As Commission Structures Dwindle, How Are Salespeople Compensating?

Business, Sales | July 10, 2018 | 3 mins read

We are all fully aware that the sales business is no easy thing to master. By the end of this year, there will be more than 2 million salespeople working in wholesale and manufacturing alone, with retail, insurance, investments, and the healthcare industry employing even more.

When it comes to their total compensation, salespeople often have all kinds of special incentives such as expense accounts, prizes, bonuses, or company cars. Nevertheless, the bulk of their earning, with or without a salary, comes from commission. Period.

Commission Plans in the Medical Device World

From 2016 onward, the inflation rate in the US has risen annually by about 2%, on average. If things continue as predicted, this trend will continue to at least 2020. Salespeople, especially those in the cutthroat world of medical devices and diagnostics seem to be always complaining about the fact that they have to sell more products every year to remain at the same level, income wise.

The reason for this is somewhat self-explanatory. Commission plans in the medical device world rarely, if ever, increase. And for those unfortunate enough to not see a commission increase have to work 10 to 15 more hours a week to remain at the same income. It comes in addition to the already 60+ hours they put in, week in and week out.
How does this seem right?
As a direct consequence, many salespeople have turned to selling ancillary products on the side, somewhat like contractors for other companies. You’ve probably already heard about salespeople selling topical creams, PGx, metabolizers, etc.
By most standards, this is seen as a fire-able offense, but more and more reps are willing to take the risk, to recoup their lost revenue caused in large part by decreased commission plans or higher sales quotas.

Is This the Way to Go as a Salesperson?

It can be, but at a significant cost if it goes sideways. Don’t get me wrong, there are salespeople making MORE money selling on the side than they do at their own company. For them, it’s worth the risk, but for the majority of salespeople that isn’t the case.
The truth of the matter is the entire business world is changing, due in large part to the many technological innovations of the recent decades. Instead of looking for ‘part-time jobs’ or other such means of generating extra income, salespeople need to get ahead of the curve and make use of the technology that’s disrupting everything.
Why sell something else when you can sell more of what you already have… without getting fired?

Getting Ahead of the Curve

Trusting one’s gut was, and still is, an essential asset for every salesperson but it no longer is enough. In today’s world, salespeople can only remain relevant and competitive if they make use of computer-generated data and analytics, to better understand the market and the subtle changes that happen within it every single moment of every day.
In other words, every salesperson needs to become the “go-to guy/girl”- the person that has all the answers and the one who knows the deepest-most inner workings of the market. For all the knowledge and ‘street smarts’ that even the most talented rep has, this can only be achieved by making use of state of the art technology.


ProSellus is an easy-to-use mobile software app that will provide you and your entire sales team with the market analytics needed to thrive in this new-age world of sales.

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If you would like to learn more about ProSellus request your demo today or feel free to reach out to me directly:

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