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How to Use the Compensation Analysis Tool

Setting up the Tool:

Step 1: Select a Year (currently limited to YE2022, which is the compensation period surveyed  in 2023).

Step 2: Select a Position Category. This selection narrows the options in the Position list:

  • Non-Sales Staff: all non-sales roles in a dealer, from executives to WD&I laborers.
  • Sales
    • All Sales Staff: all non-management sales staff regardless of the basis of their compensation plan
    • Commission-based Sales Staff: sales staff with compensation plans that have no salary base
    • Salary-based Sales Staff: sales staff that have a base salary and may or may not have a commission component to their pay package
  • Sales Management: sales roles that may or may not have direct selling responsibilities but that involve the management of two or more sales staff


Step 3: Select a Position. This list will be limited to just those positions that are in the selected Position Category.

Keep in mind:

  1. When any one of the three Sales position categories is selected you will have the option to select all sales positions at once, an option that is not available for non-sales staff. This tactic is particularly useful when you are endeavoring to gather as large a sample set as possible when evaluating sales compensation.
  2. Similarly, when you have selected the Sales Management category, you can look at all Sales Management, or narrow your focus down to either Sales Managers with or without individuals sales responsibility, a distinction that Solomon Coyle has found to be significant when designing compensation packages for Sales Managers.


Step 4: Apply regional adjustment (optional) to the dollar values that the tool will return.

In previous reports, Solomon Coyle presented dollar values with no accommodation made for the difference between regional average wage levels and the overall U.S./Canadian average. Users were then required to refer to a table of general (so, not specific to a position) adjustment factors in an appendix, which then had to be manually applied to the results. Starting with this release, users have the option to have compensation dollar values expressed with:

  1. No adjustment made for regional- and position-specific factors, or
  2. An adjustment that considers the average compensation variance between a selected MSA (metropolitan statistical area) and the overall U.S./Canadian average for similar positions. This adjustment also considers national currency used in the selected MSA. So, selecting any Canadian metropolitan area will convert values to Canadian dollars by applying the average 2022 exchange rate of 76.9%.

How Position-specific Regional Compensation Modifiers Were Determined

United States

The Solomon Coyle team mapped each of our standard commercial furniture positions to one or more analogous positions tracked by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine regional average compensation. When users select a position and region, dollar amounts are automatically adjusted up or down to ensure that the highest number of compensation survey results are included in the resulting guidance.

Users should bear in mind that no regionalization methodology is perfect and that the accuracy of modifiers can be affected by:

  1. Any sampling error present in the data gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and
  2. The strength of the match between the standard Solomon Coyle position and the position or positions tracked by the BLS.

At initial release, Solomon Coyle had not identified the data we deemed necessary from Statistics Canada to accurately associate our standard position list with analogous positions in that data set. We did, however, utilize Stats Canada’s Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and postal code data, coupled with compensation adjustments factors from Robert Half and the average U.S./Canadian currency exchange rate for 2022 of 76.88%, to create non-position-specific regional modifiers for many CMAs. When this was not possible, the exchange rate modification was still applied.


Step 5: Select an Optional Job Competency Level.

Respondents to the survey characterize each staff member they provide with a competency level, enabling you to limit each analysis to staff that are roughly as competent as the hire for which you are assessing compensation. The four-tier competency breakdown is described here: Job Mastery Guide


Understanding the Results

Each Position Analysis you configure will result in a three-part analysis:

Part 1: Compensation

This section includes the dollar amounts, key percentages and mixes, and staff headcounts you will need to understand common compensation practice in North America for the selected position. For each row, the analysis returns aggregate results for the Bottom Quartile, Middle 50 (a.k.a. the interquartile range), the Top Quartile, Mean (a.k.a. Average), and Median value. Staff headcount shows up in the right-most column.

Rows are organized into sections; some of these sections will not show up for all positions. For example, Team Performance by Compensation, which shows the relationship between a sales manager’s compensation and his/her team’s performance, would be understandably absent from an analysis focused on the Designer role.

Part 2: Compensation Method

This part can also have multiple sections. Again, not all sections will show up for each position.

This table provides important information on how compensation packages are typically structured for each position, with an emphasis on identifying the incentive-based components of compensation and the methods used to calculate those components.

Part 3: Position Definition with Adjusted Calculations

Supplementing additional notes on the typical pay package for the selected position, this part provides a position definition as well as any regional adjustment calculation notes specific to the selected MSA.


Still have questions?

Email support@solomoncoyle.com.