September surge in hiring of Sales professionals after slow summer

Lucy Foster 08.10.2019

Throughout the last month or so, startups have actively been looking for New Business Sales professionals to help expand the organisation’s client base.

Overview of Sales recruitment

The summer holiday period slowed Sales recruitment and resulted in a bottle neck in completed moves after what had been an impressive start to the year, but things became busier throughout September as clients looked to fill roles that had been delayed in the preceding months. Despite this September surge, Sales team jobs in FinTech and Payments firms in the past three months decreased by 20% when compared to the same period of 2018 - the looming Brexit decision appears to have suppressed hiring appetites. Coinciding with this, there have been fewer candidates looking for roles over summer as many take the opportunity to have some well earned time off.

It’s not all doom and gloom; there have been more New Business Sales roles and partnerships vacancies available to mid-senior level professionals, as well as sales administrator jobs.

The most prominent roles seen in past months

Similar to 2018, July to September of this year saw Business Development Manager (BDM) roles rise to prominence in both FinTech and Payments. These positions have been offering up to £120,000 basic in London. There has also been a need for consultative sales candidates, usually with several years’ sales experience alongside an in-depth technical product/industry understanding. 

A lot of startups and ‘younger’ organisations, which have a fairly small market share but a hunger to expand or take new products to market, have been looking for New Business Sales professionals to help expand the organisation’s client base. Some of these roles can be hybrids including New Business and Account Management as organisations might not yet need to split out the two areas.

Companies are looking for professionals with a track record of selling new and innovative technologies. Open banking has been a large topic of conversation recently and even more established payments firms have been looking for candidates who possess strong knowledge about topics such as PSD2. There has also been high demand for sales specialists who are experienced at creating a go-to-market strategy and have the confidence to build a sales pipeline from scratch, particularly in startups, where they do not necessarily have other sources of lead generation in place.

Workplace wellness: High on the agenda for Sales professionals

Wellness benefits have become increasingly important for sales professionals when considering new positions. Holiday allowance and the ability to work flexible hours or from home are the two most common benefits requested by candidates, both when applying to startups and more established organisations. Most of these wellness benefits are relatively easy to accommodate in Sales as it is a client-facing discipline where meetings and calls can be done from just about anywhere, allowing professionals to work in any way that suits them. Whilst in the past some organisations may have used laptops and work phones as a way of selling a role to applicants, it doesn’t have the same effect across Sales any more as most people have the items anyway. Some of the wellness initiatives include:

  • Sports & running clubs
  • Free exercise classes
  • Free fruit in the office
  • Massages
  • Mental Health First Aid courses & links/contacts for mental health support

Wellness programmes are appreciated by Sales professionals but ultimately, the main driver is money. Therefore, commission schemes, equity and bonuses are more important to them when it comes to choosing between roles.

Sales recruitment facts from summer 2019

For the remainder of 2019…

The constant evolution of new technology continues to drive the recruitment of Business Development roles, whereas Brexit and regulatory changes are expected to have a minimal impact on hiring for the rest of the year. Volume of jobs should rise for a couple of months before dipping off in December. It is important that individuals who are actively looking for new roles take advantage of October and November before we hit the Christmas period when things will inevitably slow down again. Organisations should bear in mind that some job seekers may be entitled to additional bonuses at the end of their sales year, so it might be harder to attract talent before the New Year unless you are willing to offer sign-on bonuses or bonus buyouts if you require them to start sooner.

Secrets to success for Sales job seekers 

Job seekers should know their numbers - as a sales person, you should be proud to speak about your achievements and targets. You will be expected to concisely talk through your sales figures in an interview; failure to do so will likely cost you an offer.

To make the most of the current marketplace, ensure you tailor your CV to every application displaying the products and services you’ve worked with, follow them up individually and keep in constant contact with your recruiter - they will know things about the market that you can’t learn from anywhere else! 

Lucy Foster's picture
Senior Consultant


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