Money, money, money! It’s on every top sales rep’s mind, right?
While money is an important factor for sales reps — their hard work directly determines their paycheck’s size — it isn’t necessarily the most important factor they consider when weighing job opportunities. As a result, making salary the only focus of your recruitment pitches could leave you with a dried up talent pool.
According to the “9th Annual Medical Sales Salary Report” from MedReps, medical sales reps place work/life balance, career growth and advancement, and job satisfaction above salary. For employers, this means it is time to loosen the hold salary and commission has on your recruitment strategies. To attract top sales talent today, start highlighting these benefits instead:
1. Work/Life Balance
If you uttered the words “work/life balance” to a group of sales reps just five years ago, they probably would’ve thought you were joking. Traditionally, sales reps have always been in demand and on the go, constantly working to hit their sales goals.
Employee expectations, however, are drastically changing. In fact, 61 percent of respondents in the MedReps survey say work/life balance is more important to them than money.
Now is the time for employers to check in on their own reputations for work/life balance. What do Glassdoor reviews say? Are past or current employees discussing their never-ending workloads or managers’ lack of understanding on social media? This information will give you a clear picture of where your branding and recruitment efforts must start.
When engaging directly with sales rep candidates, be sure to clearly present the company’s work/life balance policy. Ask employees to share testimonials of how they maintain a healthy balance. For example, one employee might share a story of reaching out to a leader when they felt work/life balance was lacking. Such a story illustrates how leaders get involved and support sales reps in times of need.
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2. Career Growth and Advancement
Sales is a highly self-motivated field, but reps don’t expect to hit their career goals by themselves. They rely on growth and advancement opportunities presented by their employers. In fact, 45 percent of surveyed reps said growth and advancement were more important to them than salary.
You can showcase the ways in which your organization supports sales reps in their careers by sharing stories of how your current employees have advanced at your company. For example, if an entry-level rep became a senior rep and then moved into a managerial role, ask if you can share their journey with prospects. Recognize the employee on social media and the company website for their accomplishments. Be sure to note the courses, mentorship opportunities, and other employer-sponsored resources that helped the employee achieve their new status.
Consider creating career maps for each of your employees who have advanced in this way and sharing those maps on the company’s careers page and social media profiles. During interviews, ask candidates to share their own career paths and discuss how your company can help them along the way.
3. Job Satisfaction
Many of the candidates in your funnel have probably experienced burnout or dissatisfaction at previous roles, and they’ll want to make sure the same won’t happen at your company. However, proving to prospective sales reps that they won’t just be another number on the sales board can be challenging.
Job satisfaction can be tricky, as each rep values something different. Where one rep may need to know they’ll always be done early on Tuesdays to make their kid’s soccer game, another may need to see a structured path to the executive level to feel satisfied in their role.
Instead of trying to guess, simply go to the source. Survey current employees to see what keeps them engaged and satisfied with your company. Compare their responses to identify common themes, and then emphasize those themes in your employer branding materials. Aim for five or so themes.
Similarly, survey your candidates — whether or not you offer them a job — after the hiring process to discover where your company met or missed the mark in the candidate experience. For example, did they exit the process after receiving another job offer? If so, find out what that company offered to convince them they’d be satisfied for the long-term.
Above all, remain transparent and open with candidates. If you’re unsure whether your company can meet their needs, come back to them with an answer later. This maintains trust and respect in the relationship. That way, even if there isn’t a good fit now, you will maintain a spotless reputation and be able to return to candidates for future opportunities.
Karyn Mullins is the president of MedReps.com, a job board which gives members access to the most sought-after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the web.