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How much of an outlier is hitting $1M+ in Commissions in 1 Year?

I hear from my mentor and others in sales about these mythical unicorn reps that manage to bring in $1M+ commission in a year, thru a combination of luck and hard work.


I have never personally met or spoke to such a rep, but I'm curious if any of you have achieved this, if someone on your team achieved this, or if you know someone who has achieved this at some point and told you the story (not just an anecdote in the halls or a rumor, but actually know someone who did this)?


What industries do you serve? What does your account list look like? What confluence of luck and working really fucking hard got you there?

Have you ever grossed $1M + in commission in a single year?
Attached poll
*Voting in this poll no longer yields commission.
🏰 War Stories
πŸ’° Compensation
🧒 Sales Management
5
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
I know a few people who have done it and generally all had the same thing happen:

-A several million recurring license
-A quota that was attainable
-Had a few other smaller deals (low-mid six figures) also close in that year
-Pretty awesome accelerators

JustGonnaSendIt
Opinionated
+4
Burn Towns, Get Money
Thank you! I would think an 'attainable' quota, or even a low quota, is what's needed to maximize the likelihood of this happening.
Dorsia4Two
Valued Contributor
+3
Account Executive
Ive sold a lot of different stuff and it’s pretty much the same everywhere I’ve been. Luck doesn’t have much to do with it. I have yet to hit a milly on one check, but I have met a handful who have. It’s about being in the right place at the right time and having the hard work already done on your part. You can have the right opportunity but fall on your face if you can’t actually sell. It’s an abomination of a clichΓ©, but you make your own luck.
YM
YMCMB
Good Citizen
Sr. Regional AE
So luck doesn’t have much to do with it but you have to be in the right place at the right time? Totally agree that you have to be competent enough to sell when the opportunity presents itself but luck is absolutely a big part. I feel like sales managers use the $1M statements as fluff to attract reps and make hiring easier.
Dorsia4Two
Valued Contributor
+3
Account Executive
I agree in that those big commission checks get used for hiring purposes. The stories get fluffed a lot for sure. I guess I need to rephrase on the luck piece: it gets a lot easier to have a lucky break on a huge deal if you have the skill and competencies to take luck out of the equation as much as possible. So instead of needing the luck fairy to dump a whole bag of her magic powder on you, you’ll only need a sprinkle after she sees that you’re a stud. There are other ways you can get those kinds of checks too, closing on multiple big deals all at once and hitting the right accelerators can get you some serious guap
Oz
Ozz
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Wow, I know some Oracle folks back in the day when they were selling on-prem solutions but now-a-days I haven't heard too many 1MM commissions. Big pay day for me is when we exit.Β 
JustGonnaSendIt
Opinionated
+4
Burn Towns, Get Money
I am waiting on a startup I left a few years ago to finally IPO and finally cash in on my ISO's. I feel you on that.
JC10X
Politicker
+8
Senior Sales Manager
I work for an outsourcing company so even if we get close, we don't see a % of that in these neck of the woods.
FarmingU
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
no, i made a mistake on the pool

Oz
Ozz
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Congrats! Mine accelerate at any liquidation event so hopefully we can exit sooner that later.
4
What % of your sales org will hit quota this year?
Question
6
What % of your sales org will hit their quota in 2021
+36
healthcaresaas , Β  ChiDawg , Β  Tomahawk Β  and 36 people voted
1
How many months per year should an AE be allowed to miss his/her quota without losing the job?
Advice
17
Months quota missed :
+40
Pronoia_Sales , Β  kiraugais , Β  brotato Β  and 40 people voted
*Voting in this poll no longer yields commission.
15
Should the total value of multi-year SaaS deals count towards your current year quota?
Question
21
How do clients pay for a multi-year deal?
ak
+56
MinisterOfChaos , Β  akap07 , Β  desperado Β  and 56 people voted