Many outbound call center roles depend on significant incentive compensation to maintain focus and reward appropriately, meaning the mix between fixed (base) and variable (commission) pay will be relatively more variable, even than many other sales roles. 50/50 might be a good starting place to consider. In earlier stage businesses, it might even be 100% commission (often with a draw to smooth out month-to-month or seasonal variability).
Once you’ve established the pay level and pay mix, you’ll need to decide what to measure for the variable portion. Most often this is either the sales value of closed deals, or the margin value of the deals, though other measures are more appropriate in some businesses.
The mechanics of how the performance is linked to pay can be as simple as a straight commission rate (e.g., 3% of sales), or can accelerate as productivity increases, and even possibly decelerate at high levels of attainment. There can be multiple measures, a bonus for quota attainment, etc. As the business matures, the plans typically become a bit more complex to reflect the needs of the business.
The basic principles of plan design apply here as well, but this should provide a few tips to get started.
Donya Rose, CSCP, is Managing Principal of The Cygnal Group. She is a recognized expert in sales compensation plan design, regularly speaking at conferences and writing published articles. She serves clients from F500 to growth-stage businesses, and advises WorldatWork on sales compensation hot topics and best practices.