How much should you pay your salespeople? That’s one of the most important and most commonly asked questions among recruiters. And it’s one you need a definitive answer to.
After all, understanding the average sales rep salary provides you with a tangible benchmark so you can identify how much competitors are offering. It also ensures you’re offering enough to pull in elite talent but not so much that it hurts your profitability.
In this post, I’ll provide a clear breakdown of sales rep salary in 2022 based on recent data to help you find the sweet spot along with other actionable advice on attracting top-tier talent.
What the Data Says
For my research, I looked at data from two different sources. One is the salesperson salary in the US based on over 3,700 salaries on Indeed. According to their findings, the average base sales rep salary in 2022 is $58,106.
The other data came from US News and World Report Money which looked at the median salary of salespeople. After crunching the numbers, they found the average sales rep earned $62,070 in 2022. This was nearly $4,000 more than what Indeed suggested, but it’s certainly still in the same ballpark.
So between these two reports, we can surmise that most sales reps will earn around $60,000 in 2022. Also, it’s worth noting that the top 25% highest-earning salespeople earned $89,030, while the lowest-paid 25% earned $43,580. This is something to take into account if, for example, you’re hiring an entry-level sales rep who’s fresh out of college, as they may command less than a bonafide vet who’s been at it for 10+ years.
Higher Earnings Post-Pandemic
Another interesting trend to point out is that many qualified sales candidates currently receive multiple offers and earn significantly more post-pandemic than they did pre-pandemic. In a recent article, I explained there’s a high demand for skilled salespeople, but many (especially recent grads) are reluctant to get into sales. This phenomenon is largely due to the perception among many young professionals that salespeople still sit behind a desk all day, cold calling leads and using high-pressure sales tactics.
You can get the full details here, but the bottom line is that it’s “candidate’s market” in 2022, and that’s unlikely to change any time soon.
As a result, it’s common for top-tier candidates to get multiple offers and earn $10-$20K more than they did before COVID. This means talented individuals could easily earn $70,000 or $80,000 per year rather than the baseline of $60,000. There are numerous factors at play here, but my point is that many sales recruiters are willing to shell out larger than average pay to attract and retain top talent. And that may be something you need to do as well.
Looking Beyond 2022
Besides simply knowing the average sales rep salary in 2022, it’s nice to see the bigger picture and what the overall trajectory is. And the data from the US News and World Report Money provides insights there as well with this graph.
As you can see, there’s been a steady increase in salary since 2010. It went from being around $63,000 in 2010 to $68,000 in 2016. From 2016 to 2017, it decreased slightly but quickly picked up steam from there. Based on this trajectory along with the current shortage of highly qualified sales reps like I discussed earlier, I can only imagine that this trend will continue into the foreseeable future.
It’s clear that industry rockstars are in high demand, and sales recruiters are willing to shell out good money to land them. This brings me to my next point.
Two Quick Strategies for Improving Sales Recruiting
For the final part of this post, I’d like to share two last insights for increasing your odds of landing elite sales talent based on recent data.
One is to act quickly. According to SmallBizGenius, “top talent gets hired by recruiters within 10 days.” And that’s not surprising based on the current landscape. While you don’t want to be hasty and overlook other qualified candidates, it’s clear that you should pull the trigger if find top talent and pay them what they’re worth. Otherwise, there’s a good chance a competitor will swoop in and snatch them up. Considering the average time to hire is 24 days, keeping it under 10 days can give you a significant advantage.
The other strategy is to fully optimize your interview process. A+ salespeople don’t have time for inefficiencies and redundancies during interviewing. So if your interviewing is needlessly complex, convoluted, or you’re asking candidates the same questions over and over, you’re almost guaranteed to lose out to your competitors. That’s why I suggest objectively analyzing your interviewing process and continually looking for ways to improve it.
Sales Rep Salary: Finding the Sweet Spot
Throwing out an arbitrary number based on what you feel sounds “about right” is never a good strategy for deciding how much to pay a potential sales rep, especially someone who could be a major asset to your company. Instead, you need to know what the industry average is and what the current pay trajectory looks like while taking other factors into account like sales rep demand.
To recap, most skilled salespeople will earn around $60,000 in 2022. But when you factor in that many receive multiple offers and take in $10-$20K more than they did prior to COVID, you may need to pay more like $70K+ to bring in the heavy hitters.
Looking to hire better sales talent, faster? Learn how HireDNA uses intelligent matching and science-based assessments to attract and recruit better talent. 92% of candidates recommended through it reach the top of their sales force within their first year, and it eliminates 96% of hiring mistakes.