Here at Sales Cookie, we use software to automate commissions for clients in the solar sales industry. Every month, we get new potential customers who ask us: “So, is 15% what other companies pay reps for solar installation? What’s a typical solar sale commission?”. We hope this post will help you define a winning and competitive solar sales commission structure.

Most Popular Solar Commission Structure

The most solar sales commission structure is organized around roles:

  • Canvassers
    • Flat commision for each confirmed appointment
      • Typically a flat $50-$200 per confirmed appointment
    • Flat commision for each appointment leading to a sale
      • Typically a flat $200-$800 per sale
  • Solar Sales Reps
    • 50% upfront commission
      • Typically 50% of $300$-$500 per KW for their own sales
      • Typically 50% of $200$-$350 per KW for referred sales
    • 50% upon project completion
      • Same as above
  • Territory Managers
    • Override commission for all managed employees
    • Typically $30-$60 per KW (based on hierarchical rollups)

Some of the adjustments you can make to this scheme include:

  • Adjusting the amount [paid upfront] vs. [upon project completion]
  • Adjusting commissions paid for [own sales] vs. [assisted sales]
  • Adjusting commissions based on [total KWs sold]
  • Adjusting commissions based on the [per-KW sale price]

Capture

Other Solar Commission Structures

We’ve also seen other schemes including:

  • Canvassers: $200 per lead + 1% of project total
  • Canvassers: $15 per hour (base salary) + $50 per appointment
  • Canvassers: $500 bonus when booking X+ appointments within a month
  • Canvassers: $1000 commission draw for the first month
  • Solar Sales Reps: $50K base + $350-$500 per KW (depending on price sold)
  • Solar Sales Reps: $50K base + flat $1000 per sale
  • Solar Sales Reps: $40K base + 3% of sales price
  • Solar Sales Reps: $500 gas bonus after selling 2 deals

This depends on how wide a safety net you want to provide to your reps, and whether you want to use 100% commision-based reps vs. employees with a base salary.

Challenges Of Solar Sales Commissions

The main challenges we see around solar sales commissions are:

  • Incorrect calculations. Calculating commissions correctly can be difficult if they depend on the price sold, number of KWs sold, and own sale vs. assisted sale.
  • Handling employee churn. A typical solar sales business has reps constantly moving in and out of the workforce. You need to keep track of who needs to get paid when.
  • Implementing rollups correctly. Due to an ever changing employee base, this can be tricky to deal with, especially if you have multiple layers of management.
  • Manually generating, archiving, updating, and distributing commission spreadsheets. You need to provide enough visibility, otherwise your reps will leave.
  • Unexciting commissions. Most solar sales commission structure don’t include bonuses or stretch goals, so it feels like grunt work.

The solution is to automate. Using a solution such as Sales Cookie, you can automate all calculations, eliminate the need to manually generate spreadsheets, and provide real-time visibility on commissions to your reps. You’ll also gain the agility needed to easily change your commission structure and make your incentive program more exciting than your competition.

Making Solar Sales Commissions Plug-And-Play 

As soon as you present your solar incentive plan to your team, they will put their own data in a spreadsheet and start calculating their own commissions. They’ll keep looking at their own spreadsheet every day and keep bugging you about commission amounts, expected payments, etc. The alternative is for you to manually generate spreadsheets for them, which is a significant headache and often inaccurate, but a necessary evil to avoid legal disputes and to remain compliant.

Instead, you could use commission software. First, your reps are going to generate a commission statement anyway, so you might as well make it easier for them by providing them with online real-time commission statements. Second, using a software solution, you and your reps will gain real-time visibility on commissions. Third, you’ll ensure that all calculations are fast and accurate (especially if you have multi-level rollups, or if your commissions depend on multiple factors). Finally, you’ll become compliant with accounting standards and be able to run through various “what if” commission scenarios.

Please visit us online to learn more. We look forward to helping you automate your incentives using commission software!