What is On-target earnings (OTE)?

Whether you're a beginner or an expert, you will find this Glossary useful.

On-target earnings refers to an employee's pay structure made of basic salary and the additional variable component such as commission as their compensation.

definition of OTE or on-target earnings

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On-target earnings definition (OTE)

On-target earnings refer to an employee's pay structure made of basic salary and the additional variable component such as commission as their compensation. Most commonly find in sales it involves a contract between the company and the sales person that ensures a specific commission percentage. It can also refer to an executive pay schedule contingent upon the achievement of specified goals.

Benefits of on-target earnings (OTE)

OTE is mostly used to reward sales employees for their work. That being said, one of the biggest benefits of on-tatget earnings is employee motivation and employee engagement. 

If you are looking for ways to improve your salespeople productivity, OTE is one of the best ways to do so. 

On-target (OT) earnings synonyms

There is on synonym of on-target earnings: "on-track earnings".

On-target earning example

If your salesperson has a base salary of $75,000 and has actual commissions for the year of $30,000. Their OTE in their current position is $105,000, and you can validate that number at hire via W2 earnings.

What is a good OTE?

One-fifth of quota is, generally, a good rule of thumb. That means if a rep’s annual quota is $700,000, their on-target earnings would be $140,000.

The “ideal” ratio is approximately six to eight times quota. 

Note that these are just suggestions, not guidelines. Salesperson's salary should vary based on how competitive your industry is, how knowledgeable and experienced your salesperson is, the complexity of your sales process, your company’s maturity, revenue, and so on.

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