When it comes to ensuring that your digital marketing sales team is firing on all cylinders, chances are that you’ll be looking to take a proactive approach. All too often, we assume that teams working on commission based pay structures have all the incentive they need to reach targets. However, it’s essential to keep on top of many varying factors that are motivating your sales team.

Digital marketing sales teams can be negatively impacted by a wide range of issues within their wider working environment – from the wrong behaviours being unwittingly incentivized, to issues with high staff turnover impacting motivation and the establishment of company culture.

In this article, we’ll explore five dependable ways to boost your marketing sales agents’ motivation, increasing their engagement and boosting ongoing loyalty. It’s a win-win situation for all involved – with your agents’ earned commission, your clients’ success and your ongoing agency development all experiencing a healthy upward trajectory.


1. Consider Your Commission Structure

First and foremost – consider your commission structure. While this isn’t the only factor motivating your sales team, it’s undoubtedly one of the most important.

Take a critical look at your current marketing sales commission structure and the behaviours that it is encouraging. Are these in true alignment with the long term success of your agency, client stratification and your company values? 

A well considered commission structure has the ability to apply much more nuance to the way your team is compensated. If you’re processing a lot of multistage deals, or deals with more than one agent involved over time, it’s important to ensure that everyone feels fairly compensated for their role – and that they’re being renumbered in a timely fashion. When it comes to the way that commission can be earnt, if you lack the ability to offer true clarity, you risk a demotivated team that’s lacking the incentive to work together collaboratively.

A key component of success here is access to software that can help to help manage complex, individual commission plans – or even multiple plans applying to one agent across the range of clients that they work with.

Commissionly features that you might find helpful when it comes to your marketing sales commission structure include variable time frames, commissions calculated based on customer (i.e. via matrices), multistage commissions and rates which cascade, reducing over time as a client is retained.


2. Give Better Transparency And Autonomy

If you’re looking for a high performing digital marketing sales team, you’ll want to ensure you’re  giving your agents complete clarity – in terms of expectation and targets, but also in relation to where they sit within their earnings and expected compensation. Commission plans might (by necessity) be fairly complex – especially if they’re in a constant state of flux, or if old and new schemes are running concurrently.

As a result, it’s of paramount importance to make sure you’re running a system that gives them easy access to all of the information they might need access to regarding their commission rates, bonuses and ongoing retainers. After all – you’d rather they were out selling than scratching their heads and trying to work out how profitable their next deal might be.

Solutions like Commissioned can give better access to and understanding of the current state of play when it comes to expectations and remuneration. This does more than increase the motivation of your sales team – it also reduces the burden on your billing personnel, who won’t have to field as many requests and questions.


3. Seek Feedback (And Take Real Action Based Upon It!)

Listening and responding to actual feedback is an essential contributing factor to a sales team that stays motivated in the long term. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of making assumptions on the part of your marketing agents – believing you have an idea of exactly what’s making them tick. However, in the absence of encouraging real feedback, you can find yourself lurching from short-term incentive to short-term incentive, with no real strategy for ongoing engagement and improving performance.

Scheduling a regular cadence for feedback and addressing the way that staff satisfaction is measured can have a transformative effect. Remember, hitting sales targets is not necessarily equal to agents feeling fulfilled and happy within their roles. Learn more about their other motivators, such as career development or the chance to mentor.


4. Set Clear (And Fair) Targets 

Take time to develop dependable methods of generating targets that will be challenging but achievable. This will vary so much from agency to agency – and again, a huge contributing factor to success will be the two way communication you encourage from your team via regular feedback. 

Carefully consider the pros and cons of stretch goals and bonuses – again, are these encouraging the long term behaviours and attitudes that you’d like to see from your agents? Think about other ways you can define success – reward agents on client anniversaries, package upgrades, for bringing past clients back to the business etc. 

Commissionly offers a real edge here, integrating with a wide range of CRMs, helping you connect the dots between client progression and your agents’ input. To learn a little more about what this might look like in practice, read our recent article, The Future Of RevOps For Digital Marketing Agencies. With Comissionly’s platform you’re also able to easily implement override commission, meaning all levels of your team can see clear compensation for their involvement.


5. Create A Culture Of Retention 

Finally, don’t underestimate the impact of placing focus on retention rather than acquisition of new agents. What keeps your sales team loyal? On balance, are you spending more time recruiting to fill positions, or investing effort into the success and culture of your existing team?

