A sales career may come in every size and shape. Each spot on a sales team is unique and features exciting prospects for the future. This is certainly true with commission sales jobs that involve commission sales compensation plans. This type of sales rep can rack up impressive stats that make a salary-only account manager a bit green with envy.

But what exactly is a commission sales job, and what are some of the advantages of pursuing this kind of job?

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What is a Commission Sales Job?

Commission sales reps occupy a job where a percentage of the payment is tied to the sales made in addition to a base pay amount.

These sales reps are found across retail, real estate, and finance industries.

The primary job of this kind of sales representative is to generate sales and build relationships with customers.

This will often involve cold calls to companies or individuals who might be interested in becoming clients.

The salesperson is responsible for cultivating interest, which may be accomplished through discovery by engaging the customers in conversation.

Next, the sales rep must try to match the products and services of their own business with the need of the customer. Product demonstrations may follow along with a sales quote.

Hopefully, the interaction ends with selling to the potential buyer.

Each of those steps takes time and effort. And the commission sales rep is getting paid less to do them unless they close the sales.

While that sounds like a disadvantage, it doesn’t necessarily have to be.

The salesperson is highly motivated to complete the sale. And the business is less in wages if the sale falls through or the salesperson is ineffective over time.

How Do 100% Commission Sales Jobs Work?

Since commission sales jobs have clear advantages, does that mean that commission-only sales jobs are even better?

In some applications, a commission-only payment structure makes sense and can benefit companies and sales agents positively.

Think of it as a tightrope walker performing without a net. It is possible. And the payoff is impressive when executed properly.

In this environment, a truly gifted sales representative can achieve success and earn higher commissions than in any other setting.

And if their contract features an uncapped commission, then the sky is the limit.

Of course, a commission-only sales position means no salary is attached, and compensation is only tied to the deals the sales rep can close.

This sales representative must possess a persistence and drive that lets him reach customers and decision-makers and convince them to purchase using their effective sales strategies.

However, most commission sales jobs follow a split system with a competitive base salary plus a commission on sales closed.

Potential Advantages of High Commission Sales Jobs

The average sales representative will be quite happy with a commission sales job that provides a base payment amount, which is the best of both worlds.

The rep gains some guaranteed money for living expenses while maintaining the prospect of additional compensation that high commissions can bring.

This arrangement is a good fit for many companies too. Additional cost factors like high wages paid to unproductive workers are minimized.

Providing a small base salary will help to reduce the threat of excessive turnover.

Consider some of the key benefits that a commission job provides.

Same Great Benefits

One aspect of commission jobs that might scare some people away is that they fear being taken advantage of by their employers. In other words, “working for free.”

Most companies value their sales staff and may offer the same benefits that full-time associates paid by salary receive:

  • Medical, vision, and dental effective from day one
  • Retirement plans with company match
  • Paid time off
  • Employee discounts

High Commission Potential

Commission sales positions often offer higher earnings potential than a traditional salaried job because the total compensation isn’t set in stone.

Some of the more competitive industries may offer uncapped commissions to sales agents.

These positions will likely be reserved for reps with a lot of sales experience and a proven ability to follow through on sales opportunities consistently.

Outstanding Customer Service

Commission-based sales jobs reward performance. The motivation to succeed is increased because the amount of pay is directly tied to closed deals.

This can push even entry-level sales reps to greater heights in selling for their company.

Personal Development

The drive to reach greater sales goals will not only push sales reps to achieve outstanding performance in the fast-paced world of sales but also nudge the sales rep to advance their soft skills.

Personal development can make a salesperson more effective at selling products and services.

Improved personality traits like persistence, organization, time management, and empathy place employees in a position where they can serve customers while marketing their products.

Work-Life Balance

Commission-based workers often find a work-life balance that others need to improve. This success is possible because commission work puts the reigns in the salesperson’s hands.

The sales representative decides if they will seek a hyper-motivated path to high commissions or part-time work that gives them time to manage family or other obligations.

The sales rep is firmly responsible for the potential of their success – no matter how they measure it.

Working Independently

Many sales professionals like a commission-based pay structure because it encourages greater independence and control over their sales strategies.

Sales reps may have their unique selling style or approach. As long as there are results, there will likely be few issues.

Work Remotely

Flexibility is every worker’s dream. A commission-pay contract is often flexible to a salesperson’s needs, and they may have the option to set their working hours.

The last few years have seen a surge in remote work, which has led to a change in the job scene. A business is more likely than ever to allow a commission-based sales professional to fill their position remotely.

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The Ideal Candidate for Commission Sales Jobs

When a business begins the hiring process to look for commission salespeople, they will identify the key points that make up the ideal candidate.

For example, a job description might indicate the business is looking for a salesperson with the following:

  • High school diploma or higher
  • Prior sales experience
  • Ability to sell in a particular industry
  • Proven sales strategies

While these job requirements are fine, they need to explain the kind of person that best fits the sales role. Here are some specific qualities that make a good commission-based sales agent.


Individuals must be motivated to succeed without the need for constant external incentives. Supervision may be minimal, so the salesperson must be able to internalize their motivations.

Strong Communication Skills

Commission sales require individuals who can effectively communicate with various customers. They must focus on relationship building and fully understand the potential client’s needs.

So, active listening is just as important as the ability to speak clearly and carry a conversation.

Problem-Solving Ability

Sales is an intricate dance between the salesperson and the buyer. Often, the buyer will present obstacles to the sales process that could threaten to derail the sale.

A good sales representative will see this as an opportunity to exercise their selling skills. They may still meet the client’s needs through persuasion and a careful review of the services offered.

Industry and Product Knowledge

A good sales rep will deeply understand the industry that makes up their sales market. Some fields may require that reps have a certain amount of technical knowledge.

Just as important is an agent knowing their product line to match the appropriate item to the interested party.

High commission potential comes to those who understand that making the customer happy is key to success. And knowledge is power in this case.

Positivity and Resilience

Having a positive attitude and maintaining resilience in the face of rejection are important traits.

Only some opportunities will result in a closed sale. Reps who understand this and take steps to learn how they can improve the next time will be able to bounce back more quickly.


In review, commission sales jobs are great positions for motivated and driven sales representatives. While there is some uncertainty due to a portion of their pay being tied to the sales they complete, most jobs provide a guaranteed base salary.

These commission sales positions can be a big motivator to the seller to provide the best customer service possible.

It pushes the salesperson to reach higher goals while letting them work in an independent environment that gives them a chance at greater harmony and happiness with work-life balance.

High commissions can be achieved by individuals who display the right qualities like self-motivation, problem-solving prowess, and resilience.

So, wait to wipe away the next job alert notification you receive for a commission sales job. Check it out!