A corporate account manager, also referred to as a business account manager or key account manager, is typically a salesperson who handles corporate clients on behalf of a manufacturer or wholesaler. Like many sales positions, the base salary is usually just a portion of a corporate account manager's overall earnings. Most earn commissions or bonuses in addition to a base salary. Some rely only on commissions and bonuses and don't have a base salary at all.
Manufacturing and Wholesale Salaries:
O-NET reports that In 2011, the median wage for salespeople working for manufacturers and wholesalers was $53,540 per year or $25.74 per hour. This includes base salary and commissions or bonuses, but does not include the wages of those selling technology or scientific products. The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are from 2010. That year, the median wage for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives -- excluding those who sold technical and scientific products -- was $52,440 a year. These figures likely included bonuses and commissions in addition to base salaries.
Technology and Scientific Salaries:
Corporate account managers working for companies selling technical or scientific products earned significantly more than the average for all wholesalers and manufacturers in 2011. According to O*NET, the median wage was $74,750 that year, including base salary, commissions and bonuses. According to the BLS, the median wage for this group in 2010 was $73,710.
Understanding Base Salary:
Base salary refers to a regular income that is paid in addition to sales commissions. This is usually negotiated at the time of the job offer, but can be renegotiated when the contract expires, often annually. A base salary is usually based on expected sales and is often based on a minimum sales quota. Sales below that quota might result in a reduced commission or no commission at all. Generally speaking, an experienced account manager receives a larger base salary than someone with less experience. Because an account manager's responsibility is to bring revenue into the company, if your sales aren't enough to cover your base salary, the employer might terminate you.
Base Salary as a Percentage of Wages:
Base salaries compared to commissions or bonuses vary by company. A 2010 survey by World at Work showed that the base salary for salespeople selling to existing accounts was 64.7 percent of their total wages on average. Using this formula, if a sales rep earned $100,000 during the year, for example, his base salary would have been $64,700. The average base salary for new account sellers was 59.5 percent of total wages. Those with a mix of new accounts and existing accounts had an average base salary of 65 percent of total wages. A study by Forbes.com showed that SAP America paid the highest average base salary: $110,114. With commissions averaging $99,431, this made the typical account manager's wages $209,545 a year. These figures show that the base salary was 52.5 percent of total wages.