GLGA Member Question – Sales and CSR Salaries During COVID-19

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With the pandemic and sales being down, I’d like to know what others are doing with Sales and CSR salaries when volumes are down.


We’ve not made any adjustments to sales or CSR salaries, as of now


We’ve cut back on the number of CSRs we have, as we couldn’t support the entire team we had back in March. Salary has stayed the same for them, with even a small increase to keep motivation and morale up.

We cut sales salaries initially, but have brought them back up to their normal pre-covid level. Starting to look at what 2021 will look like, and how to determine salary, commission quotas and other compensation. No decisions yet, but looking for something creative to reward on the upside.


We are not changing pay for any employee, but reducing head count. Our guideline is a PIA study: Industry leaders head count equates to one employee representing $ 215,000.00 – $ 220,000.00 in sales.


We had cut hours for CSR’s but now have them both back on full time as work has picked up to near normal levels for the last two months.

Wages are frozen until end of year.

We did let go one inside sales/CSR and have learned to live without that position for now.


We continue to be busy therefore our sales force and CSR staff have been unaffected. Increases are part of the budget this year.


We have not made any changes. We have allowed Sales to work from home.


Compensation for sales has not changed as they are still paid on a % of sales. CSR’s as well as other salaried employees have taken a pay cut, depending on position, either 10 or 20%.


Thought I would chime in on this one. We went the opposite way… we re-did our compensation plan and increased sales targets and sales bonuses, focused products or focused markets. We then reduced bonus levels if the sales professional did not hit a base line target. The caveat to the reduction is if they maintain their targeted weekly and monthly call, email, quotes and sample activity levels their bonus rate would be maintained even if they did not hit their target.

The other thing is we changed our inside and outside sales structure to just sales. As in this environment, everyone – inside and outside – have to generate business the same way. That is been a bit bumpy for the outside folks. But we believe it is a new age and that the environment of remote and virtual are here to stay. So we have focused on actions on the sales front to match the virtual world. One of the new targets will be how many virtual calls a sales executive will conduct in a week and month.

It was a bit bumpy at the start, but people have really gravitated to the process. And we are seeing it in our revenue and margins, we are up 19% this year.

Hope that helps.


Our Sales Representatives are on Commission. Earnings go up and down with changes in the market. In addition to headcount reductions and/or furloughs. Salaried individuals (CSR’s) had a 3% – 25% reduction in pay depending upon pay range. Hourly workers had no decrease in pay, with essential workers given bonus gift cards for continuing to work. With business conditions improving the temporary salary reductions will be eliminated at end of the year. However no pay increases for salaried workers in 2021.


Sales – our salesmen work on straight commission but they do get a draw every pay period and the balance of commission is paid once a month. In good times, if a salesman did not meet his draw the shortage was deducted. Right now some of our salespeople are not meeting their monthly draw, but we decided not to penalize them so they do receive their full draw even if they do not have enough sales to support it. If their commission is higher than their draw that month they are paid the additional.

CSR’s – Normally all of our CSR’s are on salary and generally work a 45 hour week. Since Covid we have laid off a couple of CSR’s. The ones who are left have been moved to hourly and only work the hours needed to get their work done. Generally somewhere between 6-8 hours a day depending on how busy or slow we are. We also stagger their starting times so that we have coverage from 7 am – 4 pm.


At this point we have not felt the need to do anything different. As standard procedures for hourly employees – if there is no work, they go home.


We have not made any decisions on salary adjustments for this year, but it is seeming unlikely we will do anything increase-related. Unsure if we may need to adjust downward at all.

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