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What does a B2B sales manager actually earn?

The sales management profession accounts for one of the best paid in Germany. Sales managers earned an average of € 76.490 yearly gross salary in 2018, according to the website Gehalt.de. The site is a leading publication in the recruiting sector in Germany.

Most sales positions include a variable proportion. This proportion of a sales salary can represent between 10 and 80 % of the yearly gross remuneration. The attainment of revenue goals and KPI for sales usually determines the level of variable compensation in B2B.

The sales management career is dramatically changing. E-Procurement is gaining pace, and web-shops have become unavoidable. Social Media opened a new customer communication channel and companies are increasingly relying on predictive sales analytics to define and measure their sales KPI.

These trends among others growing the gap among salaries of B2B sales managers. Gross top earnings span between € 60.703 and € 104.674. Industry, region, seniority, academic background, company size and level of responsibility all influence the payment sales executives can expect.

Managing sales remains critical because, regardless of improvements in technology, a knowledgeable sales team is vital to B2B customers. Let’s review some of the top salaries in sales in Germany.

B2B sales manager salary in Germany by position.

Below we have listed the top positions on Business-to-Business sales, including their estimated variable proportion in Germany.

Most top sales positions will include perks such as a home office and a company car. Furthermore, it is common in Germany to sign a separate agreement regarding the private use of the company car. In this case, the company car usage is considered part of the remuneration.

Sales performance can have a significant impact on compensation, and we can see this fact reflected on the list of top salaries.

Two-hundred thousand euros is only possible for a top performer sales manager in a big enterprise. Chief Sales Officers in charge of sales and marketing, usually with a seat on the board of directors can get a paycheck close to 160 thousand euros a year.

A Head of sales with more than 20 key account managers to supervise could earn something near 130 thousand euros, including her company car. As a comparison, her sales representative will receive a fourth of that sum.

Let’s review the list of the top-earning sales positions in Germany.

PositionAnnual gross salary (incl. bonus)% of which variable
Sales Manager (Enterprise Accounts / Top-Performer)195,000 €50-80%
Chief Sales Officer (Sales & Marketing, in Board)159,000 €30-50%
Head of Sales (> 20 Reps)132,000 €30-50%
Enterprise Account Executive (Software, SaaS)111,300 €30-50%
Outside Sales Manager (8-20 Reps)96,000 €30-50%
Sales Development Rep (SDR)38,500 €10-30%
Junior Sales Manager (Inside Sales)28,500 €10-30%

Where are the best-paying sales jobs by region in Germany?

The geographic idea of Germany as a distinct region in Europe can be attributed to Julius Caesar, the Roman dictator who referred to the unconquered area east of the Rhine as Germania, distinguishing it from Gaul (France). In the Late Middle Ages, local monarchs, religious leaders and regional dukes, gained power at the expense of the emperors. This shift in power brought continuous and fragmentation.

Years of unparallel growth under the industrial revolution brought intense conflict, two world wars, separation and reunification. The federal republic of Germany is today divided into sixteen states (Bundesländer), including also city-states such as Hamburg.

The B2B sales profession does not lie outside these regional differences. Salaries by state can have significant variations. More prosperous and more populous regions, such as Baden-Württemberg and Bayern top the list with an average yearly gross wage higher than € 80,000. On the other extreme, a sales manager in Thuringia will pocket a 25 % less.

RegionGross Salary
Baden-Württemberg86,500 €
Bavaria83,700 €
Hamburg83,400 €
Bremen75,500 €
Berlin73,500 €
Brandenburg59,900 €

The industry also plays an essential role in the salary of a sales manager. Sales managers in machine manufacturing command the highest average yearly gross wages of around € 73,000, followed by automotive industry and pharma.

IndustrySalary (Year)
Mechanical and plant engineering73,040 €
Vehicle Manufacturers / Suppliers70,971 €
Pharmaceutical industry70,899 €
Financial Services70,330 €
Chemical and petroleum industry69,901 €
IT and Internet67,452 €
Electrical engineering, precision and optics67,118 €
Energy and water supply66,466 €
Medical Technology65,908 €
Consumer and durable goods62,777 €

B2B Sales Manager Salary in Germany – Summary

An interesting fact? B2B sales is a well-paid profession in Germany. A sales manager in Germany can earn anything between sixty and two hundred thousand euros per year, depending on industry, experience, responsibility and region. The average yearly gross salary tops € 76,490.

The area of responsibility has the most substantial influence on the salary in B2B sales. Sales managers can have a variety of tasks besides facing customers: managing key customers, setting KPI for sales teams and developing new business among others.

Sales Managers with responsibility for up to 10 reps can earn around € 80,000. If the executive’s duty increases, so does her salary. Shall the manager assume great responsibility regarding all sales operations in the company and take part in top management, she can get up to 160,000 euros per year.

There are, of course, different salary levels across industries. Machine manufacturing, automotive industry and pharma pay the highest average remunerations in sales.

Regions in Germany will also influence the level of salary a sales executive can expect. Southwest and southeast Germany will see the highest wages in B2B sales, whereas regions part of the former Soviet bloc lay a quarter below.

On the references, you will find all the sources we used for this article.

 
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Further Read:
 

10 high-paying jobs for natural-born salespeople

Top Industries for Sales Jobs in 2018

B2B: Your salary in Sales – Update 2018 (in German)

Salary for a sales manager – That’s what you earn as a sales manager. (in German)

Salaries in Germany: Top and flop occupations 2018: Who earns the most? (in German)

EASTERN AND WESTERN SALARIES. Where employees earn the most in Germany (in German)

Salary Report 2018: Where do you earn the most money? (in German)