Demand for Sales Roles Soars in Australia, but Advertised Salaries Decline

March 3, 2023 by Mariana Marques

The pandemic has tremendously affected the purchasing behaviours of both individuals and companies alike. So how did the demand for Sales-related jobs change over the last few years? 

In Australia, like most sectors, Sales-related job postings suffered a major drop right in the beginning of 2020. However, a lot has changed since then. Lightcast put together The Great Reshuffle dashboard to guide you through the latest trends in key sectors of the Australian labour market. 

As part of our ongoing article series exploring the ramifications of The Great Reshuffle in Australia, we have delved into the Construction and the Hospitality and Travel sectors. In this article, we shift focus to explore the Sales industry and how it has changed. 

The tipping point 

Similar to other sectors, Sales also experienced a tipping point in the second quarter of 2020. While the first three months of that  year saw the number of Sales-related job postings free falling, they bounced back right after, with this upward trend continuing largely unabated, with Q3 of 2022 seeing the highest number of Sales job postings in 7 years.

There is a general trend of job postings decreasing in Q1 of 2020, and rapidly recovering in the following quarter, even reaching new heights by 2022. While this gives us a generic overview of the Australian labour market over the last years, it tells us little about what actually changed within each sector. So, let’s drill down even further.

Salaries in Sales

Average advertised salaries for Sales roles have historically lagged behind other jobs. However, in the post-Covid labour market, this gap has widened considerably. So whereas advertised salaries for Sales roles from Q1 of 2015 to Q2 of 2020 were tracking at an average of A$7,900 below all other jobs, since that time the gap has widened to A$12,500.

Note that these figures represent salary rates only. Sales is known to be a commission-based sector, so the total remuneration may look quite different in the end, and can vary widely and each sector and even employer offers different commission-based benefits. 

Full time vs. Contracting work 

Full time work for advertised Sales positions decreased considerably since the beginning of 2020. Before 2020, the percentage of Sales-related job postings offering full time work was relatively stagnant at around 80%, and very much in line with the Australian market average. In the last few years, however, only about 70 to 75% of all Sales job postings have been full time offerings. 

When it comes to contracting job postings, the Sales sector is far below market average. In mid-2022, only 2% of all Sales job postings offered contracting options, compared to the market average of 7%. This discrepancy was visible even before the Great Reshuffle, so there were no major shifts in the last few years. 

Changing job requirements 

Employers are loosening work experience requirements for Sales roles. Between 2019 and 2022, there was a slight increase in the percentage of Sales job postings requiring 2 years of experience or less. Equally, the percentage of job postings requiring 3+ years of work experience has decreased, with only 53% of job postings having this requirement, compared to 58% in 2019. 

But while some requirements are loosened, others are tightened. From Q2 of 2020, the number of software skills requested for Sales positions soared to an all-time high over the past 7 years. There is a huge demand for IT skills in Sales, as software tools like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) become part of the day-to-day of increasingly more Sales people. 

Not enough data for you? Check out The Great Reshuffle dashboard to find more insightful data about Sales and other sectors in Australia. If you have a specific requirement and want to dive even deeper into the Australian labour market, get in touch with Lightcast to discuss how our data can help you.