Sales reps are the lifeblood of a company’s efforts to sell its products and services. The vital tasks they perform in the sales process means that you should hire commission only sales reps that meet your sales goals.

One particular part of a sales force that’s especially important is commission only sales reps. How can these specialized salespeople add value to your company?

What are Commission Only Sales Reps?

Commission sales professionals work to close deals with all of their pay tied to the sales made without a base salary.

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

The primary duties of this kind of sales representative are:

  • Generate sales and build relationships with customers
  • Cold-calling companies or individuals who might be interested in becoming clients
  • Cultivating interest by engaging the customers in conversation to determine needs
  • Match the products and services of the business with the need of the customer
  • Provide product demonstrations and sales quotes

Each of those steps takes time and effort. But the commission sales rep is only getting paid when they convert leads into sales.

That might make some salespeople nervous, but it’s okay.

Commission-only salespeople are highly motivated to complete the sale. The business is less in wages if the sale falls through or the salesperson is ineffective over time.

Why Hire Commission-Only Sales Reps?

Commission-only salespeople earn money only when the sales cycle ends in a closed deal.

Sales managers looking to scale their business quickly or avoid risk may choose this commission strategy for their sales reps.

True, commission-only and salaried salespeople have a lot of similarities. In spite of both sales professionals focusing on keeping the sales pipeline flowing with new buyers. But there are differences too.

Salaried salespeople are an expensive risk for a company:

  • Paying an employee without the hoped-for return in closed sales
  • Spending a large amount of time trying to motivate salaried salespeople and incentivize them to greater effort
  • Paying more in taxes for salaried staff and employee benefits

On the other hand, commission-only sales professionals can be hired without a large increase in payroll.

It costs you the same amount to hire the top three commission-only sales reps discovered in a hiring campaign as it does to hire only the top one.

So, many businesses will view it as an opportunity to hire multiple sales reps at once.

The company is one of many to benefit from a commission-only structure, and this payment method can give sales reps unlimited earning potential.

It also offers greater flexibility. The sales rep sets the pace for what work they are willing to put in.

Can 100% Commission-Based Sales Reps Compete In Today’s Market?

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

In this environment, top performers can achieve success and earn higher commissions than in any other setting.

Top reps can negotiate contracts featuring an uncapped commission. The sky is the limit when it comes to potential earnings.

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.

A sales representative must possess persistence and drive. They use their sales skills to reach customers and decision-makers and convince them to buy.

While most commission sales jobs follow a split system with a competitive base salary plus a commission on sales closed, sales reps should consider the benefits of a commission-only job opportunity.

How to Hire Commission-Only Sales Reps

You can attract commission-only sales candidates to your company with an effective plan and plenty of preparation.

Consider some key ways you can succeed in your hiring process.

Examine Your Online and Offline Presence

Giving attention to your online presence will inspire confidence in your company as candidates search for relevant information about your business.

Your company’s website and social media profiles should be regularly updated and well-maintained.

The offline presence that your company projects is important as well. A pleasant office environment is important for keeping you and the salespeople you hire happy.

Hire In-House or By Using an Outside Sales Agency

Most hiring managers will choose one of two methods of finding sales candidates – performing the hiring functions themselves or using a third-party agency to improve their search.

When hiring in-house, be strategic in the resources you use. Job boards can be a good source of leads.

Take care not to limit yourself too much. Therefore, the greater the exposure a job opportunity has, the greater interest will be generated.

Target the specific type of sales rep you are looking for – like commission-only sales professionals – by using select keywords in your job listing.

Use various social media platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. – to advertise for your open position.

This can reach independent sales professionals who are not actively looking for a new sales position but would be a perfect fit.

Commission Structure

Many compensation methods can be used to pay sales reps. Of course, the goal with commission-only sales representatives is to simplify the commission structure with no base salary.

There are many benefits to this structure for both businesses and sales reps.

It reduces the risk for a company because the pay is based on results.

Commission-only sales reps like this compensation because it often means a higher percentage of commission and keeps them motivated.

Other viable commission plans may make sense in certain situations. A small base salary may be a means to entice more interest in your commission-only job.

The draw-against-commission compensation structure allows salespeople to get paid against future sales, basically borrowing against their future success.

Whatever method you choose, when hiring commission-based candidates, make certain they fully understand the details.

Be open and honest about the pay and seek regular feedback from the sales team to see what’s working and what’s not.

Sales Team Size

Give attention to the size of your sales team. With the addition of more commission-based sales reps, you can ensure that the sales cycle is a manageable factor for your business growth.

Commission-based salespeople can turn over quickly. Taking care during the hiring process may limit this, but you can avoid downtime by keeping multiple sales reps working simultaneously.

Recruiting Sales Reps

When hiring salespeople, be smart about what you are looking for in new employees.

If they can’t sell your products and services, they won’t make money, and neither will your company.

Give appropriate attention to sales experience and ensure that they have soft skills that will provide an overall improvement to your sales team.

Soft skills are essential abilities that mean they will excel at any employment opportunity:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Able to handle rejection with a positive attitude
  • Ability to handle stress
  • Confidence and persistence
  • Reliability and conscientiousness

Potential hires should be evaluated for fit into the current sales team and the company’s culture.

After Hiring the Best Salespeople

New sales representatives should be closely monitored until they have a proven track record with your company.

Make sure to leave sales reps floundering and feeling lost. Consider providing ongoing training to candidates as they become acquainted with selling for your company.

Have informed conversations on their progress toward sales goals and give regular feedback and commendation.

Make sure your company supports a healthy work environment for new employees that you hire.

If commission sales reps need help making sales, it may lead to discouragement. When discouragement goes unchecked, it can lead to disengagement and turnover.

Providing extra incentives to sell may keep them in their sales role until they find their stride.


Commission sales jobs are great opportunities for many salespeople who are motivated and self-driven.

While there is some uncertainty due to their pay being tied to the sales they complete, the payoffs can be outstanding.

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

It pushes the salesperson to reach higher goals while letting them work in an independent environment.

It gives them a chance at greater harmony and happiness with work-life balance as they set their own pace.

High commissions can be achieved by individuals who display the right qualities like positivity, confidence, and resilience.

Find out what commission-only sales reps can do for your company today!