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In this section
Golden Rules When Setting Commission Schemes
When introducing any new bonus or commission scheme, it is imperative that you insert the following, or similar, line into the commission scheme and the employee contract:
"The Company reserves the right at any time, in its absolute discretion, to vary the amount of commission payable and/or to vary the terms of the commission arrangements and/or to withdraw the commission arrangements in their entirety on giving you (number) weeks/months' notice".
I have known several companies get into complicated situations by not having this clause, which is pretty standard in any sales contract.
It's Not All About Money... Money, money
It is vital to retain your best sales talent. There is no denying that financial rewards aren't important for most sales professionals; however, it is not the only thing that is going to motivate your sales team. If commercial realities and sales are down, financial rewards are likely to be down. Therefore, it's time for you to get more creative. You can do tons of things for little or no money. Things like a personalised letter sent to your employee's home address or a well-chosen book with a personal inscription congratulating them on their recent 'big win' can be very powerful. You can read our blog post to learn more about motivating your salespeople!
Every Little Helps
Remember your work colleagues have a life outside of work too! They might enjoy spending their time watching a game of football, catching the latest superhero flick or just treating themselves and their family to a good meal. If you know what your employees like to get up to in their spare time, you will be able to create and provide smaller rewards that may not have a high financial value but show that you genuinely appreciate them. Providing these rewards helps increase motivation, team morale and ultimately productivity and sales.
When The Going Gets Tough
It's a pleasure to focus on numbers and numbers when things are going well. Though when times are tough, it is important to pay attention to individual performance and the specific KPI's to understand where things could be done better along the chain of the sales process to help improve and hone your sales team's skills.
You can then incentivise your team members to each design a training course on the element of the sales process that you want to improve and reward accordingly based upon the positive impact that this training delivers (either as individuals or as a team). If a sales professional is struggling with a particular aspect of the sales process, then get them to design a training course for your team in this specific area. At a subconscious level, this will significantly help them to improve their skills in this area and ultimately increase motivation - and output.
Tell The World... Or Just The Team Will Do
Many employees may feel that their hard work and hard-earned cash for the company goes unmissed by their managers and by other work colleagues. In several surveys (including the State of Sales in the UK), recognition and respect for the job they do are cited as the most important thing that sales professionals seek. Salespeople love public recognition and would thoroughly enjoy having a lunch in their honour, a poster in the employee newsletter or even just a thank you by the sales manager during a team meeting. Little cost but maximum impact!
A reminder of the Rules when Setting a Sales Commission Scheme
- Define the commission rate: Set the commission rate based on your sales goals and the effort required to achieve them.
- Set clear expectations: Make sure your sales team understand the commission rate and what it requires of them.
- Make sure it is fair: Make sure the commission rate is fair and reasonable for all of the sales team - the more commission they earn, the greater their sales numbers!
- Keep it simple: Keep the commission structure simple and easy to understand. Complicated commission schemes do not motivate.
- Review regularly and adjust if needed: Review the commission rate regularly to ensure it is still competitive and appropriate. Get a senior member of the non-sales team also to review and offer their opinion; Finance Directors are usually good at this!
- Document everything: Document the commission rate, goals, and expectations to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Any sales employer will come face-to-face with difficult times or complex moral or staffing issues at one point or another. Therefore, it is imperative to focus on the right things and the correct incentives so you can get the best out of your staff.
Commission schemes are important, but there isn't one scheme that should be used over another. It can hugely depend on the nature of your business and the industry you work within. However, never underestimate the power of simpler methods of gratitude for hard work, such as personally handwritten thank you notes, a bottle of Merlot or an all-expenses-paid dinner for your employee and their family.
