Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is it Time to Change Armies and Fight For Someone Different?

Many salespeople might be wondering as 2008 comes to a close - is it time to change armies and fight for someone different?

After working in a sales capacity for a number of years, I'm confident of certain universal truths that exist in our sales world. One of these such truths is that there are more sales opportunities than there are good salespeople to fill them. In other words, there is a shortage of great salespeople in comparison to the great opportunities that exist in the marketplace. On top of that, just about every company is always willing to take a "look" at a top performing salesperson.

How do you know when it is time to switch armies? This question is always difficult to answer. I believe, however, that you must really believe in what you are selling and be happy doing it. If not, I just can't see how you can succeed long term. If you find yourself dreading the alarm clock in the morning, it might be time to start investigating a move in your career.

Before you start investigating other opportunities, you need to define what sort of sales environment you enjoy. What is more important to you - money, freedom, base salary, or fringe benefits? Do you want a company car or is a big base salary more important? Do you want more freedom in your daily work environment or are health benefits a bigger concern? You need to put these priorities in order before you start inquiring about possible sales positions.

For me, it is freedom. Several years ago, I was interviewing for a sales position with a well known company in my area. There was actually a good amount of money on the table as the offer was a good one - as far as income goes. Then came the discussion of daily working hours - in which this gentlemen stated to me, "I require an 8-5 day no matter what. I don't care when you start or how far you are above your quota." I sort of smirked, and told this guy I would be a poor fit for his company. To my disbelief, he still called me a week later to offer the position to me. This guy just could not get it through his head that it was freedom above all else that was at the top of my list - and this was more important to me than income potential.

Indeed, the reason for your unhappiness in your current position might be grounded in the fact you didn't prioritize your wants before signing up with your company. When you get interview opportunities in your career quest, I would not hesitate to discuss these areas with a potential employer. This is the only way you can truly find what you want in a sales position. If you have made a decision to change armies, good luck on your quest and don't "short" yourself on what you want. Believe me, there are plenty of great sales opportunities out there.

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