Business Development · Business Strategy

Comission based business development

Aarif Qureshi Cofounder

Last updated on May 3rd, 2018

Is it possible to create the remote business development/sales team on commission basis?

How to fix the commission and manage the remote sales team?


I am from IT business so my question is regarding IT industries. (Web and Mobile app development).



Bob Fucci Sales and Revenue Growth, Strategy, Advisor, Speaker

May 3rd, 2018

In my opinion, the answer is no. We all know how competitive enterprise sales is and how many barriers and objections sales teams need to overcome to win the business. Commission-only sales people, in general, have much less invested in you because you have nothing invested in them. At the first sign of rejection the vast majority of reps will abandon the sales effort. The real risk for your company Aarif is not only are you not selected for a specific opportunity, but you don't gain any insight into the decision criteria, key players, etc. that would enable you to compete more effectively.

Marian M Interdisciplinarian. Bayesian. Probably optimist.

May 3rd, 2018

Not enough information. Which industry are you in? Where do you want to sell? Through which channels? What are common business practices now? What incentives do you offer? How competitive is the landscape? ... There is a lot of information missing to provide a meaningful answer ...

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

May 3rd, 2018

This is not an uncommon question, even for non-IT people. Often, the skills to get up everyday, call people you do not know, and convince them to buy something they do not know they need or want, is a significantly undervalued skill. If your space has leaders that have already validated a market for the technology you have is important, lowering resistance, then it is easier. However, if you are in a wholly new space with a wholly untested product, that has not yet validated its importance, commission only will get you what you pay for; very little. Understand a sales-driven organization rarely succeeds if fundamental product/market fit is bad. A common IT-driven organization issue is to miss well researched marketing before hiring a sales team. Do not mistake that marketing is advertising; marketing strategy is more fundamental to the business than technology is because the tech will change. If you are trying to sell to a space that does not understand what you do, what problem you really solve, and why you are better than the alternatives (all fundamental marketing messaging) then you may not be able to give it away. And a company car will not change that. I also caution you on remote sales teams if you do not have a core leader, one you trust, sitting there every day. Sales can give you some of the most critical feedback for your product, but that is a conversational relationship, not an email relationship.

Marian M Interdisciplinarian. Bayesian. Probably optimist.

May 3rd, 2018

@Aarif Qureshi: An incentive could be a company car or big bonuses for acquiring special (big) clients. If this is an app you own you may also consider affiliate marketing (for example, take a look at www.mobrand.com and similar service providers). It is hard to say, though, what might work even with your updated information. I needed more context.


@Bob Fucci: I successfully worked with commission agents several times over as they are very common in a wide range of industries such as financial services, real estate, medical devices, media and many others. Of course we always have a very close relationship with our agents, we provide up-dated information and help where and when we can. But this form of selling is widespread across many sectors.

Aarif Qureshi Cofounder

Last updated on May 3rd, 2018

Hi Marian, I just updated the question. For incentive I am not sure. I want to ask what should be the right incentive.? Should it be based on the project size or budget?