A retained team benefits your business and clients in so many ways. You’re able to offer and rely upon more in-house knowledge Resources invested in training are preserved. Your whole team has a collective working knowledge of client needs, and the way that they’ve evolved over time. 

This kind of culture serves your agents too – providing a more stable working environment, better leadership and role models, and more scope for internal training, to name just a few benefits. Remember, as your retained workforce evolves, you’ll need to be willing to evolve your marketing sales commission structure alongside them.


Ready For A More Motivated Digital Marketing Sales Team?

When it comes to laying the foundations for long term success, place focus beyond the top level metrics that typically define a successful marketing sales team, and instead assess the underlying factors that are driving the outcomes achieved by your digital marketing agency.

Commission structure and the management of your commission scheme lies at the heart of this – and having access to software that does the heavy lifting when it comes to delivering and automating commission plans that are (necessarily) complex, can be a real gamechanger.


Struggling with your digital marketing agency commission?

Avoiding Costly Commission Issues – A Guide For Marketing Agencies


RevOps within digital marketing is on the rise – rapidly becoming an established norm when it comes to internal operational management. What exactly is meant by RevOps? A contraction of “Revenue Optimisation” this term refers to an operational model designed to ensure that a business’s capacity for revenue generation is maximized. As ever, our integration partner HubSpot has some excellent resources to help you learn more about this model.


A RevOps approach seeks to instill full cooperative alignment between alignment of marketing, sales, and customer service teams. Rather than operating in isolation, before passing off a lead or established customer to the care of a separate team acting in isolation, a “flywheel” model is established. All teams work in closer collaboration, with a focus on end-to-end customer experience, seamless workflows and integrated systems. This removes friction and supercharges a business’s ability to scale.


In the case of digital marketing agencies, the benefits of an active RevOps strategy are twofold – better internal agency collaboration and outcomes, at the same time as improving client satisfaction and success. Within this article, we’ll outline some of the ways in which RevOps looks set to improve the landscape for digital marketing agencies today, and in the years to come.


RevOps For Digital Marketing Agency Internal Alignment 

RevOps can be implemented to help to bring a digital marketing agency into better internal alignment. Within the traditional RevOps model, accountability stops becoming a siloed practice. Instead, your account managers and support team gain better “full picture” insight into client success, measured across a wider range of metrics and markers.


The cyclical RevOps model means that this improved insight feeds back into sharper, more accurate marketing recommendations for clients. In turn, this helps to build up a more holistic understanding of the way that different agency teams collaborate and depend on each other’s outcomes.


For example, marketing team members learn about common pain points and blockers from the sales team, and are able to incorporate this into their own planning going forward.


Improved Digital Marketing Sales Attribution 

Knowing exactly where your success is coming from is essential within the setting of a digital marketing agency. By helping bring clarity to a dynamic process that relies upon the input of many different teams and individuals, RevOps can help improve attribution when it comes to sales success.


Everyone working towards your clients’ success will have a better idea of what’s working in the context of “the bigger picture.” This does more than simply helping you work out more productive, collaborative workflows – it can also have a really positive impact upon  team cohesion and motivation.


Digital marketing agencies are always on the lookout for ways to improve their marketing sales commission structure – by making it more efficient, more commercially appealing – or, most probably, all of the above! By adopting a RevOps model, you can apply the deeper insight gained into the roles that everyone played towards a closed deal, and translate this into a fairer compensation structure.


Multistage commission is a great way of ensuring that everyone involved in a deal is getting fair payment for their contribution, in a timely fashion. Commissionly’s multistage commission feature enables you to pay commissions at different stages of your sales and delivery process to different payees – keeping your teams motivated with well-timed, fair compensation for their input.


Enhanced Client Experiences 

The RevOps model is increasingly commonplace across a wide variety of client or customer based businesses. As a result, by adopting these principals internally, you’ll be able to “speak the same language” as your clients, who are more than likely very familiar with the benefits of such a model, and putting them into practice within their own businesses.


This helps to build trust and increase the likelihood of cross selling and upselling, as you gain a better understanding of their pain points and business models – and, perhaps most importantly, see how your input as an agency sits within their wider business model. An active RevOps strategy also helps to demonstrate your interest and commitment to your clients’ end results, through better account expansion and improved customer-focused campaigns.


