Organizations Are Offering Higher Base Pay for Sales Roles
Workspan Daily
August 22, 2022

Amid a tight labor market, sales talent is an especially valuable asset, and organizations are implementing several compensation measures to attract and retain them.  

WorldatWork’s 2022 “Sales Compensation Programs & Practices Survey” revealed that 50% of organizations have offered higher base pay for sales roles and 39% have increased incentive opportunities, with 22% of organizations doing both.  

The survey of 693 organizations, conducted in partnership with SalesGlobe, found that 87% of companies are taking action to reduce voluntary turnover and 65% are taking multiple actions. Pay leads the way as the top action to stem turnover. 

“Organizations are committed to finding ways to attract and retain the best employees in an ongoing tight labor market and sales roles are no exception,” said Alicia Scott-Wears, compensation content director at WorldatWork. “Sales roles are traditionally incentive heavy, so increasing the base pay for these jobs is a way to appeal to a broader set of talent or offer more stability coming off from high impact economic fluctuations.”  

The survey was conducted to gather information on sales compensation plan structures and practices to reward for sales success and drive performance to the goals of the business.  

Sample Findings:  

  • Sales roles are on the rise. Frontline hybrid sales roles led headcount increases over the past year, with 54% of organizations increasing headcount and only 7% decreasing headcount.  
  • A return to brick-and-mortar. More than half of companies (52%) increased retail sales associate headcount over the past year.  
  • Multiple performance measures. Seventy-one percent of organizations used two to three performance measures in their plans, holding steady from 2021. This figure increased from 2020 when 56% of companies used one to two measures in an effort to simplify pay during the pandemic.  
  • Revenue is king. Revenue was the most commonly used performance measure for all sales roles. Bookings were the second most used performance measure, with gross profit being the third for field sales roles and hybrid sales roles. 

Editor’s Note: Additional Content 
For more information and resources related to this article see the pages below, which offer quick access to all WorldatWork content on these topics: 

Related WorldatWork Resources
2023 Sales Compensation Investment Grows During Turbulent Times
10 Elements for a Successful Sales Compensation Philosophy
Factoring in Pay Transparency Laws When Posting Sales Jobs
Related WorldatWork Courses
Sales Compensation: Foundation and Core Principles
Sales Compensation: Advanced Implementation and Program Management
Sales Compensation Course Series