2015 Outside Sales Compensation and Benefits Report

THE LBM INDUSTRY has experienced significant growth over the past couple of years, and has reached a point at which many dealers are finally topping benchmarks set before the economic decline of 2007 and 2008. As dealers raise their heads above these benchmarks, it is clear that demand for outside sales pros remains rock solid. Indeed, nearly one-third of respondents report paying their top outside sales people more than $120,000.

That reality raises the question of compensation and benefits. Is it time for some dealers to worry that they’re leaning on Great Recession-era compensation packages that no longer hold the interest of top-notch salespeople? Possibly.

That’s why we narrowed the focus of this year’s annual compensation and benefits report to outside sales. As our industry undergoes unprecedented changes, with frequent news of mergers and acquisitions and the rapid multiplication of dealer locations, we want to make sure that our readers are focused on retaining—and obtaining—experienced and qualified sales professionals. To do so, these dealers need timely intelligence on compensation plan trends both in their region and nationwide.

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That’s why LBM Journal, along with experienced research pro John Cashmore of Opinion Dive Market Research, provided this deep dive into how much, how often and by which methods dealers across the country are compensating their outside sales staff.

Note: The article that follows summarizes the results of the survey; space restraints prevent us from publishing the full report here. Dealers who completed the survey will receive a copy of the full report—including all questions and answers—at no charge. For others, it is available for purchase at a nominal cost. Click here to purchase the full report.

Who We Surveyed
In focusing solely on outside sales compensation, this year’s compensation study included fewer questions, which enabled our analysis to dig deeper into the data that those questions provided. While the survey was sent to a broad audience of LBM Journal readers, only dealer and distributor participants’ answers were collected and analyzed.

As in previous studies, the focus of this year’s survey was on lumber/building material dealers serving professionals, consumers or a mix of both, along with specialty dealers and distributors (i.e. siding, roofing, windows/doors dealers). The first three charts paint an accurate picture of the makeup of this year’s respondents, both by company type, by the customer category breakout, and by the region of the country in which they operate.

chart - company's primary business