Once established, a RevOps model just gets better over time. Thanks to its cyclical “flywheel” structure, improvements feed back into the start of the process. Client experience is improved in a way that is consistently demonstrated over time – no quick fixes or emergency measures – just a great, holistic agency experience.


Eliminated Tech Silos 

The smart leverage of data is essential to success within a digital marketing agency environment. With the rise of MarTech, this is becoming increasingly essential, as a wide variety of tools give us insight into our campaign and client success metrics.


By combining marketing and customer success data, RevOps enables you to see which campaigns are resonating at the same time as highlighting the elements of your marketing mix that are having the greatest impact in terms of the outcomes clients are looking for.


As an agency, you can leverage this insight to improve post-purchase marketing experiences (i.e. offering your clients more than just lead generation or traffic.) Data can be put to use shortening purchase cycles and accelerating sales. Commissionly is a great example of a solution that can help to power a strong RevOps strategy, allowing easy integration with a huge range of CRMs to ensure that you’re able to easily join the dots between client success and team commissions.


Improved Agency Success Metrics

Finally, let’s not forget the tangible lift that RevOps can bring to a business in terms of success metrics. In 2020, the Boston Consulting Group found that B2B companies implementing RevOps accelerated their revenue growth and operations efficiency with a

  • 100% – 200% increase in digital marketing ROI
  • 10% – 20% increase in sales productivity
  • 10% increase in lead acceptance
  • 15% – 20% increase in customer satisfaction
  • 30% reduction in expenses



This is especially important and relevant within a digital marketing agency context, where businesses are typically looking for long-term, steady accounts that are retained with minimal effort, allowing for customer relationships that continue to grow and strengthen over time.


RevOps For Digital Marketing Agencies: Get Ahead

RevOps represents a real opportunity for digital marketing agencies to improve outcomes and streamline their internal processes. More effective interdepartmental communication leads to better collaboration and attribution of success.


By pairing a solution like Commissionly alongside the RevOps approach, you can ensure that all effort is appropriately rewarded, showing your respect and appreciation for multiple agency teams, pulling together to help bring your business great results.


With a focus on streamlining customer experience, and allowing for better personalisation at every stage of their journey, it’s no surprise that RevOps is increasingly being heralded as the secret to account-based business success. Digital marketing agencies have so much to gain from his model – especially when it comes to marketing sales commission structure, and motivating a commission-based workforce to see the bigger picture within an agency environment.  

Looking to kick sales up a gear? 5 Tips For A Highly Motivated Marketing Sales Team – See our next blog …

If you’re running your digital marketing agency on a commission basis, you’ll be aware of the many benefits that this kind of remuneration model can bring. Payment via commission has long been a popular option for marketing agencies, and can be a great way to ensure you’re motivating your sales team.


However, “commission” is a very broad term – and covers a huge variety of structures and nuanced plans that can (and should) be tailored for your business and its unique situation. Failing to pay full attention to the effectiveness of your commission structure can result a number of common issues that can cause a business to lose money or become less efficient.


This might be as the result of a less motivated sales team, the lack of the right incentives within their agent base, or as the result of poor back-office processes that create problems around calculation and management of commission.


In this article we’ll give some clear guidance on marketing agency issues to watch out for – and some advice on how to fix them within the context of your digital marketing agency commission structure.


1.  Too Little Flex In Your Digital Marketing Agency Commission Plans 

Don’t underestimate the importance of creating an adaptable commission framework that can flex to meet the evolving needs of your marketing agency. The typical marketing agency environment will involve many varied clients, deals, accounts opening, closing and reactivating. Similarly, you might find you have multiple agents working on accounts, with varied (or interlinked) responsibilities for success. 


In order to ensure that everyone on your team is rewarded in a timely manner that reflects their input and hard work, you need to find a way to appropriately scale commission payments and incentives in a way that will adapt to the changing nature of the targets, opportunities and expectations that your agents encounter.


This is easy to agree with – but often harder to implement. Juggling a high performing team and multiple client accounts can make the ability to apply a complex (and ever-evolving) commission structure a practical challenge.


Working with dedicated cloud-based commission software such as Commissionly helps makes the roll out and management of personalised, adaptive commission structures much more streamlined. Our multistage commissions feature allows you to compensate various team members for their individual contributions as a deal progresses. To make things even easier, this process can be automated with your CRM of choice, such as Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho and many others.


