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.