Go-to-Market series: Compensation and Incentives

Vivian Guo | June 16, 2021

An overview of typical SaaS compensation plans and benchmarks related to sales, marketing, and CS compensation

In this chapter of our GTM series, we dive into various topics and benchmarks related to compensation and incentives:

Compensation Structure

  • The majority of sales organizations have different compensation structures for dedicated reps across inside, field, SMB, and enterprise segments

  • Most sales organizations offer different types of variable compensation structures, such as commissions, accelerators, and SPIFFs (sales performance incentive fund) to reward employees

  • Marketing and Customer Success teams tend to have the majority of compensation (80 85%) tied to a base salary, with some additional upside for business goals or customer retention

Pay Variation

  • GTM compensation varies primarily based on role seniority, geography, and company performance, with most organizations looking at multiple metrics to determine compensation

  • On average, companies with coastal headquarters should expect to see a ~25% premium on AE salaries

  • Best in class companies typically compensate GTM teams by 20% more than average companies

Variable Compensation

  • Sales, marketing, and customer success teams are often compensated on different metrics, which can lead to misaligned incentives

  • Sales reps are most frequently compensated against ACV and expansion dollars , whereas marketing is most often compensated on top of funnel metrics like # leads and pipeline $

  • Customer success teams are the only GTM teams primarily compensated against retention and customer health metrics