Do you work on commission?
they are faced with adequate opportunity, while 37 percent say
no, and 15 percent are unsure.
It’s safe to say that the salaries of this group are well above the
average for American jobs, and yet the discord that some seem to
be feeling was summed up well by one respondent: “I think lots of
folks would do my job for less money, but on the other hand, the
value that my skills add to the bottom line are way out of balance
with my salary/bonus.”
SALES/SALES MANAGEMENT RESULTS
Last in our review, we look at those who comprise sales roles with-
in their distribution organizations, including those in sales man-
agement. Another male-dominated segment, women make up a
mere 12 percent. In other specific demographic information:
• The average age is weighted towards the older end, with 64
percent of respondents saying they are 50 years or older. Only six
percent, in fact, are under 40.
• Thirty-two percent represent companies with $500 million or
more in annual revenue. Fifty percent come from companies of
$100 million or less revenue, nearly half of which are companies
below the $25 million mark.
• Forty-six percent have a college degree, and an additional 16
percent of the total group have a graduate degree.
The sales group is a unique animal since nearly half work on
commission in some way (Figure 5). Of those who responded to
the survey, the average base compensation rate (before commission) is $82K – however, there were some very high numbers (
likely those who don’t receive commission pay) and some zeros from
those who work all-commission. The median base salary was $75K.
It’s also important to note that, like the demographic we saw in
the executive segment, these individuals are heavily weighted in
the 50+ category, meaning the higher salaries would be a reflec-
tion of their mostly senior status. Last year’s sales and sales man-
agement group base salary was lower ($72K) but also reflected a
higher response rate from those who received commission as part
of their pay package (55 percent). This year’s commissioned group
of 49 percent is the same as we saw in 2012, where the base rate
of pay was $79K, or 96 percent of what it is today.
Ultimately, it looks like an incremental shift upwards for this
group, likely a reflection of the nominal compensation increases
they’ve seen. Only 12 percent described their raise this year as
“considerable,” and most described it as “standard” or “a cost of
living raise based on inflation.” Thirty-nine percent of all respondents have not received any type of salary increase in the past
year. In fact, 12 percent of the total respondent pool said they
have faced salary or benefits cuts.
For the sales group, travel is a big part of the equation for
some, with 33 percent saying they travel 20 to 50 percent of the
time, and 12 percent saying they travel more than 50 percent
of the time (Figure 6). This is close to the results last year, with a
slight decrease in the number who travel the most. Travel aside,
79 percent say their job demands have increased in the past year,
and 20 percent say they’ve stayed the same — leaving a paltry one
percent suggesting their responsibilities have lessened.
When it comes to opportunities for growth, the sales and sales
management segment is a bit more optimistic than their friends in
mid-level management. Sixty-two percent said they feel they are
faced with adequate growth opportunities at their companies, an
increase of three percentage points over last year (Figure 7).
And perhaps this group is feeling more optimistic altogether, as
this year’s satisfaction rating represents the biggest change in any
“I think lots of folks would do my job for less
money, but on the other hand, the value that my
skills add to the bottom line are way out of bal-
ance with my salary/bonus.”