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Inflationary pressures have had an impact on the cost of goods, which has a knock-on effect on employees. 

As a result, many professionals are now looking for salary increases in line with their continually growing personal expenditure. However, the weakening of the pound has created better value in the market to overseas customers and this has helped to generally stabilise sales across the UK and the value of sales skills has only risen. 

In return for greater investment in salespeople, we are seeing higher expectations placed on them to get results and raise their company’s revenue. However, for some, remuneration is not enough to make a high-pressure environment worth staying in, and since the pandemic, most professionals have placed more emphasis on work-life balance and their own wellbeing. 

The key to attraction and retention 

Those who want to retain their best talent must make their environment far more inclusive and ensure everyone feels they belong. Those who don’t already have one should ensure they have an employee value proposition that honestly reflects the values of the company and its workforce. Leaders who can’t deliver on this proposition will not be able to hold on to their best people. 

While demand is high across the board for talent, business development managers are especially sought after, as they are key to client and customer retention. Employers are aware that it’s not a company name that creates loyalty, but leaders who treat their staff well. And for employers, losing an employee also presents the risk of potentially losing their customer and client base. 

Employee retention will depend on whether employers understand the motivators of each of their team members, and that not everyone will be driven by salary alone. Many will be motivated by professional development and progression opportunities. Employers who don’t have a clear understanding of their workforce should start an honest discussion to gauge their employees’ satisfaction, and what could entice them to stay. 

Advice to jobseekers 

Professionals considering a new role should assess the long-term prospects of each job they’re interested in and weigh them against their current role. There are many opportunities at present, not just in other companies, but possibly within their own, for employees to demonstrate their worth. Many employers are offering higher salaries and progression options to ensure their top professionals feel valued and stay at their company for longer. 

Talented professionals should be picky, taking the time to research the market they’re entering and ensuring the business matches their values before deciding to leave. While moving could be a short-term solution to the cost-of-living crisis, it will not necessarily be a better job for them in the long run. Also, employers are often deterred by salespeople who move roles too often and will prefer someone who shows loyalty by staying at least 18 months in a role. Therefore, we advise having a clear idea of job requirements and desirable benefits and taking the time to choose carefully. 

What professionals are looking for 

The cost of living has driven salaries higher than ever for many, although pay in some of the top roles has stabilised since last year’s rapid climb. Business leaders are willing to raise basic salaries to keep their best salespeople and attract new talent. This has drastically boosted the salary expectations of jobseekers and put pressure on other employers unable to pay above the market rate. 

The popularity of remote and hybrid working among professionals looks set to continue. Where it was once considered a ‘nice to have’, many now find it essential. The requirement to have a blend of office time and working from home is desirable from a work-life balance perspective, but also to compensate for the rising cost of living. Hybrid work cuts down on commuting costs, and many professionals have become used to this relaxed working model and would look to replicate it in any new role. In fact, employers with the most success in hiring at present are the ones who can offer entirely remote roles. 

Basic salaries have drastically increased recently but will stabilise this year as companies look again at strong commission structures to attract professionals. Annual leave is always important to incentivise salespeople to join an organisation, and bosses should encourage staff to take their full allocation to minimise burnout and help teams maintain their wellbeing. 

As the recession continues, many professionals have a greater desire for jobs with a higher ratio of salary to bonus. This has meant high performers are tending to move on for more job security and stability, as well as to pay their bills. 

To benchmark sales salaries and benefits, download our 2024 marketing and sales salary guide now. 

Reed salary guide 2024