Poll: Should Marketing Commission Be a Standard Practice?

by Debra Andrews | June 26, 2017

Most executives in marketing and sales understand the paradigm shift in B2B buying. And they have adjusted their roles accordingly. In progressive companies, today’s marketers are the new hunters, and sales focuses mostly on decision phase discussions and the close.

With these changes, we wanted to know why pay structures haven’t kept up. Today’s sales professionals are largely compensated with base salary plus commission, while marketing commission remains a rarity.

Should marketing commission be standard? According to the marketing and sales professionals who responded to our poll so far, the answer is “Heck yes.”

Our fellow marketers typically receive standard salaries and subjective bonuses, and they aspire to earn more. With an interest in learning more about the landscape, we opened a survey to collect the opinions of marketing and sales professionals on this important issue.

Most Marketers Don’t Receive Commission

The survey results below were based on responses from 25 marketing professionals. (We’re going to keep this poll open, so you can respond to our marketing commission survey, and we’ll report changes.)


Most Marketers Would Like and Believe They Deserve Marketing Commission

With the days of cold-calling numbered—but somehow not over—marketing owns the responsibility for filling the top of the sales funnel, as well as nurturing those leads till they’re receptive for a sales discussion. “It makes perfect sense,” sums up the responses. Here’s what the marketers from our survey had to say:

“I really like the idea of marketing teams having a portion of their comp tied to revenue performance. Research is showing the accountability and comp have a positive impact on revenue generation. Plus it’s good for marketers because it puts them directly in the mix, which can strengthen alignment with sales.”

“Like sales, marketing is responsible for helping to generate revenue. When compensation is tied to revenue, marketers are more connected to the business and their sales colleagues. When conversions are attributed to marketing, marketers should be compensated for their wins.”

“Marketers influence the leads and sales that the sales representatives bring in. As a saying goes, ‘Marketing designs the bullet, and Sales fires the gun.’ I believe that Marketing should get a piece of that action and be recognized for their contributions.”

“Yes,… 80% of the selling is done before being passed to the sales team.”


From What We Can Tell, Sales Agrees

We were surprised by how open the sales professionals were to having marketing receive a “piece of the action.” Here’s what sales had to say:

“Yes, for sure. The line between Sales and Marketing is as blurred as ever. Marketing is producing leads, Nurturing those leads, and providing a TON of value through-out the sales cycle.”

“Yes. For strong leads that the sales team would not have sourced.”

“Absolutely, they have a stake in the org’s goals, their work rewarded for the leads, up to sales to CLOSE it. But marketing should be comp’d somehow.”

For some companies, it’s challenging to know how much marketing contributes to new business. But for enterprises who are embracing modern marketing approaches and technologiesattribution reporting is quite simple. For example, a client’s marketing department easily accounted for over $2 million in leads since the first of the year, due to a specific multi-touch service campaign. (And I wish my in-house marketing colleagues at this client were on commission!)

Interested in More?

We’d love to hear more opinions on this somewhat controversial topic. Do you think marketing professionals should receive commission? Let us know by taking our short survey. You can subscribe to our strategic marketing blog too, to stay up to date on the survey results and get other marketing insights.

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