Each year, the Alexander Group conducts the “Sales Compensation Hot Topics Survey” to capture current trends, answer popular questions and examine topics of interest identified by our clients and consultants. We have gathered some compelling information on the following topics: demand for new sellers, use of stock, ASC 606, first-line sales manager pay programs and the pay practices for specialty customer contact jobs.

Noteworthy Highlights

  • Sales Personnel—New Hires: With the improving economy, we asked participants if sales personnel labor shortages were emerging. At this time, the results suggest “not yet.”
  • New FASB Regulations—Revenue Recognition: ASC 606: While these new guidelines will affect accounting practices, they have yet to alter sales crediting practices for sales compensation purposes.
  • Performance Measure Categories: Used in Primary Sales Job: Among seven performance categories (production, strategic, productivity, customer experience, activities, citizenship and compliance), production is the dominant performance criterion for sales compensation purposes.
  • Sales Compensation Practices for the First-Line Sales Manager: For the most part, sales leadership aligns the incentive program of first-line sales managers (FLSMs) with the sellers they supervise.
  • Specialty Customer Contact Jobs—Pay Practices: Jobs with more customer “influence/persuasion” are more likely to have more dollars of target compensation devoted to incentive compensation. Product and vertical sales specialist jobs have the highest portion of pay devoted to incentive among 14 sales affiliated jobs.

Survey participants receive a full report of over 60 pages with findings, observations and detailed charts. This year, over 105 companies participated in the 2018 Survey. We gathered data from July to August 2018 and published in September 2018. Participants receive a full copy of the survey results.

If you would like to participate in future surveys (yes, they are free), send a note to david.cichelli@alexandergroup.com with your full contact information. Put “Survey Panel” in the subject line. We will add you to the invite list.

Getting ready for the 2019 Sales Compensation program? Write us; we can help.


Insight type: Article

Industry: Cross-Industry

Role: HR/Sales Compensation

Topic: Sales Comp, Sales Comp Program Mgmt

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