Sunday, February 17, 2013

Commissions for Clicks "Is .002 Per Page To Much to Ask For"?

In a recent article from Lou Slawetsky of Industry Analysts titled "Your Reps are Starving; PART 2", Lou made mention that the going rate for commissions for clicks seems to be .002 per page.  Lou did not elaborate about color pages so I can only assume that he was referencing black pages.  I would tend to think that color clicks should pay a higher click rate.

Black Pages

So, how much is .002, I know, I know, well I think I know, however I though I would double check my math skills and .002 is two thousands of one cent. Seems pretty pitiful right?  One black maintenance and supply agreement for 10,000 page per month would generate $20 per month in commissions for the rep.  So, lets look try and find the average per page cost of a black maintenance agreement.  Now depending on your market, I'm sure the averages will vary, but lets take .01 as the average if you're a down the street rep.  Based on the .002 commission this would be 20% (geesh I hope I doing this right) .01 * 20% = .002.  What I'm trying to get a it what would be the commission rate for color pages.

Color Pages

We can now talk about color pages, in the down the street model (500-1,500 color pages per month) what would be the average color cost per page, according to a poll we had on the print4pay hotel forums that average would be about

.075.  We'll use the same math as black .075*20% = .015 per page.      Thus if the average color monthly volume is 1,500 pages, the commission rate to the rep would be $22.50 per month.  In total the black and color commission for one month would be $42.50 per month.  That's not a lot of money, but we need to look at the bigger picture right?  Ten accounts with that volume would generate $425 per month, and 100 accounts would generate $4,250 per month (now that's what I'm talking about!). Two hundred accounts would generate a cool $8,500 per month in commissions.  So it is possible to have a comp plan based on clicks.  I'm there would be many other parameters (price points for the hardware) and bonuses that could be put in place to make sure the rep is attaining a new quota of clicks every month, quarter or year.  Please keep in mind that this is just me thinking out loud and trying to educate all of us that commission for clicks is something that can be accomplished. The dealer would then keep all of the gross margin on the hardware sale or the MPS sale.

We Can't Keep Most of the Good Reps

Once we develop a good rep, which can usually can take up to two years we tend to lose them to other industry sales jobs.  I've seen many reps make the move to medical, healthcare and others.  The reason they leave is that there is nothing tying them to our industry (no residual), so if I were two years in the business and my salary was a meager $30K plus commissions, I would jump ship to start at $60K and earn commissions.  The implementation of a residual commission for click plan may help our industry (whether it's hardware or MPS)  keep these good reps in the business for a long time.


I've also had a few emails like Lou did in reference to the back end issues of software that can track pages and keep a tally for each sales person.  However, it may not be as tough as it seems.  We all generate maintenance agreement billings right?  The data is there for the monthly or quarterly start and end meters for black and color.  It should not be that hard to extract that data and move to the rep, and then apply the commission click rate.

You have the data, this is something than can be done if you want to do.  It's going to be a leap of faith to change, but don't give up because you don't believe there is a way to automate the commission process.  There is a way and it may not be as costly as you think.  Just tonight I was speaking with Rick from Cybercon Services and asked for his input on this exact implementation of commission for clicks. He agrees that this can be done because you have the data, it's just a matter of extracting that data and building tables that will generate reports for the automated process.

Agree or Disagree

You may agree or disagree with the Math, however you can't disagree that one of the biggest problems facing our industry is holding on to the good sales reps.  We've got to find a better way of compensating our reps based on clicks.  My point of view is that if I'm being commissioned on clicks, I will spend more time with my clients consulting for ways to generate additional clicks whether it's wide format, forms printing, third party solutions, duplicators, envelope printers, etc... all I would ask is that you give me the tools to do my job.


Even though clicks maybe declining, I don't believe that our industry is doing a good job at developing new technology that will increase clicks.  For example, I was checking out of the hotel the other day and at the hotel they were able to print my boarding pass.  My boarding pass was a thermal ticket (heat generated the image on the media), I can only think of how expensive these thermal media passes are.  Niche imaging systems can capture millions and billions of additional pages

If you'd like to speak with Rick I included his link above or you can email me and I will forward you his number.

-=Good Selling=-

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