The Secrets of Incentivising Your Sales Team: How to Structure a Commission Scheme for Success

As a SaaS business owner, you know that your revenue generation capability is the backbone of your company’s success. It is imperative to have a motivated and empowered team to drive sales and generate revenue for your business. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by having a well-structured commission scheme.

A commission scheme is a crucial component of any sales team’s rewards and recognition structure. It incentivises salespeople to work harder and sell more, and it aligns their goals with those of the company. A well-designed commission scheme should be fair, transparent, and easy to understand, and it should motivate salespeople to exceed their targets.

This article will explore the various types of commission schemes and how they can drive sales and increase revenue. We will also discuss the benefits of having a well-structured commission scheme, including improved motivation and productivity, better alignment of sales goals with business goals, and increased transparency and fairness.

So, whether you are just starting out with your SaaS business or are looking to improve your existing revenue generation capability, this article will provide valuable insights and guidance on why a well-structured commission scheme is key to success and leave you with a framework to get your moving forward.

5 Key Pitfalls to Avoid When Developing Your Commission Scheme:

Developing a commission scheme for a SaaS business can be a complex process that requires careful consideration. While a well-structured commission scheme can drive sales and increase revenue, a poorly designed scheme can have the opposite effect and demotivate your sales and revenue generation teams. To avoid these issues, it is important to know some common pitfalls when developing a commission scheme. Here are some key issues to avoid:

  1. Complexity: Commission schemes that are too complex and difficult to understand can lead to confusion and frustration among salespeople. The scheme should be easy to understand and transparent, with clear goals and metrics for measuring success.
  2. Lack of fairness: Commission schemes should be fair and equitable, with a clear and consistent structure for calculating commissions. This can help to build trust and reduce resentment among salespeople.
  3. Insufficient motivation: A commission scheme that is not motivating enough can lead to a lack of enthusiasm and a decrease in sales. The scheme should provide adequate incentives for salespeople to exceed their targets and drive sales.
  4. Inadequate alignment with business goals: The commission scheme should align with the business goals and objectives, encouraging salespeople to focus on the right activities and outcomes.
  5. Inflexibility: Commission schemes should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in the market and the business. This can help ensure the scheme remains relevant and effective over time.

By avoiding these common issues, you can develop a commission scheme that is effective, fair, and motivating and supports the success of your SaaS business.

Top 5 Types of Commission Schemes Used in the SaaS Industry

There are several different types of commission schemes that can be used by SaaS businesses to drive sales and increase revenue. These are some of the most common commission schemes used in the SaaS industry:

  1. Straight Commission: Salespeople are paid a fixed percentage of each sale. This scheme is simple and easy to understand and provides a clear incentive for salespeople to drive sales.
  2. Draw Against Commission: Salespeople are given an advance on their commissions and are required to repay it from their future sales. This type of scheme can be effective in motivating salespeople to achieve their targets and earn a higher commission.
  3. Commission with a Base Salary: Salespeople receive a fixed salary in addition to a commission on their sales. This type of scheme provides a steady income for salespeople and helps to reduce the financial risk associated with a straight commission scheme.
  4. Tiered Commission: Salespeople are paid different commissions for different levels of sales. This type of scheme can be effective in motivating salespeople to exceed their targets and drive higher levels of sales.
  5. Group Commission: Sales teams are rewarded for achieving certain sales targets collectively. This type of scheme can help to foster a sense of teamwork and collaboration among salespeople, encouraging them to work together to achieve the best results.

These are just a few of the most common schemes used by SaaS businesses. Each type of commission scheme has its strengths and weaknesses, and the right scheme will depend on the specific goals and objectives of the business.

By selecting the right commission scheme and implementing it effectively, SaaS businesses can drive sales and increase revenue while motivating and empowering their sales teams to achieve success.

How to Develop and Implement a Commission Scheme

Developing a commission scheme is difficult; getting it wrong can greatly impact your business. To help demystify developing a commission scheme, here is our framework to get you started and give your revenue teams the best chance of success:

  • Define clear sales targets that your revenue generation team will work towards. These targets should align with your overall business goals and consider your sales cycle, the size of your average deal, and the number of salespeople on your team.
  • Determine the commission rate that will be applied to each sale. This rate should be commensurate with the level of difficulty involved in making the sale and should provide sufficient motivation for salespeople to exceed their targets.
  • Create a tiered commission structure that rewards salespeople for reaching different levels of sales. This can provide additional motivation for salespeople to drive higher levels of sales and increase revenue.
  • Define eligible products or services for commission and any restrictions or limitations that may apply.
  • Establish clear and consistent rules for calculating commissions, including how the commission rate will be applied, how sales will be credited to individual salespeople, and how the commission will be paid.
  • Communicate the commission scheme to your sales team, including any changes or updates. Make sure that salespeople understand how the scheme works, what they need to do to earn commission, and what the benefits are.
  • Monitor and evaluate the scheme regularly to ensure it works as intended. Make adjustments to ensure the scheme remains effective and relevant and communicate any changes to your sales team.

This framework ensures that a scheme is effective, fair, and motivating and that it supports the success of the revenue generation team. Remember that a commission scheme is a dynamic tool that should be reviewed and adjusted as needed to ensure that it remains effective over time.

Key Business Benefits of a Successful Commission Scheme

There are several key benefits that SaaS businesses can achieve if they implement a well-structured and successful commission scheme:

  • Increased sales: A well-structured commission scheme can provide strong incentives for salespeople to drive sales and increase revenue. This can lead to higher levels of sales and a more successful business overall.
  • Higher retention of top sales talent: Commission schemes can provide financial incentives for salespeople to stay with the company and continue to drive sales. This can lead to higher retention of top sales talent, reducing turnover and the associated costs and disruption.
  • Improved team collaboration and motivation: They can foster a sense of teamwork and collaboration among salespeople, encouraging them to work together to achieve the best results. This can improve morale and motivation, leading to a more engaged and productive sales team.
  • Better alignment with business goals: By tying sales commissions to specific targets and goals, businesses can align their sales efforts with their overall business strategy, resulting in a more focused and effective revenue generation effort.
  • Increased transparency and accountability: Commission schemes can provide a clear and transparent method for tracking sales and calculating commissions, improving accountability and reducing the potential for misunderstandings and disputes.

These benefits can contribute to a more successful and sustainable business over the long term and help you build revenue generation capability.

Need Help to Get Started?

If you are a SaaS business looking to develop a successful commission scheme, Ellivate Consulting can help you get started. Our team of experts has extensive experience in developing and implementing commission schemes for businesses of all sizes and in a variety of industries. We can help you define your sales targets, determine the right commission rate, create a tiered commission structure, establish rules for calculating commissions, and monitor and evaluate your scheme over time.

Whether you are just starting out or are looking to make changes to an existing commission scheme, Ellivate Consulting can help you achieve your goals and support the success of your revenue generation team. Contact us today to learn more about our services and to get started on the path to a successful and sustainable commission scheme.

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