Before I came in the company had 800k in annual sales, 1 dog of a salesman with no direction or results, and the founder was making all the sales.
The company had no formal sales presentation, no script to sell, no formal pricing strategy that was followed, no sales process, no results of any salesperson they hired having much more than selling 2-3k a month and no quotas.
After 2 years of working my ass off I created sales and pricing strategy, sales demo and script, quotas, without help recruited, hired, fired, and trained a productive sales team that is performing at or above quota.
The Founder no longer sells. We went from 500 to 2000 paying accounts, profit skyrocketed and total revenue is at 3 times initial start at 2.5 million.
The original deal was 10% override to me on all sales, gifted 5% equity to stay aboard and for me to buy in an additional 15% in equity over a 2 yr window at original market value.
However now the founder is dragging out signing the equity deal and NOT giving me normal protection rights of shares such as preferred shares, dividend payout, or any buy out/ exit scenario if things go south. He's saying I can just stay on, asking me to reduce my paid commissions in favor of a dividend that doesn't have a structured, scheduled payout - its ad hoc. Now that I brought in results he is questioning what I did for him. He's still honoring equity but making it very unfavorable terms to own shares i.e not normal protection rights on shares. No voting or decision making power no right to force company to buyback shares.
What is my recourse? What do I deserve? I have lost my leverage and I'm being punished for results.
It sound to me that you will not be there for a long time. If the owner is not giving you any rights it is a clear sign.. Look like he/she needed a helping hand and that's what you did..
1- This is not a fruitful relationship between you two and he is not committed to you.. You drove his business and now he is benefiting from your presence.. Collect your money and get out. Do the same thing by yourself and shift your customers to you..
2- Set monthly targets to cash out. Say... if you reach 100K/monthly take 25% and if you reach 300K/m take 35% of the incremental in revenue on top of your 25%, sign an consultant contract, get your money on time and leave..
Change your approach and don't get caught up in company equity and shares etc... . if owner is dragging don't drag along with him. Act quick...
Were any of these discussions expressed in writing or simply discussed - he said he said kind of thing.
I know this is an emotional topic, but when you boil it down, it is nothing more than a business deal. It works or it doesn't.
And I agree with Murat, don't let things linger. It gets more emotional with time.
In writing or not, stick to the original deal. But make sure it was not just you two thinking out loud. This can probably be worked out diplomatically if you are a true value to the company.
Best of Luck,
From the Trenches to the Towers Marketing
I will be glad to help as my time permits.