The Industry Standard Salary for SaaS AE’s

The Industry Standard for AE’s follow this formula (according to this research report interviewing 300 SaaS companies)
The Magic Formula

Quota should be 5X OTE  
Example 1

$100K base salary

$200K OTE

$1mil ACV Quota


Example 2 – more junior person

$50k base, $100K OTE, $500K ACV Quota

So what?
– If you ask a SaaS AE what their quota is, you can likely calculate what their salary is 

If you are negotiating a salary and they give you a quota that is 10x your OTE, say no! You’re being unfairly compensated for the difficulty of the role.

The reason for this proportion is because paying you 20% of revenues leaves your company enough room to still make profit. Also, this is for net new customers, not for renewals.


I’ve talked to salespeople at Splunk, Qualtrics, other cloud companies, etc. and the salespeople there all earn an amount consistent to this formula.


To gather enough skills to become qualified to get an AE job I’d say takes 3-4 years of experience from graduation.

But once you have those skills, you can pretty much go to any SaaS company (anything on the Forbes Cloud 50 list) and get a salary package like the one above

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