a company or lead an organization's sales department, you want to be confident that your salespeople are not only doing a good job but also being honest. Ideally, this will be the case for most of your staff, but there may be one or more salespeople about whom you're suspicious. An unscrupulous salesperson can cost your company money, but you can't do anything to discipline him or her until you have proof of what is going on. Consider hiring a local private investigation service, which will send someone who can tail the salesperson for a number of days and share his or her findings with you. Here are some issues that the PI might uncover.
It's common for salespeople to earn commissions based on how much they sell, but you'll still likely pay your sales staff an hourly rate or a salary based on a set number of hours of work. Given that a salesperson often spends a lot of time outside of the office, he or she has the ability to be dishonest. For example, a salesperson might go straight home from a sales call at 3 p.m. but file paperwork that states he or she was working until 5 p.m. — requiring you to pay the person for two hours during which he or she didn't work. A private investigator can follow the person in question for a few days to see if he or she is being honest about logging his or her hours.
Companies often give their sales staff the ability to expense work-related meals. For example, if a salesperson takes a prospective client out for lunch to work out a deal, he or she can expense the lunch bill to get reimbursed. Unfortunately, dishonest sales staff can abuse this ability — a salesperson may meet a friend or family member for lunch, report that it was a business lunch, and seek reimbursement. Doing so will be challenging under the watchful eye of your PI, who can report back to you about who your salesperson is dining with.
It's also common for companies to compensate their sales staff based on the amount of work-related driving that they do. Because most salespeople use their own vehicles for work, they can claim their weekly mileage and receive some money. This is a potential area for fraud. For example, a salesperson may claim that he or she drove 85 miles for sales calls in a given day but actually only drove about 40 miles. By following the salesperson, your investigator can get an accurate assessment of how much he or she traveled.
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