When it comes to choosing the right career path, that well-used phrase could not be more true.
Meagan Lawhon discusses the finer aspects of considering on how to make the perfect move in your sales career.
As a recruiter dedicated to working with sales professionals in a niche vertical of the IT space, perhaps the most important aspect of my role when working with candidates evaluating their next career move is helping them to find the right perspective and the right angle when considering new things.
A move in a sales career is a complex thing. For many, a job hunt can start with a pretty limited list of criteria.
• Job title, maybe?
And then it quickly peters out.
“Tick those boxes and we should be fine. Right?”
But is it really simple as that?
Sure, candidates learn plenty more throughout the interview process, but the initial filter with which many job-seekers approach the market can actually hold them back in some important ways.
Because – as I’ve learned through hundreds of interview processes and working with sales professionals from entry-level to VP grade – evaluating the variables that go into that magic ‘right fit’ is a deeply complex process that should never be limited to such a basic list.
“But – a thousand piece puzzle? Why so many?”
There are so many because there are so many angles from which to evaluate a new career opportunity, and in only approaching a job opening from a linear perspective (listed above), candidates can miss great information. Information which can make other things more or less important, and ultimately impact the decision to move ahead or not.
Though I’ll spare you the full thousand-strong list… here are some key things to keep in mind for your next sales move:
• Pay packet
Looking past the title, a full analysis of a sales role will include a comprehensive appraisal of the total package (quota, quota attainment track record by other reps, average earnings, top-performer earnings, size / saturation of territory or vertical, salary raise time-frame and criteria, bonus potential and objectives)
• Sales support
Representing a top product in a hot market is nothing without the tools to succeed (sales engineering and PS team, marketing support and resources, ratio of reps : support staff, post-sale / customer success resources)
Try and look beyond merely what the product does and how it stacks up against competitors, but judge the opportunity on the sale environment (does the product depend on the health of a target industry, or is it part of a wider technology ecosystem – how are THOSE elements performing?)
• Company leadership
It’s surprising how few people care who’s running the company! What’s the background of the CEO, CTO… the founders, who’s on the board. You may be joining as an SDR or AE… but these factors will impact your success!
Especially for younger companies, homework on funding is essential. With so many online resources detailing every dollar invested into the tech space, learning how your future employer’s coffers are filled is key.
• Sales team tenure & background
Have a look at who will be alongside you in the sales team. Where are they from, how long have they been there… what about the hiring manager, what’s their story?
This is – truly – just the tip of the iceberg, but hopefully it gives a flavor of how changing perspective and viewing opportunity from a new angle can uncover some valuable insight that changes the game.
A new role with a salary only a few grand more than your current base… similar comms structure… PTO is nothing to shout about.
Oh, but the co-founder’s taken three back-to-back tech companies to successful IPOs? Might want to get on board this train!
Meagan Lawhon recruits for sales professionals at all levels, from junior inside associates up to VPs, as well as sales engineers. Feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn for a networking conversation.
Tel: (760) 814-9532
E-Mail: meagan.lawhon (at) adaptive-ca.com
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