For Further Reading, see the following article on Performance Related Pay - Creating a Link Between Pay and an Employee's Performance
Read More about Devising Sales Bonus Schemes
- How to Devise A Sales Commission Scheme
- The Most Common Sales Commission Schemes
- 10 Top Tips for Devising Sales Commission Schemes
- Video: Sales Commission Schemes
Published: 26th March 2021
Date published: 27th November 2022
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by Darren Dewrance
About the author
Darren spent six years in sales and field sales before joining the original sales recruitment specialist, Austin Benn, in 1998. After achieving the status of top consultant, out of about seventy at the time, Darren rose from Senior Consultant to Operations Manager of the commercial sector before leaving to join a London based Headhunter in 2003 before setting up Aaron Wallis with Rob in October 2007.
With a natural leadership style, Darren is an expert on putting his finger right on the heart of the problem. His natural commercial instincts have helped hundreds of employers make better recruitment decisions. Darren is married with two children, and when not at work or with his family, he likes nothing more than to be on the side of a river or a lake with a rod in his hand.
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Our employers say...
Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.
CEO, Friday Ad Online Services
Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.
Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd
I can't fault Sam or AW! Sam was a pleasure to work with and provided great support from the start. Sam always provided me with timely updates when required and provided outstanding candidates!
Director, Waste Managed Ltd
George is a rare find in the world of recruitment - communicative without being pushy or over-bearing. He listens and understands what the customer needs as gets to know the business to ensure he provides fully competent candidates who fit.
HR Manager, Big Dug
I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.
HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd
George is a joy to work with, and I'd recommend him to anyone seeking that unicorn hire - he found me mine, and I'm delighted!
Director, Education Support
George came recommended by a colleague and has been a pleasure to work with. He was great at updating us on his progress and ensured a great experience for both client and candidate.
HR Manager, Annapurna Recruitment Ltd
Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.
Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment
We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.
Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics
We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.
Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management
Generally good standard of candidates. Especially liked the personality profile. Overall good value for money and will certainly use you again.
Managing Director, Medicash
Thank you for your dedicated help during the recruitment process - we came to you after unsuccessfully searching elsewhere, and hired, not one, but two! Quick response times, and a really personal approach, without being pushy.
Managing Director, Accora Ltd
Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.
Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions
As always we were extremely impressed with Rob's understanding of the role and our specific needs.
Managing Director, Speck & Burke
In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.
Sales Manager, TR Fasteners
Sophie did a great job at understanding our business and our needs, she is extremely professional and we hugely benefitted from her experience and expertise.
HR Manager, The Data Privacy Group Ltd
I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!
Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd
Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.
Sales Director, Inside Business
I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.
HR Business Partner, Greene King
I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.
Managing Director, Leisuresec plc
Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.
Marketing Director, City of London Police
Very professional service and will certainly be in contact for future recruitment.
Director, Blakedown Sport & Play Ltd
I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.
HR and General Manager, THK
Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.
Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International
Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.
UK Sales Manager, Nexcom
I could not suggest anything I would like you to do better. The service you provided materially exceeded my expectations. I would especially like to commend Simon Bonner; he is easily the best recruitment consultant I have ever dealt with. I particularly valued his advice and guidance throughout the recruitment process.
UK Sales Manager, BTS Holdings Limited
Really good service. Just the right amount of contact and easy to deal with.
HR Manager, Zircon Software Ltd
Our candidates say...
Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.
S. Bartlett, Candidate
When talking with Simon you felt relaxed cared to help you find a position that suited your needs
D. Pinder, Candidate
Managed to get me placed within a week! Really friendly and easy to deal with. Always available for a call and my biggest challenge was I was in work at the time I was looking for my next opportunity (which is stressful) but Sam made that easy.
P. Fitzsimons, Candidate
Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with he was supportive really quick at replying and really put me at ease.
J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate
Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.
M. White, Candidate
George is a fantastic recruitment agent and provides a great service. It was a pleasure I thoroughly recommend George to anyone.
C. Beaugie, Candidate
Professional and responsive from start to finish. I would highly recommend. Special thanks to Sophie J for her help and support throughout.
