Commission-only sales reps

A commission-only sales rep is a salesperson who is paid a commission on the sales they make. They do not receive a base salary or hourly wage and instead, only earn incentive compensation. Commissions are typically calculated as a percentage of the sale price, and they can be paid on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.

Commission-only sales reps are typically self-employed and are responsible for their own expenses, such as marketing, travel, and equipment. They also have more control over their work hours and schedule.

Under this model, reps can earn a high income if they are successful, but they also have the potential to earn very little if they do not make any sales. As such, it’s a risky career choice but one that can be very rewarding for those who see success. 

“100% commission is the fastest way to learn sales, customer success, and marketing. Small companies and startups are doing this. You get a lot of exposure,” said  Asher Mathew, VP of Go-To-Market at Demandbase.

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a commission-only sales rep:


  • Potential to earn a high income
  • More control over work hours and schedule
  • Self-employed and not tied to a traditional 9-5 job
  • Can be very rewarding for those who are successful


  • Risky career choice
  • No base salary or hourly wage
  • Responsible for own expenses
  • High-pressure environment

If you are considering a career in sales, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of being a commission-only sales rep carefully. If you are self-motivated and have a strong work ethic, then a commission-only sales position may be a good fit for you. However, if you are looking for a more secure and predictable income, then you may want to consider a different career path.

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