what your salary should be as a CRM professional!!
Back from a week's holiday gardening and fishing in the Scottish
borders, I thought I'd spend a little time on my first week
back having a look at some of the early results from our online
survey on the minor topic of how much money CRM professionals
Please note that this is still not the formal
report of the survey, which is being prepared in collaboration
with the CRM-Institute of the University of Strathclyde. Work
progresses, but it will probably be another month or so before
we release the final document, and they'll be at a far more
useful level than these analyses which are global. It becomes
much more valuable when we break out individual industries
and countries. Nevertheless, there's still a lot of valuable
information at the global level.
Before providing the analyses, let me give
you some background. The survey was completed by nearly 900
CRM professionals, but not all of them provided us with information
on salary - a sensitive topic for some. Over 550 did provide
us with salary information, but the number included in each
analysis varies for a number of reasons. It's reasonable to
assume there's a sample size of around 500 for each of the
Second point. A Stephen Jay Gould book on
the disappearance of the .4 baseball hitter (the title escapes
me) convinced me of the uselessness of averages and persuaded
me of the value of normal (and abnormal) distribution curves,
so that's how all the analyses are approximately represented.
They're a bit harder to understand, but they tell you a lot
We asked respondents to identify their salary
as fitting into one of 6 bands: £0 - £20k, £20k - £35k, £35k
- £50k, £50k - £75k, £75k - £100k, and over £100k. Each of
the analyses shows, for each item, the % of respondents that
fitted into each of these ranges. This provides a 'pseudo
normal distribution curve'. The more the curve is skewed to
the right compared with other items, the more relatively people
are being paid. Similarly the more it is comparatively skewed
to the left, the less people are being paid.
With that out of the way, let's have a look
at the first analysis of salary by Job Title.
Actually, there's not that much which is interesting
here. As you'd expect, directors tend to get paid more than
other staff members. The only thing of real interest is that
the title CRM manager has arrived, and over 20% of respondents
providing salary details had that job title. So it looks as
if companies think that CRM is here to stay.
Although you may not have much choice of career
(and hence job title) you do have a choice on which side of
the industry you work, so the next analysis breaks down salaries
by client-side, consultancies, and suppliers.
Here a number of things become clear. If you're
after the big money, consultancy is the place to be, with
less than 25% earning less than £35k, and around 33% earning
over £75k. Client-side companies have a large number of staff
(nearly 40% on less than £35k, but still over 20% earning
£75k or over. Looks like a safe bet with good earnings in
the long-haul. Supply-side employees look like their salary
is more likely to be in the medium to high range, but with
fewer earning in the over £100k area. So it looks as if there's
a number of different strategies to maximise salary available
to people in different market sectors, depending on their
Although analysis of salary by job title didn't
turn out to be spectacularly interesting, we also asked respondents
about the area of CRM in which they were working and that
threw up a number of interesting points.
First point of interest - the only two areas
where no respondent was earning more than £100k were customer
profitability and the Internet Channel. The first of these
Understanding customer profitability is key
to CRM, and yet no company is paying any respondent more than
£100k to work in that area, though in every other area apart
from Internet Channel we had respondents earning in that range.
Just shows how important companies think customer profitability
is (and the Internet channel) - a mistake in our view. It's
also interesting that strategic analysis seems quite skewed
to lowish salaries, when the value added is significant. I
suppose they all get promoted and go on to work on Business
On the other hand, if you're looking for the
big bucks, you've got a choice of a number of areas paying
£100k+. More than 10% of respondents working on Business strategy,
CRM IT Implementation, Data Mining, Data Warehousing, Sales
Force Automation and Contact Centres were earning £100k or
I found two of these particularly interesting.
I was pleased to see that Data Miners are being well rewarded.
Like strategic analysis, it's a technical skill which adds
a lot of value, but its value has not always been recognised
in the past. I guess it's the high demand and shortage of
skills that is driving up the price. Similarly the high salaries
paid to people working on Contact Centres suggests that there's
serious effort going into the integration of the electronic
channels and the call centre - a development that we've been
promoting for some time now.
Of course, in a sense, all these analyses
at global level could be accused of adding apples and pears
together. Although there's a global economy, salaries are
not the same in different economies, and nor are costs of
living. To take a first step in showing the difference in
these economies, we analysed the top 20 countries (in terms
of respondents) to see how salaries varied from country to
I think there are some interesting pointers
here. We do have to be careful because for non-English speaking
countries the sample sizes are probably too low to provide
an accurate feel. Note that I include Hong Kong, India, Malaysia,
and Singapore as English-speaking countries, at least from
a work perspective.
Most of those English-speaking countries (Australia,
Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, and USA) are showing the
sort of normal distribution curve which suggests that salaries
are not too dissimilar across those countries, though the
USA looks as if salaries may be larger. That may be due to
a confusion between US dollars and Sterling pounds.
What is more interesting is what's happening
in countries like Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore,
Most of them are showing a large percentage
of low paid workers (Hong Kong and India at around 50%), but
with top-earners still usually in the £75k-£100k or £100k+
brackets. It looks like this might be the conscious attempt
to develop a CRM export industry, buying top-rate international
skills at the senior level, and leveraging local lower salaries
for more junior positions. We know this is happening in India
(e.g. offshore call centres), but perhaps also in China /
Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. Mexico also has a similar
profile. Is anyone aware of the use of Mexico as a base for
Spanish-speaking call centres for US companies? It certainly
looks like an opportunity.
As you can see, we're only just scraping the
surface of the salary information we've been provided, and
we are still working on more detailed analyses at country
and industry-within-country level. As I said earlier, we hope
to publish the formal analyses of the survey in August.
If any of this stimulates thoughts or comments
from you, we'd be interested to know them. You can post
comments directly to this editorial, or email me directly
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