Outbound sales commission


Outbound Sales Commission

Whether you are an outsourcer or an in-house contact centre, if you are running an outbound sales team having a suitable commission scheme in place is essential. It makes targets real and incentivises the agent not only to achieve their targets but to drive through them.

There are a number of options available in setting these targets and commission schemes:

  1. Percentage commission: Decide what the overall needs of the project are in terms of sales, i.e. how much money will be needed to break even; over and above that figure will then determine how much a company is prepared to pay for commission. If the average break-even point is 30 sales per agent, then you may wish to pay 5% on 31 to 35 sales, 10% on 36 to 40 sales, and so on.
  2. Target on money: For every £500 worth of service or products sold, the agent receives say 1.5%.
  3. Set Targets: A fixed commission for certain levels of sales turnover or sales achieved, which means that the higher the sales performance the greater the amount of commission paid out.
  4. Team targets: In addition to the above examples you can have team targets which encourage agents within a sub group to earn extra commission. For example if team A achieves target X then they will receive YZ.

As agents are employed as salaried sales people then their job is to sell. Targets and commission provide that little extra incentive “the more you sell the more you earn”. However, the cautionary side of this is that commission plans will drive behaviour and you need to make sure that it drives the right behaviour.

Quality and cancellation

It is therefore important that you tie into your commission structure the quality score and cancellation rate element. If an agent has more than an acceptable level of cancellation, then commission can and will be clawed back as a salary deduction or non-payment of future commissions. With Quality/Compliance being high on every contact centre’s agenda, you need to make sure that your commission scheme is not counterproductive to your QA process. Here it would be normal to set the commission rate in line with the quality score the agent is receiving, ensuring that they are at least hitting the minimum requirement.

Other elements of the commission structure are the level of complaints generated by an agent in order to deliver an acceptable number of sales for the day. Some companies and clients expect 0% tolerance and some will accept a reasonable level of say 2.5% complaints, where anything above this will mean that the agent will not get paid for that sale.

As a whole, if all of the above elements are considered when creating a commission structure for agents then you can be sure that the very best of practices are being pursued to achieve the end goal for both the agents and the business.

Example sales commission structure

An example of a sales commission structure would be as follows:

  • Any sales achieved over 10 daily will generate £2 in commission for each sale above 10
  • If the team generates 50 sales then the agent gets an extra £0.50 per sale
  • A minimum of 90% or above compliance/quality for each sale generated
  • No higher than 5% cancellation rate


Carl Adkins, managing director at Infinity CCS

Author: Jonty Pearce

Published On: 14th Mar 2010 - Last modified: 16th May 2024
Read more about - Call Centre Management, , , , ,

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1 Comment
  • Hi,
    This Commission based payments sounds fair and good, but where can we find those telemarketing companies who can offer this methods?
    Would be happy for some info.

    David 1 Jul at 14:12