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Build People Salary Review – Sales and Leadership

As you can imagine, salary is a hot topic for us! Every client and candidate meeting involves a discussion on remuneration, and it’s not unusual for someone to pull out a survey by a global (corporate) recruitment business whom operate in the general Sales and/or Executive space.

That’s all well and good, but it seems that there’s little information available on equivalent roles in the Building Industry. I personally specialise in the Supplier to Industry space, while my team deals with the wider Building and Construction marketplace. We will address Sales and Leadership roles in this article and follow up with a Marketing and Executive overview at a later date.

The salary figures we quote are based on the roles we have placed over the last 12 months and are generated by our recruitment system. The figures are taken from two perspectives: figure 1 is the median salary across the most recent 25 roles placed in that category, and figure 2 is the average across the top 5 highest paid candidates in the category.

If you like, this could be translated as median employer (or one hiring a less experienced candidate) vs a highly competitive employer (or one recruiting a highly experienced candidate).

A question about demand affecting Christchurch at this junction would be fair – in our considerable experience of that area of late, salaries are on average 8% higher than the Auckland region figures stated here.

Account Manager – Hardware (Supplier to merchant) 

  • Median Salary $65,456.25
  • Top 5 Salary $78,781.00

Area Manager / Territory Manager (typically Merchant/Contractor/Specifier) 

  • Median Salary $71,500.00 
  • Top 5 Salary $78,250.00

Business Development Manager (Senior Sales - Construction/Specifier)

  • Median Salary $81,600.00
  • Top 5 Salary $95,000.00

Key or National Account Manager (Hardware Head Office)

  • Median Salary $93,333.33
  • Top 5 Salary $111,000.00

National Sales Manager (Hardware or Supplier to EndUser.)

  • Median Salary $120,000.00
  • Top 5 Salary $142,000.00


There is a real deviation in the above Sales Management figures that is worth discussing. Firstly, I’m accustomed to placing great candidates (as part of a targeted search brief) at higher than the levels indicated. In saying that, it is a role that can be filled with either a candidate currently at that level or by a National Account Manager looking to step up.

Remuneration also seems to depend on existing relationships at Head Office level, as well as demonstrated team development and of course actual commercial acumen (P&L, EBIT), as well as qualifications.

Bonuses are not taken into consideration here. We have found these vary from company to company and are worthy of a whole separate article. As a general rule, Territory Managers are earning circa 10% of their base salary in bonuses, and this seems to carry over into other areas of the market.

Likewise Benefits. Items such as medical, superannuation, extended holiday periods all have commercial value and can form part of a package. We will look to address Bonuses and Benefits in an additional article.

We of course welcome any questions you may have as employee or employer. The figures we have indicated are not taken from a survey, or some spreadsheet from a global corporate, but are the figures we are negotiating every day as an industry specific recruiter.

If you have any questions about your salary, or that of your employees, feel free to contact us for a confidential discussion.

Build People Salary Review – Sales and Leadership

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