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What should sales professionals look for from an employer?

  • June 12, 2018

Sales professionals often get unfairly criticised by those who say they’re just in it for the money. While that may be true to a degree – after all, very few salespeople become successful without that basic drive to make cash – there’s a considerable amount outside of commission that professionals should seek out from an employer before committing to a job move. Here’s what you need to find out before taking a role with the wrong firm.

Training and development opportunities

In some cases, training is seen as a distraction from delivering what your job requires, but in fact, developing your skills is crucial to progressing your career and any employer worth their salt will look to build on their employees’ pre-existing competencies. If nothing else, it makes simple business sense to want to maximise the potential of the people they’ve invested in. In an ideal world, every job should come with opportunities to further your skills, however not enough organisations actually appreciate the value of developing their staff.

A company that provides a structured training programme is one that’s committed to the ongoing development of its staff, so ensure that you ask for information regarding available development opportunities before making a decision. Asking these types of questions is also likely to look good in the eyes of the employer, as it shows that you’re passionate about growing with the business.

Work/life balance

Yes, it’s true that this possibly isn’t the easiest profession to incorporate flexible working practices, but it can, and should, be done. The working world has changed and, as we all know, modern professionals tend to want more of a balance between work and social time than their predecessors. If businesses want to retain their best employees, particularly those from the millennial generation, then they need to be offering this to their staff. It won’t be suited to everyone and you may not even want to work on a flexible basis, but it’s crucial that employers at least offer this to their employees. Giving these types of perks to staff is one indication of a firm that cares for the development and wellbeing of its people.

Career progression

The last thing you want to do is find yourself stagnating in a role with no potential for climbing the career ladder. Look at the position and consider where it can take you within that particular organisation. It goes without saying that you should be asking about this in your interview, or even before then if possible, but you can also keep in mind that there’s likely to be a considerable amount of information available in the public domain. For example, see if you can track down salespeople on LinkedIn who’ve been at the firm for two-three years and find out how they’ve progressed. It’s a good sign if the organisation appears to have a structured progression path in place with clearly definable targets that allow you to have a clear idea of how you’re developing.

Sales roles are about more than just commission and while it may be the money that attracts you to a role, it’s likely to be the benefits that only the best employers provide that keep you there. Don’t be fooled by attractive OTE numbers alone and instead look deeper before committing to your next sales role, you’ll reap the rewards in the long run.

What other factors do you think sales professionals should look for in an employer? Share your thoughts with us below.

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