Sales Salary Analysis: How Much Should You Pay Your Salespeople?

8 min read

Are you wondering what on earth an appropriate sales salary should be for someone joining your team? Look no further as we’ve evaluated all of the sales positions, their average salaries, what they do, and much more.

Today you’ll learn all about everything from the personalities and qualities of each position to the reason you may want to pay them more (or less). Each job will have a different requirement for each company of course. You’ll discover the aspects you’ll want to hire for at your company here.

Many things contribute to a company’s sales success, but just a few things to start with: No one will find it!

  1. Don’t use ‘fun’ job titles. No one will find it!
  2. Compensation programs will definitely influence the job seeker. SHRM has discussed the different types of systems to consider if you’re looking to improve yours as well.
  3. Keep your people happy. They can – and will – go elsewhere if they’re not kosher with the programs in place.

The full presentation is available at the very bottom of this article.

How we did this sales salary study

Amongst the myriad of job postings, there are great insights to discover. We’ve taken some well-known companies, smaller businesses, and varied job titles and descriptions to discover what they’re looking for today.

There are also several ways to learn more in-depth about sales salaries within your industry such as Glassdoor and Salary. We’ve taken a look at these and more and explained the reasons to hire each position. We hope this helps you to determine the best solution for you, your company, and your new hire.

Let’s start at the top!

National Sales Director

As a whole, the National Sales Director jobs have one major general requirement: Leadership. This is described in different ways across companies, but each has ‘leading a team’ at the head of the list.

There are also a few additional points that are a theme throughout:

  • Creating a go-to-market strategy
  • Build cross-functional relationships
  • Achieve sales goals

If you’re looking to develop or hire for skills, these would be the ones to focus on! Otherwise, you’ll want to ensure their experience includes proven tactics that help their team thrive. You want to find out how they run their teams, encourage and train, and what relationship building means to them.

National Sales Director salary analysis

A National Sales Director Salary in the United States should earn an average of $113,740 plus an additional $20,217 in bonuses and $34,822 in commissions. A great Director should be able to build and support their team in a way that meets and exceeds your company sales goals.

The range overall is quite large going from $65k to 161k. This will depend upon years of experience as well as a demonstrable background of customer acquisition and leading teams at high growth companies.

Regional Sales Manager

A Regional Sales Manager is primarily expected to provide their team with proper goals. They’ll be coaching them on ways to improve and reach them. In other words, they must be motivating!

They should not only be expected to coach the team but to guide them via the strategies they create. Their territory is their responsibility. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your company and competitors will allow them to guide their team in the best direction to complete sales goals.

Secondary skills important to this role include:

  • Building relationships between departments and customers
  • Being a problem solver
  • Great negotiating skills

Knowing their market will be key in this role as it will help guide their plans throughout the year. It will also help their team assist accounts with much more clear and defined goals.

Regional Sales Manager salary analysis

This career will provide an average salary of $82,115 – as always, depending on experience. There is also an average of an additional $20,477 in commission and $14,871 in bonuses. Evaluating their successes (past and present) against company goals will be key for this salary and role.

Along with this expertise and years of experience, there is an expectation of travel (once it’s Covid-safe) about 50% of the time. This person will know their numbers of previous sales goals/quotas. These will give you a better idea of what their pay should be.

Sales Manager

Ah, the Sales Manager. The beloved middle manager – aka the heart of the sales team. These are the ones that your salespeople must love. If not, their day-to-day operations will suffer as will your entire sales team’s goals.

A great Sales Manager is one that uses tools to help them reach out to prospects quickly and easily. LaGrowthMachine is the perfect platform to assist in team outreach that has automation tools to save their team a ton of time!

This position will be the one that guides your sales team and supports them. They’ll help the team on calls, working on their sales approach, mentoring, and problem-solving. While they’ll also help with creating strategies for the team, their presence is impactful to the overall sales results.

Sales Manager salary analysis

Expect to provide a salary on an average of $61,307 for this position plus $10,034 in bonuses and $18,674 in commissions. Their bond with the sales team may prove stronger than you expect, evaluate accordingly.

Each Sales Manager is likely to have its own special charms and skills. However, their experience and numbers will also show some of what they’re capable of when it comes to supporting a team.

Have they helped their salespeople get results? Do you both review the data that results from their work? Ensuring a plan works for everyone will move the whole company farther.

Inside Sales Representative

If you’re looking for the person who’s going to make the right phone calls to the right people, look no further. Each company has its own ideals and needs for its salespeople, but generally, this will be someone who will have a high EQ, good sales and negotiating skills, and a customer-service orientation.

You’ll want this person to be focused on driving revenue in a multitude of ways since each customer is different. Because of this, you’ll also want to ensure they’re able to collaborate effectively across teams. They can ensure the customer is satisfied enough to not only stay with your company but refer others to it!

Inside Sales Representative salary analysis

While some of this salary can depend upon experience (as usual), it also can change depending upon the types of products or services they sold. Regardless, the average for this position is $44,533 plus $3,424 in bonuses and $9,899 in commissions.

One important thing to note is that salespeople, overtime in one company, tend to slowly decrease their sales successes. Keeping good people happy and productive is up to the leaders to keep them engaged, learning, and challenged.

This can be done in several ways and will depend upon your company culture. Things like competitions, networking, and allowing them a break all contribute to their happiness.

