Media & Consumer Technology

2024 Sales Compensation Trends

What Media Companies Should Know

What is happening in the world of sales compensation in 2024? What changes are media companies thinking about? Why are they looking to make these changes? Is anybody using AI? Are you keeping up with the latest trends?

Alexander Group has you covered. Every year (22 years running!) Alexander Group surveys 300+ sales compensation leaders across industries to capture data and insights into current market trends. Below is a sneak peek into key takeaways from our recent Sales Compensation Trends Survey.

5.7% Increase in Sales Comp Cost

Three main factors are contributing to the rise in expected sales comp costs:

1. Headcount

  • Although the media and technology industry experienced a wave of layoffs in 2023, 68% of companies are reporting expected increased headcount in 2024.
  • The majority of headcount increases in the commercial organization tend to be post-sales account manager roles focused on retention, upselling and cross-selling.

2. Eligibility

  • 43% of media companies are changing which jobs are eligible for a sales comp plan.
  • Top jobs trending in are marketing, campaign management and sales engineers.
  • Top jobs trending off are revenue/sales ops and product management.

3. Quota Attainment

  • Media companies are expecting 51% of sellers to achieve quota in 2024, up from 42% in 2023.

More headcount, more jobs on sales comp and higher quota attainment leads to the 5.7% increase in expected sales comp cost.

27% Making Major Changes to Plans

Only 9% of media companies are making no changes to plans, with 64% making minor tweaks. Of the companies making changes, moving to more pay-for-performance in plans continues to be the trend.

Alexander Group Insight

Pay-for-performance (P4P) plan design best practices include clearly linking business performance to rewards, driving individual accountability in the plan, aligning pay mix to degree of persuasion and differentiating between top and bottom performers.

The top three 2024 plan change reasons focus on driving alignment with strategic goals: (1) profitability focus, (2) sales strategy shift and (3) new product/solution.

73% Vary Pay Levels by Cost of Labor Location

As the workplace model evolves, it continues to impact other talent policies and pay. 35% of media companies are encouraging/requiring 1-4 days “in the office,” which includes customer visits.

Media companies are also rethinking their coverage models. Do we really need our sellers to be co-located next to our agencies and/or brands anymore? Depending on the customer value segment (e.g., mid-market), the answer is trending towards no. Which then begs the question, do we need to pay a premium for a role in a higher cost of labor location when we don’t necessarily care where they live?

Alexander Group Insight

Best-in-class companies are updating their job and pay architecture to provide career path transparency, provide market competitive pay, align to workplace policies and avoid legal risks related to pay and equity transparency laws.

43% Currently Use, or Plan to Use, AI

In addition to the evolving workplace model, another major external shift is impacting compensation—Artificial Intelligence. AI uptake is on the rise with a third of companies adopting solutions, with the belief that AI can revolutionize sales compensation design and administration.

Key use cases that were highly rated include cost modeling, quota setting, compensation administration, forecasting, tracking profitability, and communication and training.


Final Thoughts

So, what does this all mean for sales compensation in 2024? While we can expect AI to start assisting with admin tasks, sales comp professionals should not be worried about job security. There are too many evolving go-to-market changes that need strategy guidance to ensure we are motivating our sellers to win in the right way. But when you need sales compensation reassessment, Alexander Group is always here to help.


Need Help With Your Organization?

To schedule a complimentary readout of the full survey findings including all captured metrics on costs, productivity, quotas and investments, please complete the form and a Sales Compensation practice lead will be in contact with you.

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