What is Draw Against Commission in Sales?

Erik Charles
Erik Charles
In Business, Incentives, Sales Comp
Erik Charles is the Vice President, Product Marketing, at Xactly Corporation where he is responsible for driving the product strategy, defining the product vision, and developing a strong team of product owners and designers.


The draw against commission (also called a guarantee) is paid with every check, and when a commissionable event occurs, those payments are subtracted from the commission check. The draw is often offered to offset the lack of incentive payments in the rep’s earnings during a sales rep’s training time.

This is done in place of having a rep earn a salary and the periodic huge payout, smoothing out the sales rep’s earnings when revenue spikes due to seasonality, corporate fiscal cycles, government buying periods, etc.

Research shows that it takes an average of 9.1 months for a sales rep to become fully productive.

Download our guide, "Designing Sales Compensation Plans," for more info on other sales commission considerations and components. Or, keep reading.

Types of Draws

New Hire Draw
These are designed to provide the rep with sustainable earnings during their training and sales ramp-up period. The New Hire Draw also shows the sales rep that the company has confidence in both the sales rep’s abilities and the value of the opportunities in the territory that the sales rep will own. The company would not be paying a draw if they did not think that they would get a return on their investment.

Recoverable Draw
A Recoverable Draw is one that is paid, but the company will recover the draw payments from earned commissions over time. In cases where the sales rep leaves before all draw payments have been recovered, it can be difficult to collect the funds depending on national or local laws. Most companies choose to forgive the “loan” in these situations.

Non-Recoverable Draw
Most New Hire Draws are non-recoverable. The non-recoverable draw payment is made to the sales rep and is not treated as a loan requiring re-payment. This is the most common for new hires, and being on a non-recoverable draw typically impacts any commissions that can be earned. It can also be combined with the Draw Against Commissions in a given period, with the stipulation that if the commissions are less than the draw, there is no payment made – but there also is not any debt to pay back or accrue.


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What is Draw Against Commission in Sales?