by lingo
15 replies
Hey everyone,

I have just been speaking with a sales person that might be open to selling SEO for me on a commission basis ( no basic wage ), but they will be getting a commission on a monthly basis for the whole length of the clients contract.

Im stuck on what to offer for a commission.

I am targetting local based businesses here in the UK. My lowest package can be around £150 per month.

I was thinking 10%, but then thought that might not be much of an incentive to work on commission only.

What would you guys offer?
#commission
  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Remember, a salesman can do what he does without an SEO company in particular...but an SEO company cant do without a salesman.

    Which seems ironic at first glance when you think of what they do...However, it reasons out if you follow the thought process.

    Companies need salesman.

    30% is standard, or you can even do better if you feel you can. The more motivated your people the better, just make sure you tell them thatv their monthly residual is based on hitting their quotas too, or they will make a ton of money then not work for two months!

    Thats the danger of OVER paying, the danger of UNDER paying, is that they may not see enough light at the end of the tunnel to want to proceed.

    30% is standard, again.
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    • Profile picture of the author sallan
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post


      30% is standard, or you can even do better if you feel you can. The more motivated your people the better, just make sure you tell them thatv their monthly residual is based on hitting their quotas too, or they will make a ton of money then not work for two months!

      Thats the danger of OVER paying, the danger of UNDER paying, is that they may not see enough light at the end of the tunnel to want to proceed.

      30% is standard, again.
      I have been thinking of commission structures as well. Just to clarify do you mean 30% once off or 30% monthly for the life of the contract?
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      • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
        Originally Posted by sallan View Post

        I have been thinking of commission structures as well. Just to clarify do you mean 30% once off or 30% monthly for the life of the contract?
        Well what are you selling?

        What price are you selling for?

        Does the rep need to do everything to get the sale or are you providing leads for them to call/sit?

        What are you thinking of paying?

        Then we can tell you.

        Dan

        eg Lingo is up a creek without a paddle. I can tell him that right now.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by sallan View Post

        I have been thinking of commission structures as well. Just to clarify do you mean 30% once off or 30% monthly for the life of the contract?
        I will leave that for you to decide. If it were me I would give them 30% for contract life and make them the account manager.... Because I wouldnt have the customer without them in the first place.
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    • Profile picture of the author lingo
      Thank you for such an awesome reply.

      The thing is that im not coming from a place where I am trying to squeeze every penny i can out of the arrangement, but more to find a balance where the sales guy stays motivated but then im not over paying where it might cause problems as you have mentioned.

      Thanks again.

      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Remember, a salesman can do what he does without an SEO company in particular...but an SEO company cant do without a salesman.

      Which seems ironic at first glance when you think of what they do...However, it reasons out if you follow the thought process.

      Companies need salesman.

      30% is standard, or you can even do better if you feel you can. The more motivated your people the better, just make sure you tell them thatv their monthly residual is based on hitting their quotas too, or they will make a ton of money then not work for two months!

      Thats the danger of OVER paying, the danger of UNDER paying, is that they may not see enough light at the end of the tunnel to want to proceed.

      30% is standard, again.
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  • Profile picture of the author RD Phoenix
    If you are able to generates leads for them to try and close you can offer them less commission, but if they are doing all the lead gen, cold calling and grunt work i would expect to pay them higher commission.
    If you try to have upsells that might encourage the sale team more too.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    The caveat is, of course, he who controls the customer relationship controls the whole deal. If I am bringing in the customers, maintaining the relationship, etc... the I am the one who is actually "in the SEO business" and I am simply contracting the work out the back end - and I may or may not be interested in you as a resource over the long-term. And you can't really do anything about it, because I am the one with the relationship, so I can simply direct the business to wherever I want it to go.

    Think through your game.
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    • Profile picture of the author sallan
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      The caveat is, of course, he who controls the customer relationship controls the whole deal. If I am bringing in the customers, maintaining the relationship, etc... the I am the one who is actually "in the SEO business" and I am simply contracting the work out the back end - and I may or may not be interested in you as a resource over the long-term. And you can't really do anything about it, because I am the one with the relationship, so I can simply direct the business to wherever I want it to go.

      Think through your game.
      I agree there is a risk of sales staff taking clients, however I think it is a small one if you have a good recruiting process.

      I have worked in sales for the better part of a decade, both for myself and for other companies. In that time I have only seen 2 instances of this and both of these times the person involved was not very successful at taking clients.

      I think many sales people enjoy the challenge and rewards of a sales role but don't have the patience or skills to put in the time and effort required to build a successful business.

      If they do though, it is your job to have built brand trust with your client and be providing them with great service so there is little incentive for them to leave. If you have not done this, then the reality is you would probably lose their business sooner or later anyway.

      SEO and marketing in general are businesses with a low entry barrier, so competition will always be high.