Outside Sales Representative

This is your go-getter! You want the most ambitious person you find in this position because they’ll be your company advocates. The ones that will do the face to face meetings, presentations, and relationship building.

These should also be your most trusted people. Knowing they’re doing and saying the appropriate things at each meeting is vital to ensure your company is sustaining its reputation. Training these team members very well will be a vital component to their – and your – success.

Since they will be the face of your company, you’ll also want to train them very well. Everything from the technical aspects to your product/service to the general reasons and anything in between. Customers have the opportunity to ask anything and everything with these reps. Ensuring they know how to handle not only their objections but inquiries on any level, is going to uphold that reputation as well.

Outside Sales Representative salary analysis

Expect this salary to be in the range of $49,822 plus $9,403 in bonuses and $15,470 in commissions. The key difference will be their experience, but if you have a very technical product and they already have the training, that would likely be valuable for you.

These team members will be your key to building relationships so they need to really love people as well. Their skills will determine a base, but their personality will shine in the end and bring in more partnerships, clients, and results.

Sales Assistant

Your sales assistant should be your most organized person. They might live and breathe Trello, color-code their daily tasks, and take photos of their perfectly organized kitchen pantry. The specific daily tasks will vary, but administrative work is paramount which means things like answering phones and keeping calendars.

They’re also going to be very people-oriented and customer service focused. The number one skill/task they’ll be doing is as a liaison between account managers and clients. If they’re unorganized or hate even answering their own phone, you may want to look elsewhere.

Sales Assistant salary analysis:

This is perfect for someone looking to get into sales. Starting them at an average of $15.83 per hour plus bonuses and/or commissions will give them an incentive to learn a lot. It will also be someone that wants to grow within your team but has the basic knowledge of Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, etc).

In order to provide support to your current team, they’ll learn everything about each account manager. They’ll know everything down to how they like their coffee because they’re genuinely interested in their team and people. They’ll want to help each salesperson in their team because they’re incentivized by their own commissions and education.

Sales Engineer

Hiring for this role will take careful consideration because you’ll want a specific type of person: one that can be both a communicator and a technical person who looks at the data. These combo right and left brain people are few and far between so ensure they are prepared to excel at both.

The primary task for this position is typically to monitor performance/sales metrics. Each company, however, has varied requirements for what this exactly will entail. Determine exactly what is most important for this role. They may need to be a liaison/point of contact between sales and clients, perform sales presentations, project manage sales cycles or all of the above.

Sales Engineer salary analysis

The average sales engineer salary in the US will be about $73,301 plus $8,185 in bonuses and $19,508 in commissions. They’ll need at least a couple of years of sales skills/experience to really understand the role and the part they play in the department and company. It will require a cross-functional mentality so internal relationships are just as important as external.

The focus here is to find someone that’s willing and able to do both sides of the job – the client sales and crunching the numbers to improve products. Ultimately this will bring your company a much better idea of what clients really need and therefore put your company ahead of the curve.

Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales

While this position/type of salesperson will have similarities to a Field/Outside Rep, this is often a more technical role requiring knowledge. They’ll need to know both the products as well as the uses/best practices and the industry in general.

You’ll want them to be personable, relationship-builders as they will be visiting clients regularly, and working cross-team with Product, Sales, and management teams. They’ll also be the one who answers questions directly from the customer, which means they’re your direct line to what they want. Use their knowledge to improve your products via their projections and reports.

Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales salary analysis

Non-technical: If you require your reps only to know how to sell, manage their time, and do general wholesale tasks, this sales salary should be around $49,619 plus $5,047 in bonuses and $14,855 in commission.

Technical: This salary is significantly higher as the career progresses with a max of $75k versus the non-technical of $60k. But the average is $58,463 plus $6,805 in bonuses and $15,549 in commission.

Over time, this person will be a valued asset to your clients as well as your company so training them well is in your best interest. They’ll be able to contribute directly to improving your company’s sales process as well as products and still be a direct contact for your best enterprise clients.

Retail Sales Manager

Speaking of the ‘face of the company,’ if you’re looking for a retail sales manager, you’ll need to find someone who represents your brand. Whether by their hobbies, habits, or enthusiasm, they will be the customer’s first impression (especially in an escalated complaint) so you want to be sure they’re a good fit.

You’ll be looking for people who want to sell face to face and manage others who do too. They will be someone who understands how to listen to the customer and figure out what product works best for them. They’ll be the ones teaching those that customers learn from so they also need proper education about the products you provide.

Retail Sales Manager salary analysis

This position should expect to earn an average of $51,233 plus $4,952 in bonuses and $9,938 in commissions. They will be your go-to if you want to learn exactly what people look for when they arrive at your store!

Sales Salary Comparison (pdf)

The summary of this analysis can be found below:

Overall Evaluation

Depending on the setup of your company and the type of positions you want to hire for, these people will each be of great value to you in their own ways. Finding the right person takes a great deal of research and time so be sure you’re hiring a good fit.

The market will also change the situation regularly. For example, Wholesale and Manufacturing Salespeople are generally skilled and therefore well-paid but companies don’t seem to be hiring this position recently

Whichever role you choose, ensuring you provide as much value as they’re giving will make the match that much more trusted and long-term.

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