Holding steady. That is what responses to our annual Sales Representative salary survey show in 2019. Total compensation has ticked up slightly, and experienced sales reps remain in very high demand, but as mergers and acquisitions reshape the industry, sales reps have grown more cautious about seeking out new positions.
In 2019, service and operations managers find themselves working at the perilous intersection of abundance and scarcity. While they continue to embrace abundant new solutions, they are frustrated by the scarcity of qualified techs to service those complex products. Navigating the difficult terrain between booming sales and understaffed service teams is the issue for service and ops managers as they try to maintain reliable service while they roll out new solutions.
Every roaring success has a potential downside. For sales managers in the go-go Copier Channel, the “downside” is the effort it takes to recruit, train and retain a top-notch sales force. In 2019, sales managers report working on average 68 hours a week, up two hours from a year ago. That might be why 94 percent of those who took our 2019 survey also said they are looking for a new position.
The Copier Channel can duplicate almost anything — except what it needs most urgently: qualified copier technicians. In 2019, the demand for copier technicians continues to surge, while the pool of qualified hybrid techs has dwindled. And there is no relief in sight.
It’s a good time to be a sales representative in the Copier Channel. Their skills are in demand, and their quotas and commissions have remained steady. Dealership owners seem to have found the right compensation/quota formula to keep sales professionals satisfied and willing to stay in their current situation. It’s a nice place to be, after more than a decade of intense change as the industry morphed into an IT-based business and dealers faced myriad challenges and changes.
Respondents to our 2018 salary survey report their compensation has remained stable in a year when base salaries didn’t increase. That means they are making or exceeding quotas to maintain total compensation that is slightly above what it was last year.
In 2018, there are abundant opportunities for experienced sales reps across the Copier Channel. It’s something Copier Careers President Paul Schwartz calls a good news-bad news situation. “The good news is that they are in demand. The bad news is that demand is outstripping supply right now,” he said. “To hire top talent, dealers are continuing to adjust offers and company culture to attract and keep sales reps in the fold.”
So, even as the pace of technological change has slowed a bit, more change is in the wind for the industry. “They live in this environment that is always going to be changing and evolving,” Schwartz said.