Very few sales professionals stay with one or even two companies throughout their career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people change jobs an average of 12 times in their lifetime, staying for just four years at each. In sales, the average tenure is even shorter – between 14 and 30 months.
There are many different reasons why a salesperson will consider a new opportunity:
- Change in leadership
- A new compensation plan is implemented
- The company moves in a different direction
- Competitors are outpacing your company
- A better job offer is presented
- A global pandemic ravages the economy
You should be prepared for unexpected circumstances that may warrant a job change.
Here’s when it might be time to look for a new sales position:
Your career goals don’t align with your current employer’s career path
If you excel in your current role and are starting to feel unchallenged, talk to your manager about next steps. What career path options are available to you?
If you have a good relationship with your management team, and if you’re open to working toward a leadership position, there may be an opportunity for you to take on new responsibilities.
Be honest and direct about your career interests. If there isn’t a path forward at your current company, you may want to pursue an opportunity with more upward career mobility.
The product or service you sell isn’t up to par
Many companies simply don’t invest in maintaining their products or services. This could be a red flag or a strategic decision the leadership team has made. Either way, it will impact your ability to be successful.
A few questions to ask yourself:
- If your product is not up to par, does the company have a plan to solve the issue?
- If the marketplace (industry) is being disrupted, is your solution becoming obsolete?
- Do you stand by the product you’re selling?
The company is not invested in your success
As a sales professional, it’s critical to understand how your employer will enable you for success:
- Sales tools – If the company does not provide you with the tools needed to be successful, or is cutting tools critical to your success, it may be a good time to explore new opportunities.
- Sales training – If the company doesn’t provide the necessary training or is scaling back on-going sales training, you may want to consider a new position.
- Leadership interaction – When leaders disengage, it’s an early sign of trouble. Leaders often see trouble coming before individual contributors and are making their own plans rather than managing the day/day of the sales organization.
Don’t be afraid to make a change
It’s always easier to stay where you are. But you may be limiting your compensation, upward mobility, and career development. Staying aware of what other opportunities are available to you will help you become more confident in your decision to take the next step.