Know Your Commissions: Tales from the Sales Team

by | Sep 8, 2021

In our Tales from the Sales Team series, we’ll cover actual concerns and questions from real salespeople about their paycheck and sales commission.

“How do I know what I’m getting paid for?”
– Lena, a telecommunications salesperson

Having just joined the company, Lena isn’t quite clear on how her commission earnings break down. Of course, the specifics of what she earned and how were part of her training documents. More than likely, she even signed some paperwork that outlined the company’s commission plan. However, the onboarding process was a blur as she had to learn the name of everyone on her large sales team and get to know the products she would be selling, so the details are now a bit fuzzy.

Don’t make your sales team hunt down the answers they need to figure out their sales commission earnings.

Now Lena’s got questions about the numbers she sees on her paycheck. Where are they coming from? How can she improve them? And what period of time do they represent?

Salespeople across industries — like  Lena — often have questions about their commission payments. That’s why it’s important for sales organizations to give their employees a simple way to answer these questions for themselves. Core Commissions can help with that by providing a platform that salespeople can access themselves along with a dispute management tool. But the organization needs to communicate to their team how, where, and who when it comes to understanding their commissions.


As we mentioned, when a new salesperson goes through an onboarding process, they absorb a lot of information. In order to make sure information sticks, it’s important to make it stand out somehow. Perhaps presenting the commission schedule and structure in a digestible chart could help a salesperson better picture their on-target earnings and how to exceed targets.

The resources provided to new employees should also be distributed in a way that they will last. Flimsy sheets of paper will get lost or destroyed. Perhaps creating a laminated document that can withstand accidental coffee spills or other incidents could allow salespeople to keep the resource handy for future reference. Although a document available on a shared drive would likely be the easiest option for most.

In addition to documents, management should also aim to reiterate the details of commission plans with their teams repeatedly. It should be something that’s discussed at a high level in sales meetings. More detailed conversations can also take place in one-on-one meetings with direct reports to ensure there’s a clear understanding of what they need to do to earn.

Sales Web Portal

Providing not only documents that salespeople can access digitally but also a portal that reports their progress can increase commission understanding. That’s where the Core Commissions sales web portal comes in.

Through this portal, every salesperson or payee may sign in to see how their efforts translate into commissions. They can review their progress over a period of time and narrow in on specific earnings. For instance, if a salesperson earns a commission on both software sales and sales of services, they can drill down on those types of sales to determine how much they’re earning there. They can also compare the two.

When salespeople have immediate access to this information, it helps them feel more secure in their earnings. They also gain a solid awareness of their earnings. However, that doesn’t mean they still won’t occasionally have questions or need clarification on their paycheck. In those cases, it’s wise to have a way to manage questions.

Dispute Management

Even with all the information about commissions at their fingertips, a salesperson may still have a question. If that happens, they should know exactly how to submit that question and to whom. That’s why Core Commissions offers a dispute management system.

While it’s still important for sales leadership to communicate the availability of this system to salespeople, it gives all employees a go-to destination with their questions. Through dispute management, payees may submit a question to the commission administrator. As the question is addressed and passed along to the appropriate parties, the payee gets progress updates. This helps keep the payee in the loop if it takes a little longer to get them an answer.

Overall, it’s important to make sure your employees understand their commission checks. There are tools that your organization can use to make that happen and Core Commissions can help. To learn more, contact us or set up a free demo. We look forward to helping you manage your commission plan.

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