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January 25, 2011
Sales Compensation Expected to Increase in 2011, Survey Says

Sales departments are willing to provide higher pay to sales personnel in 2011, according the Alexander Group's 2011 Sales Compensation Trends Survey©. The group attributes the rise in pay to a recovering economy and rising sales optimism.

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Last year, incentive payouts jumped for sales personnel to a 5 percent gain; up from a 5 percent decline in 2009, according to the data. The report also suggests that organizations plan to increase sales compensation costs by 3 percent in 2011, consistent with a 3 percent median increase in overall spending.

David Cichelli, Senior Vice President of the Alexander Group and Survey Editor, observed: "While sales departments plan to manage sales compensation costs to 3 percent growth, 2010 might repeat itself in 2011 with payouts exceeding target increase amounts."

Participants answered questions about sales compensation in 2010 and what they think will happen in 2011. Here are highlights from the report:

  • 8.00% is the median revenue growth expectation for 2011
  • 3.00% is the median planned increase in incentive costs for 2011
  • 65.15% plan to provide a base pay increase in 2011
  • 3.00% is the median planned increase in total earnings for the primary sales job in 2011


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