The executive search consultancy Finlay James Associates surveyed 200 professionals earning basic salaries of £50,000-£150,000 and found only 13.5% wanted to leave their posts because of inadequate financial compensation.
The results provide a valuable insight for companies wanting to retain or recruit senior sales staff in what is the hottest hiring sector in the UK according to the REC/KPMG Report on Jobs*.
The Finlay James Reasons for Leaving survey found the number one response from senior professionals who are ‘actively’ seeking new roles – almost one in five - was they were simply looking to advance their careers.
However, the second most popular reason given was insecurity, down to acquisition or restructuring, and the third was a lack of internal support, because of a poor relationship with management.
Mark Neilan, Managing Director at Finlay James Associates, said: “The war for sales talent is definitely hotting up, and the winners won’t be the companies simply getting the most sales talent through the door.
“It will be those companies who can combine effective talent acquisition strategies with long term employee engagement to retain their best sales guys.
“Finding out why senior sales people want to leave and become ‘active’ on the jobs market can help all employers of sales people with their retention strategies.
“This survey shows that there are a number of reasons why sales people end up wanting to ‘jump ship’ and that it isn’t always just about the money. Most importantly, sales professionals want to feel like they can advance with their employer. They want to be secure, to get on with management and to generally be engaged.”
With more technology companies hiring than cutting staff currently, it is noteworthy that redundancy only accounted for 12.5% of the reasons given by respondents.
For companies looking to retain their best talent it is also notable that 16% wanted to leave either because they were simply bored in their current position or they felt they had been mis-sold the opportunity. A further 15% wanted to leave because of poor relationships with their manager.
Neilan added: “It’s really important that managers realise there is a war for sales talent going on across Europe. Therefore, if you have sales talent it is not the smartest move to drive it away.
“When it comes to retention strategies the smart employer realises that whilst remuneration is an important motivator it is not the only motivator. If you don’t try and build long term sales force employee engagement then talent can get bored and leave.”
Finlay James Reason for Leaving survey interviewed 200 senior technology sales professionals who were earning basic salaries between £50,000 and £150,000 and were ‘active’ in the job markets.
Reason for Leaving survey results:
1) Career Advancement: 19.5%
Sample quote: ‘I’m better suited to a larger, more corporate business.’
2) Job Security: 16.5%
Sample quote: ‘We have been acquired and there is too much re-structuring. They have told me they will up my base to £65k but I just don’t want to stay.’
3) Management Relations: 15%
Sample quote: ‘My manager is poor and I have no internal support. I keep seeing him playing Angry Birds all the time!’
4) Inadequate Compensation: 13.5%
Sample quote: ‘They have capped my commission and I want to improve my earning potential. I’m currently capped at £250k’.
5) Redundancy: 12.5%
Sample quote: ‘I’ve been made redundant. Last in, first out…’
6) Bored: 10.5%
Sample quote: ‘I feel like I’m flogging a dead horse…’
7) Mis-sold the Opportunity 5.5%
Sample quote: ‘I was head-hunted to join here but frankly I have been sold a dud…’
8) Weak Solution 4%
Sample quote: ‘They can’t deliver on the deals I am winning. I am losing credibility…’
9) Location 3%
Sample quote: ‘I don’t want to move to an EMEA wide role. I have a young family.’
* The latest issue of the REC/KPMG Report on Jobs (published in April) shows strong growth of permanent job vacancies within the IT and computing industry. Its report said: “Technology has seen the highest demand for staff by sector, as was the case one year previously.”
About Finlay James Associates:
Finlay James Associates is an executive search consultancy which places active and passive senior sales professionals into the technology and telecoms sector.
Founded in 2003, Finlay James Associates has national offices based in Manchester, Birmingham and St Albans.
For further information contact: David Rowe
Tel: 0172 786 7182 or 0161 438 1930