      In industries like this, intelligent branding and great a customer experience are essential. Remember if you have already shown a business that you deliver results that is a powerful thing. It is big risk for a business to walk away from a marketing strategy that is working and replace it with an unproven one.
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      • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
        Originally Posted by sallan View Post

        I agree there is a risk of sales staff taking clients, however I think it is a small one if you have a good recruiting process.

        I have worked in sales for the better part of a decade, both for myself and for other companies. In that time I have only seen 2 instances of this and both of these times the person involved was not very successful at taking clients.

        I think many sales people enjoy the challenge and rewards of a sales role but don't have the patience or skills to put in the time and effort required to build a successful business.

        If they do though, it is your job to have built brand trust with your client and be providing them with great service so there is little incentive for them to leave. If you have not done this, then the reality is you would probably lose their business sooner or later anyway.

        SEO and marketing in general are businesses with a low entry barrier, so competition will always be high.

        In industries like this, intelligent branding and great a customer experience are essential. Remember if you have already shown a business that you deliver results that is a powerful thing. It is big risk for a business to walk away from a marketing strategy that is working and replace it with an unproven one.
        Agreed.

        But then again, the guy going out and getting the direct sales at the small business level is generally the owner of the company to begin with. That's why technical people are notoriously poor marketers, and end up pairing with a talented sales person.

        ie Woz & Jobs
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by sallan View Post

        I have worked in sales for the better part of a decade, both for myself and for other companies. In that time I have only seen 2 instances of this and both of these times the person involved was not very successful at taking clients.
        Same here. I have seen it a couple of times, but they werent very successful... There are exceptions but thats business.

        On a more shocking note I dont know what colleges these people are going to who constantly want to argue with proven concepts...

        But in the real world on the planet where JD and most other earthlings come from, "account manager" is practically a household word in big business.

        It gets draining arguing mute points Sallan. thats why I didnt take any further, but yes , I agree, its basic fundamental business that not every business owner in the world manages his own accounts.... It would be aweful hard to grow if they did. For that matter why trust ANYONE you work with?

        Risk is a fact of life, and having account managers is standard business practice last time I checked.

        Not saying this poster in particular, but some people would argue with God himself, certainly if you cant see the facts that are glaringly obvious to everyone on the planet, (for instance, that big business uses telemarketers, or that millions of business owners have account managers...) then I dont know how you can teach me any "secrets" .
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  • Profile picture of the author P1
    Would 30% AND residual income be best or giving 30% and a residual make the commission go lower?
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    It depends on your operating system. Mine is karma and the law of sowing and reaping, so thats what works for me. I do it with my own balance.You can measure your business any way you want to , or structure it to facilitate different things...
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  • Profile picture of the author EnzoBlaque
    Well that all comes down to how much of your own money you want to give away.

    I think 10% is highly justifiable. Especially if you are offering 10% of the entire SEO contract. I can't imagine someone settling for 10% of just an upfront fee. and If they do, I doubt they'll approach the work they do for you with much conviction and enthusiasm.

    It's simple really. If you want to give away a piece of your earnings in the form of commission payments, then you'd have to raise the price of your services. It has to be worthwhile to both you and your sales guy or else you'd both be wasting your time, with little reward for your efforts.

    I'd go with 10%. But make sure your price is high enough to keep both yourself and your hired help satisfied.
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  • Profile picture of the author HAdrian1239
    I can't believe some people are balking at the concept of an account manager and actually paying good sales people what they're worth so they stick around and are loyal to you...

    There comes a point where you have to decide to work on your business, instead of IN it... and that is when having account managers and heck, even a trusted life manager or personal assistant can do wonders...

    I live in SoCal... a good PA is priceless, and everyone knows how to act around them... they have doors open to them that almost no one else has... I know because I AM one, albeit informally for someone out here.. (family) and the amount of trust and control I have just by our relationship and people knowing what my basic position is... is awesome, and it allows said person to not have to think about things they shouldn't have to.

    Do you think Trump manages every single RE transaction? Branson? Cuban? Allen? Cowell? The list is endless.... No, they don't. They're smart enough to know what's going on around them and not totally check out... but they realize that in order to really work it... you have to let go, and build a good team.

    Easier said than done in moments... but... not the point.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Again hadrian, there is a whole group of people here who seem to work harder at dismantling the simple concepts that are actually putting sales in people pockets around here, than they are dedicated to even helping their own group make actual sales.

    They end up for months on end "thinking their game through", while people like you already have 10 warm leads and are learning while you run.

    Im out, like I said, these things arent worth my time anymore, Im a pro trainer with a track record. I would rather help someone like you get their first phone sales than argue with a bunch of nonsense.

    Originally Posted by P1 View Post

    Would 30% AND residual income be best or giving 30% and a residual make the commission go lower?
    Perhaps 15% on the back end is fair, but by all means be good to them, they are your front line. You get what you want, when you help enough others get what they want.

    What everyone wants is a realistic chance to earn what they deserve. Far be it from me to scoff at paying a man who brings me a sale I wouldnt have had otherwise.
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