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Why you shouldn’t advertise uncapped sales commissions

4 min readApril 26, 2019

When it’s time to hire additional salespeople, it’s critical to include sufficient details to ensure you attract the best candidates. According to Gallup, today’s work environment means that you need to complete for employees as you do for customers. That’s why it’s important to focus on what potential new sales reps want from their work.

The image you create with your job posting makes all the difference. A big no-no is simply stating that you pay “uncapped commissions.” It will leave candidates asking, “So what!” Unless accompanied by additional details, just don’t put this in your ad.

Uncapped commissions alone do not attract top reps. In fact, Including this in your job postings may actually repel the best candidates, sound spammy or portray your company as an MLM. Uncapped commissions have become somewhat expected, especially since capping them often carries negative connotations while potentially limiting rep productivity.

If you’re really interested in recruiting the best candidates, you need to paint a clear picture of the position, what you’re looking for and why someone would want to work in this job over another. So, what should you include in your job postings when advertising for hiring sales roles?

The basics: Talk about the job itself

Create a clear concise description of the job and its responsibilities. Be sure to state whether it’s an entry-level business development rep, account manager or a vice president of sales. Is it a hunter or farmer type of role? Describe some key qualities you’re looking for. Basing this loosely on the shared characteristics of your top sales reps is a good way to go here.

The job title you use on your job posting needs to stand out from the crowd to ensure the best candidates see your ad. This means not using a generic title like “inside sales rep,” “account executive,” or “sales manager” They’ll blend in with the rest. Instead, use something more descriptive like “SaaS business development rep” or “advertising sales executive.” And be sure not to use any buzzwords like “unicorn,” “ninja,” or similar terms. They won’t produce the desired results.

Keep it positive while honestly describing important aspects of the role. Using bullet points, provide candidates with a firm understanding or what they’ll experience in the role such as:

  • Day-to-day responsibilities
  • How they’d get their leads – cold-calling, inbound marketing, or…
  • The kinds of customers they’ll be selling to
  • Territory location, if applicable
  • Support they’ll receive in reaching their goals
  • Technologies and software they’ll be using

Provide realistic qualifications for the role while being careful not to list unrealistic ideal criteria. Being too selective will only drive away perfectly good candidates. Things to list for qualifications might include things such as:

  • Degree requirements
  • Minimum number of years’ sales experience
  • Specific industry and product or service type experience
  • Experience selling to a particular audience
  • Required certifications
  • Experience using particular technologies

The value: talk about the growth opportunity

Younger workers look for more than just a paycheck. A Gallup study found that 87% of millennials (more than any other generation) say that career growth and development is very important in a job. They also expect to have learning experiences in the workplace and want them to be valuable. Therefore, your job description should speak to the advancement applications will see in their careers, as well as the types of learning they will be exposed to.

Describe your company

It’s important to talk about what your company is and what it does. Keep it short and sweet while answering the all-important question: “Why should I want to work for your company?” Things to include are information about company culture, growth, awards/recognition and other exciting details about your organization. This generates the interest of prospective applicants.

Perks, Benefits and Money

When it comes to attracting, engaging and retaining top sales talent, the perks, benefits and money are of utmost importance. Be sure to include the following in your job posting:

  • Insurance types provided
  • 401(k) and company match if applicable
  • Paid time off
  • Flexible work options
  • Time off allowed to volunteer
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Details relating to on-the-job training
  • Commuting discounts
  • Maternity and paternity leave
  • Child care facilities

When it comes to talking about money, as mentioned above, don’t simply state “uncapped commissions.” This is not a benefit that will make you stand out from the crowd. Providing information about the sales compensation plan such as whether the position is base plus commissions and an estimated annual income range. This will increases trust and ensures your company is seriously considered by the right candidates.

Keep these tips in mind next time you’re creating an advertisement for a sales role. Taking the time to include as much detail as possible, in a concise manner, will make everyone’s life easier. It increases the odds that your applicants will include an excellent match for the position. It will prevent the need to weed through so many candidates it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Plus, it prevents the chances of receiving no applicants and wasting valuable advertising dollars. Most of all, including sufficient detail around why they should want to work for your organization, especially around the money subject, will differentiate your company from all the other potential employers. And isn’t that what you really want to do?