2016 Business Development & Sales Salaries

What did salaries and benefits look like for sales and business development professionals in the 2016? Here's a breakdown of national salaries in the UK in 2016.

Posted by Grant Dixon, Managing Director, Thursday January 26 2017

Sales Salary Survey Blog

This has been twelve months in the history books that will be talked about for decades to come in the UK for various economic and political reasons.

Whilst the rest of the world moves at breakneck speed with innovation the traditional view of a salesperson has often been seen as just that, stereotypical and unchanging. For those that work in sales, there is a general appreciation of core fundamentals that will never change: relationships, qualification, closing etc. but the reality is that there are more new concepts, tools and technologies to drive sales than ever before. Sales and marketing and blending more than ever due to the ever increasing power of digital with sales professionals and sales team finding they have to evolve and learn new skills at a faster rate than ever before. How does this effect earning potential and salaries? As 2016’s Nobel Prize Winner Mr Dylan said, ‘Times they are a changing’.

In the sales industry, over-all salary earnings will be related to results 99% of the time. In a ‘results based’ profession, keeping score and tracking results is often seen as a key motivator and a reason why sales is seen as a level playing field. Sales professionals can often make up certain skill gaps by increased activity or experience in other areas.

Commission structures, bonuses, rewards and incentives…all of these are designed to drive the behaviour of the ‘sales professional’. With these additional salary streams available, the basic salaries across sales teams within companies are typically pretty level.

Korn Ferry the global organisational advisory firm, has revealed that UK employees are set to experience the highest increase in real wage growth since the financial crisis. This year’s research finds that, while salary rise forecasts of 2.5% are the same as 2015, lower inflation levels (predicted to be 0.2%) mean employees will experience a 2.3% increase in real income. The data from hiring companies indicates this has proven true for the sales sector also.

Basic salaries increased across the UK in 2016 disproportionally for certain sectors: software and technology being the standout beneficiaries above all others. As more companies that have previously offered off-line services develop new digital products, sales professionals with ‘SaaS’ sales experience are increasingly in demand. There is a genuine possibility that demand will outstrip supply for this particular sales experience in 2017.

There is also a salary disconnect between London and other areas of the UK. With London salary weighting being recognised as typically between £4000-£7000, there are technology industries paying 30%+ more on basic salaries for sales professionals in London than in other areas of the UK which often equates to £8000-£20000+. The demand for talent will always be higher in the capital but it will be interesting to see if the fast-growing technology hubs of Bristol and Manchester increase salaries to keep up in 2017.

Breakdown of 2016’s Sales Salaries (UK National Averages)

Sales Director (£47,000 - £124,000) 
Sales and Marketing Director (£58,000 - £141,000)
Business Development Director (£50,000 - £110,000) 
National Sales Manager / Head of Sales (£31,000 - £70,000)
National Account Manager (£30,000 - £56,000) 
Area Sales Manager (£20,000 - £44,000) 
Regional Sales Manager (£28,000k - £85,000) 
Regional Account Manager (£20,000 - £41,000)
Key Account Manager (£25,000 - £62,000) 
Business Development Manager (£24,000 - £71,000) 
Account Executive / Sales Executive (£18,000 - £36,000) 
Telesales / Internal Sales Executive (£15,000 - £20,000) 

The above averages are across all industries and verticals, to get a personal evaluation on what you should be getting paid please contact our sales recruitment team.

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