Sales Manager Salaries
By Industry in 2023
Sales Manager Salaries

A sales manager is a critical player in any organisation — although in some industries you’ll find more than one per company. Charged with meeting the revenue goals, hiring, organising and overseeing the sales force, the required skill set is both extensive and unusual. Sales Managers typically come up through the ranks of sales, but most talented salespeople will not make effective sales manager.

Great salespeople are hunters. Great Sales Managers are hunters who’ve learned how to organise and lead hunting parties. 

How much a Sales Manager gets paid is influenced by factors that include: 

  • Track record
  • Years of experience
  • Size of employer
  • Years of tenure at an employer
  • Employer’s industry
  • Industry knowledge and connections
  • Method of compensation
  • Location
Compensation Type

This plays out in how Sales Managers are paid. There’s typically a substantial base salary garnished with varying amounts of bonus money depending on the company and the industry. For example, an “average” Sales Manager in the financial industry is not unique in their organisation; there may be dozens of sales managers in a large firm. 

For software companies or manufacturers, there may be just a few — or only one. As a result, total sales manager compensation (OTE, On-Target-Earnings) in some industries is lower than you might expect. 

There are also many types of additional compensation. Startups or tech companies may offer a mix of bonus cash and stock for reaching or exceeding goals. Others may stick with straight commission sharing. 


In addition to its industry, where a company is located, and its geographic footprint is major determinant of total income. A regional business in say, QLD is not going to pay what a global business pays. Large national/multinational companies tend to pay in the same ranges as others in their industry because they compete for the same talent. 

Average Pay

According to our internal compensation research, the average base pay for a Sales Manager in Australia is $130,000 across all industries and all experience levels. When you factor in the company’s size and years of experience as a sales managers, significant differences in compensation emerge. For our analysis, we looked at average pay in four scenarios: 

  • Low — less than one year experience at a small company with fewer than 50 employees total
  • High — average salary for sales managers with 15 years experience at large companies (1,000 or more employees)
  • Highest — Highest average salaries for AEs with 15 years experience at large companies
  • High total comp — Total compensation for highest earners when OTE was included

Averages can be deceiving: There are sales managers making less than $130,000 and some making ten times that amount when total compensation is included.

  • Average: $130,000
  • Low: $90,000
  • High: $350,000

There’s significant variation between industries, too. In some, additional compensation is modest, keeping total comp down, while other industries have almost unlimited potential. 

BioTech & Pharma

The biotech and pharmaceutical world was rocked by the arrival of COVID-19 and the reverberations continue. While the direct impact was felt most acutely by the firms engaged in combating covid, the increased demand for healthcare supplies of all kinds affected many others. Rapid change will be a major factor going forward, as mass therapies (blockbuster drugs) give way to highly tailored individualised treatments. This will allow Pharma sales executives to stay on top of a fast-moving marketplace: 

Bio-sensors, big data and IoT will accelerate the changes. 

  • Average: $190,000
  • Low: $92,000
  • High: $250,000
Business Services

The covid pandemic poured fuel on an already hot marketplace as digitalisation of business processes and new digital services were transforming the business landscape. With an annual growth rate north of 10%, the demand for more business services — especially digital tools — shows no sign of slowing. The spread between the lowest and highest earners reflects the growth and importance of digital services.

  • Average: $160
  • Low: $110,000
  • High: $295,000
Consumer Services

Some of the major drivers of consumer services were walloped by restrictions and anxieties around covid: travel, hospitality and recreation all took huge hits. As the pandemic eases, money will likely surge back into these sectors, producing some good years until the pent-up demand is satisfied. The amount of services spent in the overall economy is reflected in relatively higher pay for sales manager positions in the industry.  

  • Average: $185,000
  • Low: $115,000
  • High: $280,000

An ageing population plus more available treatments and increasing diversity of delivery points should continue to foster a steady rise in health spending in the years ahead. Consolidation among traditional healthcare companies such as hospitals and medical practices is somewhat offset by the proliferation of “health adjacent” settings offering services such as the administration of cosmetic treatments and dietary/lifestyle coaching. 

  • Average: $168,000
  • Low: $107,000
  • High: $225,000
Tech: Hardware & Software

It’s not surprising that a lot of compensation is available in computer hardware and software sales. From established “blue chip” leaders like HP, Dell and Apple to startups making the IoT happen, digitalisation is well established and shows no sign of slowing. The application of AI across the entire spectrum of our business and personal lives is already underway. It will only accelerate in the years ahead, creating even more opportunities for sales leaders who can crush goals. 

  • Average: $190,000
  • Low: $135,000
  • High: $350,000
Tech: Services

Cloud-based software has conditioned the market to renting rather than buying, which promises to further boost spending on tech services, which has been clipping along at a growth rate of about 11%. New modalities — SaaS, blockchain, AI — have appeared and are setting off another major wave of digitisation. As with their compatriots in the hardware/software sector, sales execs on the services side are paid very well. The numbers skew a bit lower, possibly because many companies in this sector are startups, which tend to pay a bit less but also offer big upsides through stock options.  

  • Average: $194,000
  • Low: $130,000
  • High: $349,000
Financial Services

Looking at the profits of big financial institutions and the pay scales for sales managers might raise the question of who’s getting all that money. Part of the answer is that some players, especially banks, have multiple sales managers, spreading the wealth among many executives. Financial services have been doing very well, but there are some questions about the future: Blockchain technology will be implemented throughout the industry, possibly reducing regulatory burdens and making more services more widely available. However, the counter-trend is that cryptocurrencies may lead to significant assets moving out of traditional financial services companies. 

  • Average: $145,000
  • Low: $115,000
  • High: $290,000

Companies with “digital maturity,” ones that have already adopted and implemented digital processes throughout their organisations have done better over the past few years than their peers who are less mature. Labor shortages and supply chain issues continue to roil the industry, and over-reliance on low-inventory models has damaged companies that rely on a steady stream of shipments from their factories. 

Manufacturers who can bring production closer to home markets while maintaining margins stand the best chance of prospering. For sales managers, a company’s capacity to deliver will remain a key determinant of marketplace success. 

  • Average: $185,000
  • Low: $120,000
  • High: $220,000

Change is a constant in the telecom world, and the coming decade will be no exception as 5G rolls out across the world. Intense competition is the norm, and that won’t lessen anytime soon as wire-based telecom solutions compete with fibre optic, cellular and even satellite providers. The global appetite for moving data is enormous and growing. The Iot alone promises to add trillions of bits to the packets moved by telecom providers, so the future is bright. The fights will be long and hard for Sales Managers in this arena, but the rewards could be massive. 

  • Average: $200,000
  • Low: $140,000
  • High: $290,000

Related Posts