National account managers (NAMs) and regional sales managers (RSMs) are receiving hefty pay increases as a shortage of middle management talent hits the fmcg sector, according to The Grocer's latest salary survey.

The average annual basic pay for a NAM has increased by 3.8% over the past year but bonuses have soared from 12% to 17% of basic salaries, resulting in a 47% rise in the actual bonus to just over £7,000 a year. When an generous annual car allowance is taken into account, the total package for a typical NAM has increased 8.4%.

The basic salary for an RSM, meanwhile, has increased a more modest 3.2% but bonuses have once again risen, from 11% to 14%. The total package has increased 6.5% year-on-year.

The survey by recruitment consultancy Pursuit NHA, paints a less rosy picture for director-level positions in sales roles, however.

The average salary of a commercial director has increased by only 1.7% in the past year and bonuses have dropped from 27% to 25%, meaning average packages are stagnant. Sales director roles have performed better, with the average basic up 3.8%, but bonuses have fallen from 27% to 26%.

Directors' negotiating power is being hit by consolidation in fmcg, which is leading to redundancies and fewer top jobs, said Ben Ballard, consultant team manager at Pursuit NHA. "Directors who look for a new job [due to redundancy] may have to take a cut for a similar role elsewhere."

The average basic for a NAM is £42,500, but the highest paid are taking home a basic of £60,500.