How to plan a commission structure for your salespeople

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Published Date: March 19, 2023

How to plan a commission structure for your salespeople

How to plan a commission structure for your salespeople

What is a sales commission structure?

A sales commission structure describes how businesses reward their salespeople for their performance. Pay rates are often used in commission plans to provide salespeople with a feeling of financial stability. Others set a high standard on commission rates to encourage salespeople to work harder and achieve more.

Make sure to design your company’s structure so that commission benchmarks are achievable and sufficiently rewarding due to their direct impact on your reps’ potential income. 

Why is it important to plan the right commission structure for your salespeople?

The best sales commission structure wants to make sure that salespeople are fairly compensated and that their efforts are sufficiently rewarded. It also aids you in adhering to your budget by guaranteeing that you only pay for the income generated.

While enhancing your business’s profitability and sales operation sustainability, the right structure makes sure that your salespeople are motivated. Also, determining the right wage and commission share can help you hire and retain the greatest sales team for your company. 

So, you must decide on a suitable commission structure or a hybrid structure that perfectly suits your needs. And this decision ought to depend on all available resources and market factors, such as the available budget, the type and value of the offering, the size of the firm, the expectations of the employees, and the typical industry commissions.

The structure of sales commission arrangements cannot be regulated. What is beneficial for Business A can imply a miserable disaster for Company B.

How do you then design a commission system for your company that genuinely works? Following are some measures: 

Determine the priorities and objectives for the business.

Understanding your priorities and goals must be your first step. How can you persuade your representatives to undertake crucial behavior? You can choose the sales commission structure that best supports and enables your goals and priorities once you are conscious of them. 

Think about the roles and obligations. 

Secondly, consider the teammates and the duties assigned to them. For instance, the tasks and duties of sales managers and sales representatives differ. It is not realistic to reward them in the same method.

For this reason, you must select unique pay schemes for every position. Your employees will be fairly compensated for the work they perform.

While their tasks and goals vary, the optimum sales representative compensation differs among the levels of professionals in sales teams. For example, the sales manager would receive a greater commission rate than the per-sale commissions of individual salespeople since they continuously monitor the entire team. Also, the performance of the entire team, not even just individual sales, impacts the sales manager’s commission structure. 

Standard industry guidelines

Across industries, the competition to hire the top employees is getting fiercer. Salespeople seek the highest commissions possible in return for their work as a result. Hence, to draw in top talent, you need to offer a competitive commission. Also, you should make an offer that is on board with or greater than the average for your industry. 


Every sales team will remain enthusiastic and motivated using Rewards. Yet, commissions based on complicated calculations may surprise them! Hence, you must design the commission structure simple enough for your salespeople to understand. 

Cost of the offerings 

The commission rates are significantly impacted by the worth of the offerings. This is because negotiating high-value deals seems to pay off better than low-value deals. A higher commission may be needed for expensive products that are sold rarely but generate high income (specifically B2B). Low-value sales, on the opposite hand, can provide a lower and more consistent commission rate. 

Revenue growth 

The maximum number you can spend on commissions is governed by your profits. Your sales representatives drive and efficiency will drastically enhance when you allocate a part of their earnings to commissions. Indeed, making the primary of your income from commissions will decrease your earnings from each sale!

To figure out the profit margin required for your business to be sustainable, you must analyze the income earned. Then, to strike the ideal balance between profit margins and commission that motivates your salespeople, you must establish a commission rate accordingly. As a result, either your company or its sales representatives will benefit from rising profitability. 

Examine productivity levels

Your sales team probably has both high and low performers, like the rest of other firms. If so, think about adopting a tiered commission structure to reward your best sellers and motivate your subordinates to progress.

Money can be a wonderful motivation, as we have stated. Increase your reps’ commissions if they reach predefined milestones if you want people to close extra transactions. 

Think about the prior successes

Assessing past success is crucial when picking a sales commission structure. Analyze any historical info related to the commission structures that were in existence, and then ask your salespeople what they enjoyed and didn’t like about the new and old models. Figuring out what causes stress is just as important as understanding what motivates reps since you can avoid the same issues from occurring again. 

Perform OTE simulations 

OTEs, commonly referred to as on-target earnings, should be generated.

An OTE is the total sum of money you’ll give your salespeople when they hit a specific sales goal. It comprises base compensation in addition to commissions and incentives.

Are you capable of paying this amount? Is this amount comparable to the salaries paid to salespeople by other businesses in your sector? If one of these questions has a “no” response, you should rethink your sales commission structure. 


There is not a single optimum sales commission structure for every company, so you must properly investigate each alternative to discover which is best for you.

It’s vital to set up the right sales commission structure for your business. The appropriate strategy will stimulate your salespeople, boost their output and effectiveness, and even enable you in lessening your sales turnover rate.

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