Having had several businesses where we had to deal with the issue of sales compensation early in our business development, I think the better question might be what is the best sales and compensation structure for a sales and business development position in your industry (or related one).

Then the key question is can you be competitive and offer an attractive package to pull in the best candidates. We always looked to stay competitive for sales candidates, with a big focus on the incentive side of closing the deal. Great sales people are always incentive driven. This does not necessarily mean you have to dip into equity to pay them. In fact the business development people that were always trying to get a piece of the company for coming on board, were always the ones that didn't click.

Business development compensation is always something that as you develop and grow you have to re-evaluate, as well as determining are they type of people you hired in early stage, the same type of people you need two or three years down the road. We had an innovative product and in the beginning, our business development team had business dropping out of the sky (Apple called us after seeing us on Google and became an early customer). As the years progressed and our market and competition changed, we needed a much different and more aggressive type of person. In our case, we realized it, but it took a while to re-adjust the sails (pun intended).

Be happy to talk to you more if we can help.

Answered 7 years ago

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