SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sales departments are expecting a slowing economy for the rest of 2019 continuing into 2020, according to the 2019 Sales Compensation Hot Topics Survey conducted by the Alexander Group. Another key survey finding indicates that approximately 50 percent of the companies plan to add headcount in 2019, after reporting in December that staffing growth may have peaked at the end of 2018.

“Sales leaders have moderated sales staffing growth. Things are back to normal from the hiring peak at the end of 2018 when more than 60 percent of companies planned to increase headcount. Fifty-two percent of the companies are planning headcount expansion; the typical number for economically stable years,” said David Cichelli, the survey editor and revenue growth advisor. “The survey did not support popular market perspectives. First, pay plans are more similar on a global basis than dissimilar. Many believe pay plans differ significantly by country. And, second, regardless of the views expressed in the popular press, new, millennial sales talent receive no special pay treatment,” added Cichelli.

Noteworthy Highlights

  • Digital Sales Jobs: Jobs with more customer “influence/persuasion” are more likely to have more dollars of target compensation devoted to incentive compensation. Chat-based sales reps and digital pre-sales tech specialists demonstrate this trend.

  • Multi-Country Practices: Global sales compensation consistency continues to expand. Global sales compensation teams are bringing closer alignment of sales compensation pay practices.

  • Family Leave: Practices are diverse, but most companies provide some incentive compensation earnings replacement during the first 12 weeks of leave, less so after 12 weeks.

  • Leadership Involvement in Sales Compensation Redesign: Most CEOs and SVPs of Sales want to affect sales compensation design through either active participation or final program design approval.

  • Credit for Web Sales: For companies where customers have alternate purchasing options via the web, half of the companies provide sellers with full sales credit.

About the Alexander Group, Inc.

The Alexander Group ( provides revenue growth consulting services to the world’s leading sales and marketing organizations, serving Global 2000 companies across all industries. Founded in 1985, Alexander Group combines deep experience, a proven methodology and data-driven insights to help revenue leaders anticipate change, align their go-to-market resources with company goals and make better informed decisions with one goal in mind—to grow revenue. The Alexander Group has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, London, San Francisco, Scottsdale and Stamford.


Lori Feuer

Senior Marketing & Communications Manager

The Alexander Group