Average Copier Sales Manager Salary is $159,710 – But Most Looking for New Jobs

Copier Careers, a recruiting firm for the copier industry, today published its 2017 Sales Manager Salary Survey, which includes the responses of 1,348 copier-channel sales managers across the United States.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • This year, the average total salary for a sales manager was $159,710 – that’s an increase of $3,547 for base salaries and $3,606 in commissions.
  • Despite an average increase in compensation of 4.7 percent last year, more than 90 percent  of respondents say they are looking for a new job.
  • 100 percent of sales managers responding to this year’s survey say that “higher compensation” is the number-one reason they would change jobs.
  • The top choices for “what matters most about your job” were overwhelmingly feel-good options such as “knowing my work is important to company success,” “the ability to work with leading-edge tech” and “wanting to work on new, innovative IT solutions.”

Why are many sales managers looking for a new job? “Being a sales manager is a very hard job,” said Paul Schwartz, president of Copier Careers. “Over a few years, the industry has evolved from selling and servicing copy machines to providing complex IT solutions. Everything changed, and sales managers are at the epicenter of that change.”

According to Copier Careers, in today’s marketplace, many dealers are trying to increase market share by going after new business. That creates pressure on sales managers to build and lead teams that can sell new solutions. “The channel just grows,” Schwartz said. “There are always more solutions and services to sell. Having the capacity and sales team to do that well clearly has an effect on the job satisfaction of sales managers. Their job is like a balancing act on a tightrope.”

According to the survey, the average base salary for a Copier Channel sales manager rose to $62,667 this year. Coupled with commissions that averaged $97,043, the average total compensation for sales managers increased to $159,710.

Even though 56 percent of survey respondents said they are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their total compensation, it may pose a concern for dealers, because that means 44 percent of the sales managers said they are “very dissatisfied,” “dissatisfied” or “neutral” with their total compensation package.

The dissatisfaction, according to Copier Careers, might arise from each dealer’s need to create compensation packages for selling and servicing complex solutions that often have long-term leases, as opposed to a set percentage of the sale of a single machine in the “old” days.

“The industry has gone through a lot of trial and error and frustration on how to compensate sales of software solutions and make it fair for everyone,” Schwartz said. “They have made headway, but ongoing changes in the industry have led to a lot of frustration.

“Companies realize they need to compensate more to keep good people, because the market is tight,” Schwartz said. “They have to be careful, because when so many sales managers say they are unhappy with their compensation, it will create movement. And it won’t be hard to place them, because everybody is looking to hire good sales managers.”

More from the Survey

When asked about their “overall satisfaction” with their job, 50 percent of respondents in the Sales Manager Salary Survey said they are “satisfied” or “very satisfied.” The other 50 percent described their satisfaction level as “neutral” (23 percent) or “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” (27 percent).

Beyond compensation, many sales managers seem to want something more. When asked to select seven factors “that matter most about your job” from a list of 37 variables, the top choices in 2017 were overwhelmingly about “feel good” choices. All respondents (100 percent) said they want to know that their work is important to the company’s success.”

Ninety-one percent want “the ability to work with leading-edge technology,” and 90 percent “want to work on creating new, innovative IT solutions.”

This year’s salary survey also shows sales managers have increased interest in the “how” of their jobs: 81 percent said they want to understand their company’s business strategy; 81 percent expressed a desire to know that their work helps to achieve company goals, and 57 percent want to know that their opinion is acknowledged and valued.

The strength of those responses speaks volumes, Schwartz said. “If you don’t know where you stand, how are you supposed to help advance company goals? For me, that shows commitment and engagement.”

About the Survey

The 1,348 Copier Channel sales managers who took this year’s salary identified where they work by type of copier business:

  • 37 percent work for single-location independent copier dealerships; 27 percent work at multi-location regional dealerships;
  • 22 percent work at OEMs; 10 percent work for national sales and service organizations and 4 percent work for other non-specified Copier Channel employers.
  • Overall, the survey shows that more than two-thirds of sales managers lead teams of 10 or fewer members. In 2017, those supervising from one to 20 staff members increased slightly from last year.
    • 69.2 percent of sales managers supervise from one to 10 people;
  •  20 percent manage a sales staff of 11-20;
  •  7 percent lead teams of 21-50;
  •  4 percent oversee teams of 51-100.

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