Google Cloud is changing how it compensates its sales reps, eliminating their ‘secret weapon’ in the cloud wars.

"Thomas Kurian" by Oracle PR is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Google has changed the way it compensates employees for selling third-party companies’ products through the Cloud marketplace, the company announced last week. Before, its salespeople were compensated the same amount for selling Google’s products as they were for selling third-party products; but now, Google has placed a 30% cap on sales of third-party products. In other words, only 30% of the total sale of a third-party product counts towards a salesperson’s quota. 

According to Business Insider, Google execs were quoted as saying this model aligns with industry standards, but some see it as a way for Google to promote their own products over their partners’. Google Cloud’s partners were attracted to the previous sales model because they knew salespeople at Google had equal incentive to sell their products as well as its own. This change evens the playing field between their companies and rivals like Amazon and Microsoft. 

Two Google employees told Insider that the resulting restructuring is probably part of an attempt to focus on making that enterprise profitable. Before, employees were selling more third-party products and services than they were of Google’s own products. 

However, Google has made it clear that they’re still invested in their partners in other ways. Not only are they expanding the teams that work with their partners, they’re also offering incentives and rebates to partners who invest in professional services that help customers manage and maintain their Google Cloud structures. 

"The need for highly-skilled partners to accelerate digital transformation for customers has never been greater," Google Cloud wrote on their blog last week.

This announcement comes after last year’s crackdown last year on partners who sold third-party services through the Google marketplace, according to The Information’s Kevin McLaughlin. Google has since stated that those partners will once again be permitted to sell third-party products through Google’s marketplace.

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