ASI’s 2022 Sales Compensation Survey Finds Reps Earning Average of $88,000 A Year

Finding sales reps in challenging times requires new ways of thinking, hiring and paying

TREVOSE, PA – May 16, 2022 – The 2022 ASI Sales Compensation Survey shows that even as straight commission remains the preferred method of paying distributor sales reps, it’s dropping in favorability, continuing a decade-long trend in the $23.2 billion promotional products industry.

Good news for sales reps: Despite recent global difficulties, the average annual compensation for sales reps in 2021 remains close to 2019 levels at $88,000.

As a result of today’s tricky hiring environment, along with shifting demands from younger reps, distributor companies are increasingly flexible, gearing their pay plans to the type of rep they hope to attract. Further, the ASI survey shows, when it comes to compensation, 42% of reps told ASI they want a bonus in some form, whether with salary, commission, or both.

The ASI survey also shows straight commission decreased for the third consecutive time, and now only accounts for slightly more than a third of all industry sales rep pay models. Some new reps are leery of straight commission since it means earning zero while they’re still getting up to speed and learning about the industry.

Trying to lure millennials and Gen Z? Studies across the board say company culture, flexibility and access to career growth matter most.

At Kore Group, a member of the Kaye-Smith family (asi/239444), job postings list “Happiness” as a benefit. “We sell culture, the right fit,” said Mike Hatfield, the company’s sales manager. “We want the right vibe and personality. With the right person, we can train and evolve, improving them and ourselves.”

Trying to lure millennials and Gen Z? Studies across the board say company culture, flexibility and access to career growth matter most.

Here’s an overview of advice and perks on attracting talent, from industry sales pros interviewed for the online ASI Media story:

  • Promoleaf (asi/300534) builds its outside sales team using employee referrals, LinkedIn and other online sources.
  • Boundless (asi/143717) targets established reps who hit a ceiling running their business themselves or with their current distributor, offering all commission.
  • The Image Group (asi/230069) develops reps who seek enterprise-based solutions versus product-based ones, while utilizing digital technology.

For more info on ASI’s compensation survey, conducted annually except during 2020 and 2021, please contact ASI Media Editor-In-Chief C.J. Mittica at [email protected].

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI®; serves a network of 25,000 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $23.2 billion promotional products industry. ASI’s flagship product, the technology platform ESP®, manages the industry’s entire supply and marketing chain. ASI also produces award-winning digital content, live events and educational programs that enable companies in 53 countries to be more efficient, productive and profitable. ASI’s media and research operation provides the most authoritative business content in the industry, and the ASI Certification Program features 200+ live and online education courses for industry professionals. The company, family-owned and -operated since 1962, is proud to have been consistently ranked among the “Best Places to Work” in Philadelphia and Bucks County, PA.