N. Leney, Candidate
Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.
M. Crisp, Candidate
I have to say using Aaron Wallis Recruitment has been nothing but an absolute pleasure. I've used many agencies over the years as the client and the candidate and its not always been a pleasurable experience!
L. Knowles, Candidate
Sophie helped me secure a new role I have been searching for. She took her time to explain clear and concisely all I needed to succeed at the interview stage. Thanks again Sophie!
O. Oladejo, Candidate
The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.
L. Colagrossi, Candidate
The detail put into the preparation for interviews and the detail of the job description was first class. Rob and Simon in particular are amongst the best I've ever dealt with.
K. Peacock, Candidate
I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!
D. Burgess, Candidate
The staff at Aaron Wallis were fantastic. Throughout the process, they maintained excellent communication and I always knew where I stood.
M. Owusu, Candidate
Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)
K. Everitt, Candidate
Rob was really helpful when I was putting together a presentation for the second stage interview. Overall their communication was great and kept me updated of any progress
J. McGrattan, Candidate
I had a very good experience with Aaron Wallis. The company itself is offering great content for all things related to the hiring process. I definitely recommend.
J. Ostermeier, Candidate
Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.
R. Speakman, Candidate
George above and beyond to make sure I had everything I need to secure my new role. Outstanding Professional.
A. Kirkland, Candidate
Sophie has been fantastic and always so attentive, highly recommend.
T. Ashbourne, Candidate
Simon was knowledgeable on his clients history, background and what their requirements were and he worked around time zones, holidays and a pandemic to get the right result.
J. Tooze, Candidate
I had the absolute pleasure of working with George Humphries on finding a placement best suitable for me.
A. Van Der Mescht, Candidate
Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.
C. Hoy, Candidate
I would highly recommend Aaron Wallis Recruitment, Darren was extremely helpful and provided me with plenty of advice and support throughout the whole process.
D. Bretherton, Candidate
Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.
R. Buckley, Candidate
I had a great experience. Helped me every step of the way to get my new job. Sophie was very polite, kind and helpful!
J. Parnham, Candidate
Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with.
J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate
I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.
S. Akers, Candidate
Excellent experience. Knowledgeable staff and really went the extra mile. Found my ideal position and I couldn't be happier. Special shout out to Sam and George: who made the process smooth and easy for me. Highly recommend.
K. Pearce, Candidate
The most professional recruitment agency I've ever worked with. Robert Scott was extremely proactive and send me a detailed briefing before each interview, ensuring I was well prepared.
D. Bermant, Candidate
Darren at Aaron Wallis was really encouraging and helpful. He was very responsive and regularly made phone calls to explain the job opportunities available, and guided me through the application process.
A. Brown, Candidate
Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.
E. Heley, Candidate
A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!
A. Bauchet, Candidate
Friendly, proactive, communicative. Overall a really positive experience.
R. Houston, Candidate
Sophie contacted me about a role explained the details clearly and made sure I was ready for the interview. She kept in touch every step of the way till I started the job. Thank you Sophie for a great experience.
S. Powell, Candidate
Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.
C. Caine, Candidate
For anyone looking for work, I can't recommend Aaron Wallis highly enough.
C. Rockliffe, Candidate
George Humphries was a complete professional at every point, from our first phone conversation to his “good luck tomorrow” text on Sunday before I started in my new role.
E. Fry, Candidate
Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.
R. Sealy, Candidate
The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!
A. Callaby, Candidate
Very polite and friendly and was very helpful finding me my next new role.
K. Craggs, Candidate
Sam was by far the most professional and helpful of any individual I've ever dealt with through a recruitment agency. He was supportive and thorough throughout the process. He definitely goes the extra mile for you. A pleasure to deal with. I would highly recommend him. An asset to Aaron Wallis
M. Wyer, Candidate
I would highly recommend thank you to Darren for helping me secure my new job role! Excellent service all round!
G. Thompson, Candidate