Sales professionals are different. Like your non-sales colleagues, your success depends on your performance; but unlike them, so does your compensation. That’s why it’s so important to understand compensation across the sales profession and within various industries. To that end, the Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA) along with Mercer (Canada) Inc. recently conducted a comprehensive study into sales compensation and what it could mean for you. The results of the study are available in our new member-exclusive report, with versions for sales professionals and for management. Below, you will find an overview of key findings, focusing on average salaries, professional mobility, and career advancement.
Positioned for Success
As any sales professional knows, compensation can vary widely based on industry or experience. However, certain commonalities remain. Of note, with an average base salary of $190,000, head of sales remained the highest paying sales position in 2016. Following that, sales directors earned an average of $146,520 in salary while senior technical sales managers took in about $127,333. At the other end of the scale, inside sales representatives at the entry level had a base salary of $42,322.
These numbers also fluctuate by location. For instance, inside sales representatives in Greater Toronto and Vancouver stood out from the pack, with base salaries coming in at 19 per cent above the national average. These factors inform where you stand and how you move forward.
Making a Move
Sales professionals were on the move in the past year, pursuing new opportunities within their industries. Who had the most shakeups? Retail and wholesale saw the highest voluntary turnover rate at nine per cent, with high tech and banking and financial services following closely behind at 7.3 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively. So, in these industries you may see some opportunity, yet slightly less stability.
Climbing the Ladder
Aside from joining a new organization, one of the key times to reevaluate, reconsider, and renegotiate compensation is when you receive a promotion. As it turns out, climbing the corporate ladder did not have as big a payoff (or payout) as it did one year ago. The average sales professional that received a promotion in 2016 saw a 5.7 per cent salary increase versus a seven per cent raise the year before. As you move up, let this information guide you.
On a year-long basis, long-term sales incentives continued to yield higher payouts for sales professionals than their short-term counterparts, with senior employees taking home the lion’s share. Wherever you are in your journey, consider the big picture and think long-term.
By knowing where you stand when it comes to compensation, you can better position yourself to grow your business and to seize opportunities as they emerge. To learn more about CPSA’s Sales Compensation Report or to gain access to exclusive data by signing up for CPSA membership, please click here
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