Dear SaaStr: How Do I Motivate a Sales Team Working Commission Only?

It is really, really tough.

While I am sure there are examples of “1099 reps” that have done extremely well, I haven’t seen it work in SaaS.

Pay the reps at least a small base salary, with a large commission. It’s what folks are used to. Otherwise, they sort of drift off when they don’t get a big commission check the first week or two …

The reality is, almost anyone working “commission only” basically tries a few times, and if it’s too hard, gives up and moves on.  They just don’t see the money coming after that.

If you’ve ever worked with a contingent recruiter, you’ll see this.  They’ll get you 8-10 candidates fairly quickly.  But if you don’t want to hire any of them, they drift away.

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