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Finding and implementing the best compensation structure for your sales organization is a challenge. The specific tactics to best motivate and incentivise sales teams are unique to each company and dependent on many factors such as vertical, product, communication channels, sales lifecycle and, of course, budget.

The Canadian Professional Sales Association along with Mercer (Canada) Inc. recently produced a study into sales compensation and what it could mean for your business. The results of the study are available in our new report with versions for sales professionals and for management.

To get more insights from CPSA’s Sales Compensation Report or to gain access to exclusive data, sign up for CPSA membership today by clicking here and listen to sales compensation-related podcasts from CPSA.

Think you know how much you should be paying your people and where to find the top sales talent? Let’s consider some key factors - such as salaries, career mobility, and chances of professional advancement - which can determine which sales compensatuion structure is the best fit for you.

What’s the State of Career Mobility in Canadian Sales?

The times of a job for life are long gone  Salespeople today are more inclined to change from job to job over their career in search of greater fulfillment and compensation. Employers terminate staff faster than in the past when business conditions change or productivity by a worker lags.

Today, the average person changes jobs 12  times during his or her career. Defining job movement, however, is not always clear-cut. The main reason for this unceratinty is that there is no current consensus on what is considered a career change. For example, an internal transfer may be considered a change. Others might only accept the definition as involving a move to a new company.

The Canadian Professional Sales Association and Mercer (Canada) report found that 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.

How Much Should You Be Paying Your Sales Pros?

While influenced by factors like geography and industry, you may be surprised to discover the average base salary for entry-level sales pros is  $42,322. If you’re not offering somewhere near this figure, you’re likley missing out of potential top talent. Sure, short term saving son base pay can mean alot to growing organisations but you need to measure that against the potential ROI of paying that bit more to attract the best sales pros who can take your sales to the next level.

The CPSA report also found that those with the title of Head of Sales remained the highest earners in sales at $190,000 p/a. Sales directors reportedly earned an average of $146,520 p/a while senior technical sales managers took are on an average of $127,333 p/a. Know these numbers to attract the sales leaders who can lead your sales and marketing efforts.

Wage in Canada vary by geography with Greater Toronto and Vancouver seeing the biggest base salaries (19 per cent above the national average!).

Professional Advancement in Sales: What’s the State of the Canadian Sales Job Market?

Aside from joining a new organization, one of the key times to reevaluate, reconsider, and renegotiate compensation is when you receive a promotion.

It’s important to factor in contextual changes and demand in teh labour market when deciding how much to pay / the amount you can expect when you’re promoted within Sales.

Report findings suggest that climbing the corporate ladder did not have as big payout as it did one in te previous twelve months. The average sales professional that received a promotion in 2016 saw a 5.7 per cent salary increase versus a seven per cent raise in the previous annum.


In Sales Leadership?


If you lead a sales team, are involved in hiring, or if you’re responsible for designing compensation plans, the CPSA Sales Compensation Planning Guide for Sales Management is your go-to resource.

  • Know what your team deserves: Ensure the compensation plans you’re providing are competitive with the marketplace
  • Plan for success: Get data on hiring, promotion and salary planning to forecast for next year
  • Build and maintain your strongest sales team: Understand the factors that can help you attract and retain top talent

On the Sales Frontlines?

Arm yourself with the knowledge to plan your sales career.

The CPSA Sales Compensation Report for Sales Professionals can help you understand your total compensation and that of other sales roles across a variety of industries.

  • Ensure your compensation plan is competitive with the current marketplace and learn how region and industry affect similar roles
  • Understand responsibilities, requirements and potential compensation as you set yourself up for career growth

get more insights from CPSA’s Sales Compensation Report or to gain access to exclusive data, sign up for CPSA membership today by clicking here and listen to sales compensation-related podcasts from CPSA

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