A challenging trading environment in the past led to many firms cutting their sales teams. There does appear to be light at the end of the tunnel for those who work in sales. Qualitative research is starting to show that firms are re-grouping and taking a long hard look at the true effect the cost cutting steps they took have had on their businesses. Unfortunately because these are often anecdotal and are not based on firm numbers there is a problem extrapolating action from assertion.
Based on the informal surveys done on some websites, some businesses feel that cutting back their sales team so drastically may have been a mistake. As a result, there are signs that some firms are actively recruiting sales personnel again.
Sales Departments On The Rise?
Whether this rise in sales recruitment means that firms will once again heavily invest in their sales department remains to be seen. There is little doubt that without a strong sales team the work has a tendency to dry up, but many firms are short on cash so are unable to invest as much as they once did in sales.
The firms that are investing are taking a much more cautious approach it seems. Some businesses seem to be skewing salaries more towards results than ever before based on reading some job adverts. Base salaries seem to be dropping, but bonus payments seem to be rising slightly to compensate. While it seems that firms feel that skewing salaries in this way is a good way of ensuring they get the most they can out of their sales teams, there is little research in this area to back up these assertions. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that firms feel that if the sales team delivers, they earn good money. The alternative scenario which is not favoured by sales staff themselves is that of a flat salary, which keeps the overall cost of running the sales department down to a minimum but fails to reward hard work.
Small firms are recruiting sales personnel too
Interestingly, the fact that sales personnel are more willing to take on jobs that offer low base salaries has made many smaller firms think again about whether they can afford their own sales personnel based on the number of SMEs posting jobs on various specialist recruitment websites. The fact that a bigger percentage of the adverts in the sales database seem to be from SMEs seems to indicate that a sales team is something many smaller firms now feel they can afford. For the sales industry and the people who work in the sector, these are interesting times but according to the general perception, things may be improving.
There are a number of specialist sales job sites but SalesTarget.co.uk listings are some of the most comprehensive. They have hundreds of vacancies, across a range of industries in various parts of the UK.