Ovid once said, “Fertilior seges est alenis semper in agris,” which translates to “The harvest is always more fruitful in another man’s fields.” So, theoretically at least, it’s perfectly okay to peer enviously into your neighbor’s yard. The real question is: How worthwhile is it to covet what you don’t have? But, like the question, the answer is not so simple.

According to the 2022 Bravado State of Sales Compensation Guide, which has been collected from Bravado’s network—comprised of 150,000+ individual Sales Professionals from over 11,000 different companies and 82 countries around the world—only 47% of sales teams hit quota in the most recent year. What’s interesting, if you peek over the fence, is that salespeople are making more money than ever before. At the same time, however, the industry has never been more unpredictable.

2021 Recap

In 2021, it was easier to sell with a larger sales team. Companies with over 100+ reps did the best, with 55% of those larger teams hitting quota. On the flip side, scaling sales teams (26-100 reps) did the worst, with only 44% of them hitting quota.

On the best sales teams, 75%+ of members hit their quota. Unfortunately, this is extremely rare. Only 1 in 4 sales teams had 75%+ of their members hit Quota.

Companies with fewer than 10, or more than 100 sales reps, had the most successful teams while, on the flip side, 54% of sales reps missed their Quota in 2021.

Average tenure in sales is declining, as sales turnover is higher than turnover in any other function. The fact is, even though the number of open sales roles is growing, and with higher pay to boot, unrealistic quotas are driving more sales reps to leave their jobs.

Compensation for Sales Development Representatives

But 2021 wasn’t all bad. With salaries collected from Sales Development Reps split by Base Salary and On-Target Earnings, and from 11,000+ sales teams, the average compensation rose by 35% in 2021, with 11% in just Q4 alone.

Geographically, and proving it’s not just a new music town, the city with the highest median pay for SDRs is Austin, with OTE above $100K. Breaking it down even further, SDRs with 3+ years of experience can make on average $10K more than their peers with 2 years or less experience.

Compensation for Account Executives

And there’s also good news regarding Account Exec salaries. Across 11,000+ sales teams, with salaries collected from AEs split by Base Salary and OTE, the average compensation rose by 40% in 2021 and 17% in just Q4 alone.

Geographically, and somehow with winter weather in mind, the top 3 cities with the highest median pay for AEs are Chicago, the San Francisco Bay area, and Boston, with OTEs above $200K. And by years of experience, the average AE’s pay doubles in the first 10 years of their career.

On average, Enterprise Account Execs make nearly $200K in OTE, compared to their Small and Midsize Business counterparts who make $120K in OTE.

And according to our respondents, it pays to learn a sales methodology. Of the $250k+ earners, half are trained in the Challenger method.

2022 Remote Work Trends

Regarding working remote, because this affects a lot of us, 39% of sales professionals will not return to an office. Accordingly, by providing employees the option to work from home, employers open themselves up to a wider geographic group of top talent to choose from. And concerning relocation, 54% of job seekers are willing to move for a great job, which also opens up the talent pool.


Overall, the Bravado State of Sales Compensation Guide is mostly good news for the sales industry, especially concerning trends for the upcoming year. In other words, the future seems promising. So we don’t really need to peek over our neighbor’s fence, as our own backyard is also looking pretty good.

Challenger, Inc.

Challenger is the global leader in training, technology, and consulting to win today’s complex sale. Our sales transformation and training programs are supported by ongoing research and backed by our best-selling books, The Challenger Sale, The Challenger Customer, and The Effortless Experience.