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What The Top 20% Want in Their Next Sales Job

Looking to grow your team by recruiting President’s Club caliber sales talent? Today’s job market it hyper-competitive. Top sales talent has more choices than ever before. So, how do you compete?

Here’s what salespeople are looking for today in a new employer.

#1—Remote Work

This subject is on table for some employers and completely out of the question for others. For many software companies, remote teams are simply how the sales team has always been built.

However, if you require your salespeople to come into the office, you’ll miss out on some of the best talent available today. Most experienced salespeople enjoy the benefits of working from their home-based office.

With heavy travel schedules, they save time by not commuting to and from work on a daily basis.

They invest their travel time in on-site client meetings. If your sales role is limited to only those people who can commute into your office, you’ll miss some of the best sales talent available. Some companies work around in-office requirements by allowing flexible work options.

However, sometimes this isn’t enough to capture the attention of the best sales performers, and still completely eliminates many other potential high-performing reps who live in other areas.

In fact, a recent global study of almost 20,000 employees concluded by the ADP Research Institute concluded that it makes little difference where you work in terms of employee engagement.

Employees are equally engaged at a home office or at the company office, or even at the client’s office. Engagement has nothing to do with where the employee works, but does fall significantly when employees travel heavily.

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#2—Strong Customer Retention Rates

High retention rates mean satisfied customers, excellent onboarding, and solid solutions. Without high retention rates, salespeople are churning clients in and out. This is hard on their reputations and motivation to bring on additional clients.

Weak retention numbers point to product problems, poor client services, and lack of attention to the customer experience.

If your customer retention numbers are high, in the 90+ or more, you have something to brag about that matters to President Club caliber salespeople.

Salespeople love high retention numbers because this one data point more than many others, points to a formidable competitive advantage.

#3—Inexpensive Healthcare

It’s no secret that healthcare can get expensive fast. Changing jobs means changing healthcare programs. If costs are too high, the real cost of moving to another sales role may become unfeasible.

Because most sales roles are built on equivalent base salaries and commission opportunities, if base salaries are more or less similar, and the healthcare costs with the new company are significant, the job change will start to make less and less sense.

Plus, employees don’t want to pay more for healthcare then they are already paying. Programs that reduce deductibles and most importantly, monthly payments, are the most desirable.

Very few candidates ask for specific medical groups or dig into the exact nuances of coverage. Their focus centers primarily around monthly premiums and then deductibles.

#4—401K Programs

Retirement programs are perceived as a big plus for salespeople. Without a 401K program, their ability to reduce tax rates or save for retirement becomes severely limited. If your organization matches or has an equity program, even better. Today’s salesperson values retirement programs.

A recent survey compiled by Betterment for Business revealed 91% of workers agree that a company’s 401K plan had an impact on their decision to take a job. Even if only a small impact, whether a company had a 401K plan, received some consideration from job changers.

Quality of the 401K program matters too. The study found 46% of respondents stated employer matching programs contributed to their decision to accept their current role.

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#5—Sales Infrastructure and Support

Let’s face it, sales is not a solo sport. Without marketing, pre-sales, architects, post-sales, customer success, or sales development, a salesperson has a slim chance of being super successful.

Support matters in their success and they will be very interested in who’s on the team and how the team members interact and collaborate to win new business.

Websites and marketing materials that appear to be from 1999 turn off talented salespeople.

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#6—Rapport with the Hiring Manager

Finding a good boss is essential. Because selling is full of stressful situations, every salesperson wants a boss they feel comfortable with. If sales leadership is volatile, difficult, or extraordinarily particular, it can be hard to attract people who aren’t in desperate need of a job.

Top salespeople won’t waste their time evaluating a job opportunity if the sales leader has obvious fatal flaws.

#7—Innovation and Product Investment

Selling follows the product lifecycle. Eventually, if you stay with a solution for too long, it becomes commoditized. Most software salespeople aren’t interested in selling commodities.

They are looking for products that solve problems in ways that haven’t been solved before. This means they will be bringing new solutions to customers who haven’t yet experienced the value of solving the problem.

If a salesperson is selling a solutions that’s further along in the product life-cycle, then they want to work for a company that continues to invest in their solution. It’s more difficult to win new business when your solution hasn’t been changed or updated in a few years.

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Sales Talent or Sales Training?

Hiring salespeople for SaaS solutions is competitive. By default, most candidates aren’t in the top 20%, so competing for them will be more difficult. Today’s salespeople want to see the majority of these items in their next move.

If you can’t offer at least some of these seven items, your ability to compete for top sales talent will suffer. You may need to grow your team with average reps who have high-potential, aim for less experience, and supplement with heavy investments in sales training.

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