Sales people are more single-minded when it comes to achieving their goals than any other profession, according to research conducted by specialist recruiter Randstad Sales, Marketing and Retail.
In a survey of 10,728 working Brits – including 630 sales professionals – conducted as part of the annual Randstad Award, almost seven in ten sales professionals (69%) say that it is important that the company they work for offers competitive salaries and employee benefits; placing this in their top five factors when deciding on job roles. This is more than any other profession across the country, and a higher proportion than finance workers (68%), business consultants (64%) and legal professionals (61%).
With the average salary for sales professionals standing at £31,339 in the UK, sales workers earn more the typical UK employee (average salary of £28,186 across all industries). But counterintuitively, the sales profession is attracting more single-minded and financially-motivated workers than financial services, where the typical salary is currently 21% higher, at £37,866.
Across all UK workers as a whole, salaries and employee benefits are in the top five job considerations for 63% of employees.
Ruth Jacobs, managing director of Randstad Sales, Marketing and Retail, commented: “Sales people know what they want, and they aren’t afraid to pursue it. Financial considerations such as salaries and other monetary employee benefits always play a crucial part in career decisions, but for those working in sales, these cash rewards override all other considerations by a significant margin.''
Looking Beyond The Short Term
But this doesn’t mean the focus of sales professionals is concentrated purely on their immediate rewards. Salespeople are also among the most preoccupied with career progression and the potential for longer-term rewards.
Opportunities for career progression are a top factor for more than two-fifths (42%) of sales people – considerably above the UK average of 36%. Only workers in professional services rank higher on this score, with 44% of those polled placing this in their top five job considerations.
Similarly, international and global career opportunities are also ranked extremely highly in the sales profession – with 14% of workers in this sector rating this as a decisive factor in choosing future employment, compared to an average across all UK industries of just 11%.
Proportion of employees ranking these factors as important in their company
Ruth Jacobs, commented: “Just because sales professionals stick to their guns and don’t let their judgement be swayed by other aspects of a role, this doesn’t meant to say they are short-termist in their outlook. Sales specialist keep a careful eye on the end prize too, and are motivated by the longer-term progression up through a company – and the pay scale. They realise more than most that secondment opportunities, and a clear promotional trajectory ultimately equates to a higher pay packet.”
But Sales Workers Overlook The Softer Factors
In their strict focus on achieving their desired monetary rewards, sales professionals are willing to overlook many softer aspects of a job – including company values and ethos, corporate social responsibility, workplace diversity and training opportunities.
Less than one in ten (8%) sales workers believe that is important to work for a company which promotes diversity in the workplace, less than any other business function across the whole of the UK. In contrast, the average across the country is 12%, and nearly double the proportion of Human Resources workers state that this is a key factor in a job (at 16%).
Overall, sales professionals place least importance on working for an organisation that is concerned with the environment and society (CSR), with only 7% of workers in this industry listing it as important in their job decisions. On average, 11% of UK employees say this is a critical factor to them.