Similarly, our commission criteria filtering feature allows you to easily set commissions to pay only when certain criteria are met – perfect for the times when you need to pay different commission rates to your agents based on criteria, such as a different rate for new business or renewals.


2. Complex Commission Calculations Taking Hours To Manage

A responsive and nuanced commission structure is essential – but, as we’ve already hinted at – it needs to be manageable, and easy to deliver. Automation is your friend when it comes to taking the legwork out of hours of complicated commission calculations. Not only will you save time, you’ll also sidestep many of the issues associated with manual tracking and calculation, which can be much more prone to error, as well as a drain on resources that could be put to better use elsewhere.


Spreadsheet based management of commission is common, but it can only get you so far. Any frustrations or issues that you experience with your current system will only scale in line with your business as you expand and your team scales up.


Commissionly helps by offering a range of automations that take hours out of the day to day tracking, analysis and calculation of commission. These automations go beyond the “commission wizard” (which helps you quickly set up complex commission structures – whether they are flat or tiered, revenue, profit or product based). Powerful integrations with your CRMs, ecommerce platforms and more can also save huge amounts of time in assigning attribution and tracking performance.


The sales splits feature is another great example of the features that Commissionly offers to help manage processes that would otherwise be tricky and time consuming. Easily set up pre-defined sales splits to ensure that everyone automatically gets allocated the right amount of commission due for their role in a sale.


3. Calculation Errors (And Issues Resolving These)

The management of nuanced marketing sales commission plans can be complex. If you’re tracking and calculating manually, relying on Excel, problems can occur. When something goes wrong, your agents are inconvenienced, and time is lost as you work to fix the error. You also erode the trust your team has in your commission process – meaning you run the risk that they’ll be spending more time pouring over their calculations, and less time out in the field selling!


What safeguards can be put in place to try to reduce the wrong calculations being made in the first instance – and what can be done to ensure that the process of putting these problems right is smooth, transparent and fair?


Commissionly’s clawback feature is a game changer here, and can help within the context of  marketing sales. Again, offering all the time-saving advantages of automation, this feature enables changes to your payouts to be easily and swiftly calculated and put right, minimising the negative impact of an incorrect payment as the result of incorrectly reported financials or a client who bounced before the predetermined retention period.


4. Unresponsive Plans Leading To Demotivated Agents 

To avoid a stagnant, demotivated atmosphere within your marketing agency sales team, it is important to learn from your data and results, adapting your commission schemes accordingly – and to show your team how things are changing. What’s serving your business, your clients and your agents best? There’s a real need to ensure open communication and lots of transparency with your agents when it comes to the “why” of their commission scheme.


Commissionly’s CRM integrations help to shed more light on these situations by joining the dots between performance and payment. Another benefit of the Comissionly dashboard is the ability for agents to easily access their earned commissions to see how calculations have been formulated. This helps you give complete clarity here. Again – you want your agents out selling, not trying to figure out how and what they are getting paid for!


5. No Cloud-Based Commission Software 

Finally, consider the disadvantage you might be placing your agency by failing to work with a cloud-based commission system. The ability to access your management system from any device has never been more important – in fact, in the modern day workplace, this is a baseline expectation. Access to your commission dashboard at all times brings benefits to your management team, but also to your agents, as they can track progress and gain motivation at any time, from their own mobile devices.


With the spread of digital transformation and the accelerating impact of the pandemic, cloud-based solutions are a necessity for modern business – and especially important for something as critical as commission management, which is powering your marketing sales business’s success.


Ready To Take Control Of Your Digital Marketing Agency Commission Management?

Commissionly saves its users countless hours and removes endless frustration from the process of calculating, adjusting and processing commission based payments. Clients report the platform saving “huge amounts of time on calculating commissions” and allowing them to “set targets for my team that they can see at a glance.”


Described by one user as “a simple, stand-alone yet highly functional approach to managing commissions,” Commissionly frees you to repurpose your time and focus, meaning you can focus on optimising your commission structures and learning more about what motivates your agents etc.


Offering dependable ROI, the benefits of cloud-based commission software like Commissionly keep expanding over time and use – a safe investment that will revolutionise your commission management and remove barriers to your marketing agency scaling over time.


Ready to explore your free trial? Set up in 5 minutes – with no credit card details required.