US Salaries

I’ve yet to write an article about US salary stats. Just recently a friend of mine asked me questions about what he should be asking and I spent some time refreshing my figures and I want to share this all my readers as it is an important factor in market entry.

We all know that salaries sky rocketed during the .com times. Sales execs job hopped on an annual basis from start-up to start-up gaining 10%-20% salary increase per jump. After the .com bubble burst a lot of sales execs where left without a job and national wages averages cooled down.

Today the unemployment rate it is under 5%, which is the lowest for years. Growth has shifted from a boom of small start-ups to steady growth in large enterprises, which are reporting record earnings. Supply and demand has caused salaries to climb up gradually.

Proven Sales Vice Presidents are expecting to get a base between 200K USD and 300K USD depending on the metro-area where they live. As an example the salaries paid for the same job in Atlanta and Palo Alto can differ by 40%. It is not uncommon for top sales people to get a total of 500K USD per year. These are the people that hold 10M USD annual quotas.

Proven senior Sales Executives are expecting to get a base between 120K and 160K. It is not uncommon for top sales people to get a total of 500K USD per year. Starting salaries for young solution sales tigers is about 60K and 80K with a huge commissions upside. The starters usually never realize the upside and end up hitting the 100K USD mark if they are really lucky during their first year. Commission models are often not linear, which keeps overall earnings modest… unless you over shoot your quota taking you to the heavy accelerators.

The main attributes that define your salary level are:
– track record in closing deals
– proven ability to hunt and draw new blood
– the rolodex of warm contacts that you can bring to bear
– and your domain specific knowledge

The cream of the crop are often Prima Donnas that require a tailored management style, but from experience I can tell you that it’s worth it. 


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