Your Guide to Sales Salaries

5 Minutes

Working in Sales? Discover our Salary Guide for Sales Graduates, Managers, Directors and CEO's.

The sales industry is both fast-paced and constantly evolving. From building contacts to securing big deals and hitting targets, sales people are among the hardest working employees in any business. And, that hard work often comes with high rewards, both in terms of salaries and bonuses for achieving targets.  


Whether you’re looking to move into a new sales role yourself, or you need to know how to retain staff at your company with competitive salaries, it’s important to be aware of average industry salaries. In this guide, we take a look at what people in sales should expect to be earning across a wide range of roles, from SDRs, to executive and sales manager positions, and sales directors and CEOs.


What salary can a sales graduate expect?

While graduates will earn less than established sales people, the fact that they bring talent and skills to the industry means many grad hires are paid well. The average salary for graduates, regardless of industry, degree or location, is between £21,000 and £25,000. When it comes to graduate sales jobs, applicants can expect salaries at the top end of this scale, with a figure of around £25,000.


The higher starting salary appeals to talented graduates looking to venture into sales, but it’s important to be aware of the responsibilities that come with it. These include:


  • Selling products or services to clients
  • Building existing client relationships and establishing new ones
  • Communicating over the phone, email and in person
  • Presenting ideas and reasons why a client should invest


On top of a competitive starting salary, graduates will also benefit from having plenty of training, on-the-job learning and mentoring and support from their managers. At Pareto, we understand the importance of making sure graduate talent is nurtured, which is why we offer a comprehensive training plan to new graduate recruits.


What is an average sales executive salary?  

Those with previous sales experience or sales people looking to progress from an entry-level position will often move into a sales executive role. The average sales executive salary is around £30,000, with some salaries reaching as high as £40,000. Many positions offer good commission structures on top of basic salaries.


While there may generally be less formal training, most sales roles will still include regular courses to ensure staff are kept up to date with evolutions in sales. Sales executives will:


  • Continue building further client relationships and understanding their needs
  • Record all sales and orders into the relevant systems
  • Represent the company at public events and fully understand what the company offers
  • Mentor and train more junior members of the team


How much is a sales manager’s salary?

A good sales manager is worth their own weight in gold, which is why many firms will pay their managers well. This vital salesperson will successfully look after their team while keeping on top of their own clients and targets too. To attract this level of talent, the average basic salary for a sales manager in the UK is £43,000. The responsibilities involved cover most sales aspects, including:


  • Monitoring and motivating the sales team and providing regular feedback
  • Recruiting and training new talent to support the team
  • Reporting back to the senior sales managers
  • Collecting and reviewing sales figures and performance
  • Setting sales targets for the team and developing successful strategies


What is a sales director salary?

To reach a sales director (SD) position, an individual will have worked their way up the sales ladder, securing remarkable results along the way. At director level, they become a vital cog in the strategic plans of the company. As such, sales directors can expect a basic salary of between £70,000 and £95,000 and many earn much more than this through commission.


A sales director’s responsibilities can differ, depending on the size of the company and their offerings. Typically, this includes:


  • Overseeing the sales managers, often spread across multiple locations
  • Representing the company at big public events and conferences
  • Setting targets, forecasting and reviewing sales targets to maximise profits
  • Watching trends to build strategies and avoid stagnation


How much does a sales CEO earn?

Standing as the highest-ranking person in most sales operations and the driving force of organisational progress, a CEO in sales can expect to take home a salary of around £85,000 to £120,000. Often, this will depend on the size of the business, bonuses or commissions a CEO can expect to receive.

Being CEO of a growing sales company is no easy feat, with responsibilities such as:


  • Deciding the direction the business wants to go in, by working with sales managers to set goals and apply strategies.
  • Reviewing how each department works to achieve their goals and strategising new ways to set the company apart from competitors.
  • Rewarding the team’s results and recognising improvement areas to build a productive workspace.
  • Communicating with investors and the board of directors to find ways to boost profits.


Whether you’re starting at the bottom, looking for a promotion to an executive sales role or reaching the top spot, working in sales is both exciting and rewarding. Discover the perfect sales job for your experience and salary goals with Pareto today. 

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