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  • Writer's pictureSsemujju Lewis E

How Are Sales Professionals Paid

For every professional, monetary compensation is always at the back of their mind when going into a job. Salespeople are not any different. Compensation sounds so much whenever the topic of salespeople getting paid comes up.

In sales, there are various ways you can be paid, and the pay structure will vary based on the company you work for, what you are selling, who you are selling to, and other factors.

How you are paid is important because it determines your motivation to do the work. It's a cornerstone for negotiations if an opportunity ever came up. A salesperson's contract could determine whether they earn an uncapped amount based on how good of a salesperson you are and how successful you are at executing your employer's sales goals.

So, how are Salespeople paid?


Some salespeople love this, while others do not. A commission is a compensation that's earned based on job performance. When you agree to a commission-based role or commission structure (often by signing an agreement), you agree to be paid a certain amount of money that’s dependent on hitting some goal—goods sold, meetings closed, hires placed.

It is perfect for some because it is flexible and pushes you to work for how much you really want. Others prefer to avoid this because seasons are different, and sales or closures vary depending on trending.

2. Salary

A salary is a regular payment by an employer to an employee for employment expressed either monthly or annually. Therefore, the amount a salesperson earns is determined prior and is paid as specified by duration. The good thing about a salary is that it is not dependent on how successful your selling was during a given period. On the other side of the river, there is no incentive to excel, and it is easy to become complacent about your job. A great salesperson may also realize he/she could earn more with a commission-based structure.

3. Salary with bonus

A consistent income is a comfortable option, and an additional bonus is always welcome. This is one of the most reliable pay structures in the sales world. An employee who agrees to this method of compensation will receive a pre-determined salary each pay period. At specific interval(s), an employee will also receive an additional bonus if performance hits or exceeds earning goals.

4. Salary with commission

This is the most common form of compensation in sales. Salespeople have a regular pre-determined salary, and commission is earned based on the number of sales achieved during your pay period. Top performers will be able to increase their income, and pay is somewhat based on performance.

5. Variable Commission

This is similar to the commission-only structure, with the variation that the commission rate goes up and down depending on whether sales goals have been exceeded and by how much. The more they sell, the more you make. There is sometimes an emphasis on quantity over quality, meaning that customer satisfaction may not be a priority for your employer. The one con is that how much money you bring home can be difficult to gauge. It is highly irregular.

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