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If you are a U.S based member of The Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP®), you should know that the 2017/2018 APMP U.S. Compensation Report is included in the cost of your membership. What you may not be aware of is how you can use this report as a professional development tool.
A special note to all of our APMP U.K. Members — you’ll be getting your own free APMP Salary Survey and Compensation Report in spring 2018.
The 2017/2018 APMP U.S. Compensation Report is a vendor-free and industry-endorsed guide for professionals and management alike. It provides an unbiased benchmark on members’ salaries and allows you to interpret the data to chart your own professional development arc within your company. Seeing what others make in comparable positions and in your geographic area helps you understand where you are among your peers—and can possibly assist you in negotiating a higher salary at your current position.
STEP ONE: Get started with the APMP 2017 Compensation Report
Once you’ve located the report online, (free to members) research the salary for those in your region with the same/similar title as yours. (If you have misplaced yours, just request another from firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get it right out to you, provided you are an APMP member in good standing.)
- If your salary is comparable to or higher than those posted in the report, close it and know that you are fortunate enough to be working for a company that compensates its professionals at the higher end of the spectrum.
- If your salary is lower than average, roll up your sleeves and start planning how to introduce this fact to management in a positive way.
First, research your company to better understand what salary ranges have been and how your current salary fits into them. For example, if your company already has their own salary survey/compensation report, compare this data with what you find in the APMP report. If not, consider asking human resources for salary comps. By consulting both sources, you’ll have a better idea of where you stand in your company and your field.
Remember that the 2017/2018 APMP U.S. Compensation Report is a great benchmark, but it should be used positively and not as a brick bat. The compensation report provides a wealth of data, but it can’t give us insight into all the nuances that go into determining salaries at a particular firm.
STEP TWO: Determine your worth within the company
Before starting a discussion about your salary, it’s important to know your worth to the company. Here are a few ways to start.
- Use the 2017/2018 APMP U.S. Compensation Report to determine the appropriate salary level for someone with your experience, in your region.
- Combine that with any data you’ve learned from your own company regarding salary levels.
- Prepare a list of special projects you’ve worked on, wins you’ve contributed to, examples of how well you’ve integrated into the company culture, and the number of years’ service to your company.
Be sure to back up your discussion with stats, facts, and charts from the APMP Report and elsewhere. Hard data speaks louder than emotion in these types of discussions.
STEP THREE: Think of your position, not just the salary
When asking for a raise, people tend to focus on money. That’s important, but it’s only part of the picture. Highlight your past accomplishments and describe your intentions for the future. Connect yourself to the company, your history with it, and how you want to be an important part of its future. This allows your supervisor to see that you want to build a future with the company that transcends money.
STEP FOUR: Be positive in your negotiations
While you should have a number in mind before beginning salary negotiations, don’t let a lower offer sidetrack you. Be positive, and use your APMP data to show that you’re asking to be paid what your peers are making—not a random, pie-in-the-sky number. Avoid ultimatums like “If I don’t get the raise I think I deserve, I’m out of here.” Instead,
- Explain why you think you deserve more money.
- Show how peers in your geographic area with similar titles are making the same salary that you are asking for. Show the industry data and source it to APMP, your industry’s association.
- Stress that you hope to be brought up to their level.
- If this can’t happen immediately, offer to work with your manager on a stepped plan to get you to that level.
- Lastly, let them know how much you value your job and the opportunity.
STEP FIVE: Be prepared for pushback
If your supervisor comes back with a competing compensation report that shows a lower pay scale, be prepared with an answer.
- Underscore that the 2017/2018 APMP U.S. Compensation Report is independently produced and created by the governing body for your industry.
Talk about how this is the fourth APMP U.S. Compensation Report and how it is the default salary setting tool for the industry. Talk about how nearly 1,000 industry professionals contribute to the data and it is regularly used by industry HR Departments and senior level supervising managers as an industry benchmark. Your employer may not be prepared to give you the raise you feel you deserve right now, but you can move the conversation into the direction that you want long-term—and start establishing the APMP Report as a trusted, industry-standard resource.
STEP SIX: Stick to your guns
One you have your figure and your list of achievements, you have a solid base for negotiations. If you present the salary information to your supervisor and they still offer you a lower raise than what you’re hoping for, reiterate your achievements. While many companies set aside a certain pool of money for raises, there’s often room to compensate special employees who have gone above and beyond.
STEP SEVEN: Thank your supervisor
No matter the outcome, thank your supervisor for the time and consideration they have given to the process. Hopefully, this is just one of many salary reviews. You want to set a tone that’s professional and personal, and develop a process that you and your employer will value and can use time after time.
Will the 2017/2018 APMP U.S. Compensation Report guarantee you a salary increase? No, of not, but it will surely help. APMP presents you the information laid out in a logical way and when you use that information in a similarly logical way, good things can happen. Many APMP members have shared that they were able to increase their salary simply by asking for a raise—and using the APMP Compensation Report to back up their request. We sincerely hope that happens for you as well.
Want to discuss this further? APMP is standing by and happy to counsel you on the best ways to use the 2017/2018 APMP U.S. Compensation Report in your next review. Just call APMP Membership at +1 (866) 466-APMP (2767), then dial 0 or e-mail them at email@example.com. Tell our APMP Membership team that you would like guidance on using the 2017 APMP U.S. Compensation Report for your next review, and someone will get right back to you.
Rick Harris, CF APMP, is the Executive Director of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals. During his tenure, the association has nearly tripled in size and now serves bid and proposal professionals around the world. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.