Base pay

Base pay is a fixed amount of money that is paid to an employee on a regular basis, regardless of their performance. It is the foundation of a sales compensation package, and it is typically paid out biweekly or monthly.

Factors that can affect base pay:

  • The employee’s experience and qualifications. More experienced and qualified employees typically earn higher base pay.
  • The job title and duties. Employees with more responsibility and higher-level positions typically earn higher base pay.
  • The company’s industry and location. Base pay can vary depending on the industry and location of the company.

Companies will want to research current base pay numbers across industries and regions to offer competitive base pay packages. To stay up on current trends, we recommend Betts Recruiting annual compensation guide.

Base pay usually makes up 50% of a seller’s sales compensation package, with incentive or variable pay making up the other half. In fact, according to our Sales Compensation Trends survey, the most common split between base and variable pay came in at a 50/50 split. 

With account management roles, the most common split is 80/20. Meanwhile, VP of sales compensation packages most commonly take form into a 50/50 split or a 70/30 + equity package. 

In addition to commissions and bonuses, other forms of variable compensation plus the base pay: 

Signing bonuses. These are typically paid to new salespeople when they are hired.

Travel expenses. Salespeople who travel frequently may be reimbursed for their expenses.

Auto allowances. Salespeople who use their own cars for business may be reimbursed for their mileage.

The total compensation of a salesperson can vary widely, depending on the factors mentioned above. However, base pay is an important part of the equation, and it is something that salespeople should consider when negotiating their compensation package

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