Copier Careers: Average Copier Sales Rep Compensation Relatively Flat at $116,978

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Copier Careers has published its 2017 Sales Representative Salary Survey results. Copier Careers uses these annual surveys to provide a year-by-year snapshot of how well industry professionals are compensated, how satisfied they are in their careers, and how closely their needs are aligning with the needs of their employers.

Highlights of this year’s survey include:

  • This year, sales professionals reported an average annual base salary of $48,912, an increase of $20 versus 2016, and an average commission of $68,066, an increase of $23.43 versus 2016, making the total average compensation for sales professionals $116,978, an increase of $43.56 versus 2016.
  • In 2017, the industry was “on solid footing,” with “steady sales numbers in recent years indicating that the industry’s rapid expansion has slowed, but sales professionals continue to meet or exceed quotas.”
  • Employers seeking to recruit strong sales reps faced increased challenges in 2017, with strict non-compete agreements and legislation limiting salary-related questions in interviews.
  • Competition over experienced “hunter” sales professionals means that industry employers need to have a sense of “absolute urgency in their hiring practices,” as these candidates are never on the market for long.

The survey reflects the responses of 10,406 copier-channel sales professionals across the United States, consisting of:

  • 1,934 Account Executives
  • 1,965 Named Account Managers
  • 1,025 Senior Account Executives
  • 1,010 Major Account Managers
  • 409 Government Account Managers
  • 309 National Account Managers
  • 3,754 MPS/Solution Sales Representatives

According to Copier Careers, across the industry, competition has lowered profit margins, and that’s had a direct effect on compensation. For sales reps, that means they have to sell more, but responses to the 2017 salary survey indicate that sales representatives are doing just that.

Impact of Non-Compete Contracts and State Laws

According to Copier Careers, adding to the complexity of recruiting in the copier channel in the past couple of years are two issues that can make vetting and placing a candidate more difficult: non-compete agreements and state laws that restrict employers from asking candidates about salary history.

Even though non-compete agreements aren’t new to the copier channel, recruiters at Copier Careers report hearing about them more frequently in recent years, with terms that are more stringent than before:

“According to a recent article in Fortune magazine, 47 states now allow non-compete agreements, which can make placing candidates a bit trickier at times.”

“We always advise applicants and potential employers to have legal counsel review a non-compete,” commented Copier Careers President Paul Schwartz,  noting that in general non-compete agreements are an effort by businesses to retain sales reps and guard territory.

“The employer’s side is that they have invested in you. You developed your skills and customer relationships with their organization, and they don’t want you to take a book of business and walk out the door,” Schwartz said. “On the other hand, telling a departing employee that they can’t work in the field for years is unreasonable.”

To address the issue, recruiters at Copier Careers work to find a place where clients and candidates get something of what they need.

“We have seen compensation packages that pay a past employer a fee in order to release them from a non-compete agreement,” Schwartz said.

Another variable that can slow or complicate the recruiting process are laws in some states and local jurisdictions that deny employers the right to inquire about a candidate’s salary history.

“It has to do with gender equity and equal pay, and we appreciate those concerns,” Schwartz said. “For employers, sales reps are judged on what they have earned and what they have produced. Screening candidates for sales positions can be quite a challenge for employers, when they can’t ascertain a candidate’s past earnings.”

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