5 years ago
February 21, 2017

3 Warning Signs That It’s Time to Leave Your Sales Job

Experiencing one or more of these problems? You should feel confident in starting your search for a sales position that is a better fit for you.

Claire McConnachie

When it’s time to leave your sales job in search of greener pastures, chances are good that there will be more than one warning sign alerting you to the fact. Since highly qualified sales people are always in demand, if you are experiencing one or more of these problems in your current position, you should feel confident in starting your search for a sales position that is a better fit for your qualifications and goals.

Warning Sign #1 It’s Time to Leave Your Sales Job: You Aren’t Getting Paid Your True Value

While many sales people are underpaid, it is important to understand that what a sales person receives in compensation is not only tied to the gross profit he or she brings in, but the additional overhead costs of running a business that tend to be overlooked by those who are not in a human resources position, for example taxes, travel costs, and real estate. Still, there are flags that you can reliably use to determine whether it is time to leave your sales job over pay, such as:

  • You have not received a salary or commission increase in over two years
  • New compensation plans or reduced compensation result in more working hours to earn the same pay
  • You can show that direct competitors’ compensation is substantially higher, but your company stalls or refuses revisions to the compensation plan

Especially if you have attempted to negotiate your salary and your company can not, or will not, work with you to arrive at a more equally agreeable compensation plan, it might be time to explore other avenues.

Warning Sign #2 It’s Time to Leave Your Sales Job: Your Career Isn’t Moving Forward

If you are not challenged in your sales job, it won’t take long before you begin to feel dissatisfied. This can impact your productivity and your relationships inside and outside the company, potentially damaging your long-term prospects. Furthermore, if you are not being challenged, your career is at a stalling point; this can be determined if:

  • You are not being offered the opportunity to assume new responsibilities
  • You are not receiving training opportunities to develop your skills
  • You and your peers are not being given explanations or opportunities for paths to advancement within the organization

The longer your sales career stalls the worse off you might be when you recognize that it is time to leave your sales job. Future employers will look for signs that you have continually developed your career, and a prolonged position without these indications of success might hurt your candidacy for a competitive position down the road. If your career isn’t moving forward, it is definitely time to leave your sales job.

Warning Sign #3 It’s Time to Leave Your Sales Job: Your Goals Have Changed

It isn’t uncommon for a sales person’s career goals to change; the question is often whether your current employer can still help you reach updated goals. Sometimes, a culture or goal shift within an organization leads to a mismatch as well. Ask yourself:

  • Are the sales opportunities available supporting your career goals?
  • Will the relationships you are able to form be an advantage to you at a later time?
  • Is your company, especially your sales manager, supportive of helping you obtain your career goals?
  • Is it more likely that you will receive the support you need with a different opportunity?

Once you have determined that it’s time to leave your sales job, be sure to do so gracefully. Give adequate notice that you intend to leave your sales job once you have secured your next opportunity, and continue to work hard during your last days with the company. Just because it was the best decision for you to leave your sales job does not mean that your time there was lost if you can still leverage your contacts and experience as part of your overall sales career.

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.