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January 26, 2009
Sales Compensation Survey Reveals Trends for 2009
A new survey on sales compensation trends has found that the average incentive pay increase for sales professionals in 2009 will be 4.4 percent. What else can sales professionals expect this year?

In the 7th annual Sales Compensation Trends Survey, conducted by The Alexander Group, Inc.(, sales leaders (from over 180 corporate sales entities and representing over 150,000 sales professionals) indicated that they were “adjusting to the economic contraction by limiting expenses and putting a focus on achieving revenue objectives” according to a press release.

Whereas in recent years, sales leaders anticipated median annual revenue growth of 10%, sales projections for the 2009 fiscal year are just 5% according to the survey. Meanwhile, actual median sales growth in 2008 was 6%, down from 8% in 2007.

Other findings of the survey include:

  • Growth in staffing will drop significantly--by 39%--in 2009
  • For sales professionals who will receive a base salary increase in 2009, the median increase will be 3.0%
  • Sales revenue will be the primary performance measure for about 78% of companies surveyed
  • Reaching and exceeding sales revenue expectations is the most important objective for 2009 for nearly 92% of reporting sales departments
  • The vast majority (about 93%) will make changes to the 2009 sales compensation plan to ensure alignment with 2009 objectives.

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