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XpertHR publishes its Salary Survey of Sales and Marketing Staff annually in the autumn. This provides a flavour of the employment market for sales professionals at the moment.

Increase in average earnings

Average earnings, which includes basic pay, bonus and commission, increased by 5.3% in the 12 months to 1 September 2008, compared with a 5.8% increase in 2008. Average basic salaries (excluding bonus and commission) increased by 4.3% – down from 4.6% the previous year.

All figures are based on a matched sample of individual employees in the same job both years.

Around three out of five sales professionals receive a bonus – 58.9% in 2008, slightly down on the 62.3% in 2007 but still in line with long term trends. The average payment was £5,604, or 17.2% of basic salary. The average commission was £7,356, or 22.3%.


The survey reveals that 97.5% of companies in the survey were recruiting sales professionals in the 12 months to September 2008.


Salaries in sales are heavily dependent on bonuses and commission. They also vary widely depending on the nature of the job (field sales staff typically earning more than telesales staff) and on the types of goods and services being sold.

At a headline level, the average earnings of a senior sales representative, including sales and commission, are around £36,000. At board level, salaries well into six figures are on offer.

Average salary figures as sales professionals progress up the career ladder are shown below.


Job title  Average earnings (including bonus and commission)
Sales director £190,766
Senior function head £124,940
Function head £97,491
Department manager £76,659
Section manager £55,348
Team leader £44,026
Senior sales representative  £36,088
Junior sales representative £21,148
Clerical staff  £15,465

About the Author

  • About Mark Crail: Mark Crail is Content Director at XpertHR.

Mark Crail

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