Five Common Commission Scheme Mistakes

Want to roll out a rewards scheme that drives results? Avoid these widespread mistakes. Let’s find out more.

At Konquest, rewards programmes are what we do. We know that a great rewards scheme can motivate your consultants, improve your company culture and boost your bottom line. But we often see companies not making the most of this opportunity. 

In this article, we’ll lay out five commission scheme mistakes we regularly see agencies make. 

1 – No consideration for the person managing it

This is a mistake we often see at smaller agencies (by the time you’ve grown to 100+ heads, you’ve already discovered and fixed the problem). It’s that the person who decided how the commission scheme would work isn’t the person responsible for running it.

When they start the agency, the founder tries to reinvent the wheel and creates an intricate commission scheme full of complex rules. But then, they hand it over to the Finance Manager to run it, and it causes nothing but stress.

2 – Lack of visibility

So often, we see agencies where the consultants don’t know what they’re going to earn until just before they get paid. Sometimes, they don’t find out until the money’s in their account! It’s not ideal, making it difficult for them to plan their finances. It can also look like there’s something murky going on.

Keeping your consultants in the dark like this is so outdated. Right now, tech can provide on-demand visibility into your commission in real-time. When a placement qualifies, the consultant should be able to see exactly how they’re going to benefit and what they need to do next to hit their goals.

If you can achieve this visibility, your consultants will be more motivated and less stressed, in a culture of inclusivity and transparency.

3 – Lazy commission scheme designing

This is a mistake we see a lot from early-stage recruitment founders, who decide to implement the exact same commission scheme they had when they were a consultant at their last employer. 

While it’s nice to go with what you know, unless the new agency has the same characteristics as the previous agency, it’s unlikely to be a good fit.

It’s OK to take inspiration from something you felt worked well in the past, but don’t import something wholesale without thoroughly reviewing whether it will work for you.

4 – Playing favourites

Some agencies decide that rather than risk upsetting their top billers or longest-serving consultants by putting them on a new commission scheme, they let them stay on the old system and move everyone else.

There are two reasons why this is a bad idea:

  • It makes things harder to manage. Do you really think your Finance Manager wants to run two commission spreadsheets?

  • When everyone else finds out that some people are getting preferential treatment (and trust me, they will), you’ll have some very unhappy campers on your hands

Don’t play favourites. Instead, design a commission programme that rewards everyone fairly.

5 – Setting your commission scheme in stone

Our final mistake is when agency owners or finance managers, after spending a long time devising and rolling out a new commission scheme, decide it’s job done and don’t look at it again for years. If you discover any unforeseen problems with your rewards programme, fix them. Don’t bury your head in the sand.

In fact, you should proactively look for ways to improve your programme. This is especially appropriate if your business goals change over time. Why be stuck with a scheme that used to work, when you can have one that works now? Be adaptable to ensure you’re always incentivising the right behaviours and staying competitive.

Find out more from Konquest

Now you know about these five common commission scheme mistakes, you can avoid making them yourself.

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