Marketing Basics

Choosing the Right Sales Commission Structure

commission structure

Do you want to increase the amount of sales? Then, choosing the right commission structure is an important step. There are several things to consider before you choose one, including the size of your company, the type of products you sell, and the commission rate you want to offer. 

If you follow these tips, you’ll find that the commission structure you create will increase your sales and profits. But, first, you must get to know what the sales commission structure is and what its types are.

Here in this guide, we have discussed every type vividly, along with examples, to clear all your doubts. 

What is a sales commission structure?

Commission structures are important tools in sales compensation plans. They provide an incentive for reps to meet or exceed their goals. Moreover, they motivate them to stay with a company over the long term. 

Creating an effective commission structure

Developing a commission structure is an important component of a successful sales operation. 

Let’s get to know how you create a commission structure that would prove to be beneficial for you:

  • It is also vital to ensure that the structure is designed with company goals in mind. Some of these goals can include boosting revenue, expanding into new markets, tightening margins, or growing market share.
  • Before creating a new compensation plan, companies should gather data about their past structures. Ideally, they should review their turnover rates, which can give them a clue about how effective their current structure is.
  • Similarly, a company must evaluate its staff’s motivations and stress levels. This can help them determine what goals they should strive for in the future.
  • Another tip is to use industry data to create benchmarks for your team’s performance. This way, you will have a clear idea of how well your team performs.

How to choose the right rate?

Choosing the right commission structure is the most important task in your sales career. The right one can help you grow your business a notch. The wrong one can put a damper on your career. 

Fortunately, you can avoid these pitfalls with a few tips, such as:

  • First, you’ll need to identify the right metrics for the right metrics. This is a simple process. 
  • You will also need to understand your competition in the marketplace.
  • Get to know who your competitors are and how your competition sells their wares. 

Then, you need to take the time to make the correct decisions. You can also consider a competent HR department that can walk you through the various components of your commission structure.

How to decide on a sales commission rate for your organization?

The right sales commission structure will help to keep your sales department operating at its best. This is especially true if you’re looking to attract the most talented salespeople. 

However, developing a plan can be difficult. A successful compensation program requires careful planning and constant tweaking.

It’s important to consider what your sales reps expect from their compensation and to make sure the plan is affordable. There are many ways to motivate your team, including monetary incentives, raises, and bonuses. 

Moreover, your company may also want to consider an activity-based approach to sales. These models tie your commission to specific activities, such as qualifying leads, securing demos, and closing deals. 

These points would help you to decide the sales commission for your organization. Ultimately, you need to streamline the plan to help your company reach the pinnacle of success. 

Types of Sales Commission Structures

Basically, there are different types of sales commission structures. Every commission structure has its advantages and disadvantages, so you should select the plan that best suits your needs.

Base salary plus commission

Using a base salary plus commission structure to motivate employees to sell more is a win-win. The benefits include providing a stable income, an incentive to improve productivity, and better budgeting for expenses. While there are many different pay structures out there, base salary plus commission is arguably the most popular.

The best part about the base salary plus commission structure is that it reduces the variable costs of operating a business. This means that businesses can better plan for expenses and forecast them more effectively. Also, the cost of customer acquisition is reduced, and this can result in more revenue for the business.

This does serve as an excellent motivator for salespeople, as it helps to reduce the variability in expenses. Therefore, it provides a predictable income to employees. 

Gross margin commission

Using a gross margin commission plan is a great way to reward your sales agents for closing deals. It also helps to inspire them to reach their sales quotas. The gross margin commission model considers not only the gross profit of a sale. Rather, it involves the expenses involved with the purchase of the product as well.

You may want to consider a commission plan that reflects your company’s values, as well as the idiosyncrasies of your team. If you are just beginning to build your sales team, the gross margin commission model may be a good choice.

One of the most common questions that come up is whether a commission should be paid out of the net revenues of a business. Often, companies will pay their sales reps at the end of the month or quarter. However, there are some cases when they have to wait until a client makes payment.

Draw against a commission

The draw against commission is one option for increasing income stability for your sales staff. It provides a steady paycheck and incentive to work harder. It can also act as a hedge against unexpected declines in earned commissions.

This is a type of incentive compensation that provides sales employees with a guaranteed amount of pay every month. It can be a useful tool when new hires are ramping up productivity. However, it can also become a debt if a rep fails to meet his or her goals for several months. So, one news to work on the cons to turn them into a favorable alternative.

Residual commission

Using the right commission structure can help you attract and retain the best sales reps. It should also support your company’s goals and objectives. In addition, it should be easy to maintain.

This type of commission involves paying a commission based on the value of the products and services sold. The residual commission model pays the sales representative as long as an account continues to generate revenue. Thus, it is most commonly used in agencies and consulting firms.

Revenue commission

Among the many functions, the Revenue commission is to collect and disburse the ad valorem taxes on Mobile County properties. The Commission also collects various license fees on vehicles and insurance premiums.

The most important function of the Commission is to collect and pay taxes. The proceeds are used for general purposes or for capital improvements. It is the job of the Commissioners to keep a good account of all disbursements. Moreover, they may also sue to recover money or property.

Tiered commission

Whether your sales team is small or large, a tiered commission structure can help you boost sales and increase performance. It rewards top sellers and encourages the rest of the team to reach their goals.

A tiered commission structure is a plan that pays salespeople a fixed percentage of their total sales based on the territory they work in. Moreover, this method of encouraging salespeople is not foolproof, but it can provide extra motivation. When your sales team hits its quota, the commission increases.

Bespoke commission

Putting together a successful sales team isn’t a solo sport. This is why you need a solid plan of attack. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to adopt a bespoke commission structure. Aside from ensuring your reps are properly rewarded for their efforts, this kink-free process is also a great way to promote internal camaraderie and cross-selling.

To ensure you’re on the ball, it’s a good idea to create an official document with the relevant details in hand. Moreover, a little research goes a long way. In addition to devising a bespoke commission scheme, you’ll want to make sure you’re well-versed in the latest in sales technology and best practices.

How to Choose the Best Sales Commission Structure?

Choosing the best sales commission structure for your team can make a big difference in terms of productivity and profitability. This is especially true if you are looking to hire top-performing salespeople. The right structure can also help your team keep their motivation levels up, which can help you increase your overall sales.

The most common type of commission structure is a base rate plus commission plan. This plan provides a base salary to the sales team, as well as a percentage commission. While this structure works for most businesses, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

In order to find a good sales commission structure, you should assess your goals and priorities. This includes determining what sales behaviors you want to encourage and what behaviors you don’t want to encourage. Moreover, it’s also important to consider the size of your team. If you have a small team, you may not have the resources to set up a complicated commission plan.


When evaluating a commission plan, it’s important to consider your company’s goals. What’s more, the size of your team and the industry it operates in will also play a role. 

Think about the common practices that salespeople use. How do they convince customers to purchase products or services? Are they able to close deals at a fast pace? And are they able to achieve a quota?

You should also take into consideration the number of territories you have and how much volume you’re selling. If you have a large team, you may want to choose a tiered commission plan. This allows you to create custom compensation strategies that align with your business goals. So, think before you take a leap.

About the author

Errik Morris

I'm Erik Morris, and I've been an affiliate marketer for more than 5 years now. I got my start in the industry by working as a publisher for a large CPA network. Over the years, I've learned a lot about how to succeed in affiliate marketing - particularly when it comes to building successful websites and driving traffic. These days, I work with different affiliate programs and try to equip my Affiliup readers with the latest affiliate programs. I'm always looking for new ways to help my readers get the output they deserve from this.

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