Building Win/Win Compensation Plans for Agents

Sales offices seem to believe that the more complicated they make their compensation plan, the more attractive it will be to their agents.

This isn’t the best approach for a couple of reasons:

1️⃣ If you can’t systematically, accurately, and cost-effectively calculate downline residuals, your comp plan is flawed from the start. Remember that this activity is non-revenue generating. Do you want to spend too much time figuring out what’s already taken place or out driving more sales?
2️⃣ If your agents can’t easily recalculate their own compensation with what you’ve provided them, how can you expect them to trust you? A relationship without trust 👉 flawed.

We’ve seen simple comp plans work quite well. And it’s a win for both the sales office and its agents.

Before rolling out any new comp plan, first, ask yourself these two questions:
1️⃣ Can I automate this calculation and reporting?
2️⃣ Can I provide transparent reporting to all parties involved?

The winning plan is fully automated and provides complete transparency. And most importantly, all parties feel like they are receiving fair value in return for their contribution.

What’s Considered a Fair Revenue Share When it Comes to Residuals?

What is considered a fair revenue share on merchant services residuals?

There’s no hard and fast formula. But consider revenue share (or commonly referred to as split) a sliding scale that depends on these factors:

👉 The amount of training you need
👉 The amount of support the ISO provides to your merchants. A referral arrangement where you simply hand off leads will earn less than one where you provide ongoing service/support to merchants.
👉 The amount of liability the ISO is taking on your behalf. Low-risk/card present portfolios have higher revenue shares than high-risk ones.
👉 Your proximity to the processor. The closer you are to the party actually processing transactions, the more revenue share. If you’re an agent sending business to an ISO that sends it to another ISO, you’re getting a split of a split. There’s nothing wrong with this as they are likely providing support or resources not available to you closer to the processor. Just know where you stand and the parties involved.
👉 The number of freebies you receive. Getting free equipment? That’s fine, but understand it’s baked into the cost of your agreement.
👉 Access to proprietary software or technology.

What’s “fair?”
⚖️ The arrangement where both parties feel it is a mutually beneficial arrangement with potential for growth.

Homework assignment:
📝 Check your existing agreements to be sure you’re earning revenue share on every item billed. This is a common margin buster for sales agents/offices.