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4 Boxes to check when searching for a sales job

Searching for a job can be quite a daunting and tedious experience, especially if you don't know what to look out for in your future workplace. I frequently speak with candidates that are in the beginning of their job hunting journey and before deciding which company/position is a good fit for them, I go through the checkboxes below to make sure they are well informed about the company:

The company

  • How long has the company been around? Make sure to research the company before you schedule an interview. Take a look at the growth pattern of employees on Linkedin in the last few years.

  • Who are the founders and management and what did they do prior to this company? These are the people who are navigating the success of the company.

  • Who are the investors and how much investment has the company received and what is the plan to scale (penetrating new markets, building and enhancing product, Marketing, Sales etc)? If the company is backed by a seasoned VC there must be a reason. You can be sure that the investors have done their due diligence before putting any money into the company.

  • Market Share - Take a look at the competitive landscape and see where the company fits in. How much of the market do they hold and how much more potential is there?

The product

Do some research on the product, on the market and on the competitive landscape. Do you see yourself selling the product? Download a free trial (if there is) and play with the product. Even speak with a sales person to see how they pitch the product.

  • Want or need? - Is the product critical to business continuity and is the value proposition tied to the pain?

  • Competitive edge - Why is this specific product better than the competition? (Niche target audience, price difference, features )

  • Total Addressable Market (TAM) - how big is the TAM and what is the plan to grab the majority?

Your future boss

To me this is probably the most important part of your future job. Your boss should be there to pave the pathway to your success and not set you up for failure. It is super important to speak to other members of the team and get honest feedback about the boss. Remember people don't leave companies they leave bosses. A few examples of what to look out for:

  • Narcissistic boss - Does your future boss talk about how important they are more than the goal at task? ("It's my reputation at risk", "I don't care about what you think", " I, I, I...")

  • Rankism - Are there signs of verbal abuse, exploitation towards their subordinates because of their rank in a particular hierarchy. How does the future boss talk about the current team? If in a negative way this is an early warning sign!

  • Pathway to growth - Do they mention the employee growth plan, internal promotions? Are there on-boarding and continuous training plans in place to help you grow.

  • Mentorship - Can you learn from your boss and can they learn from you? Your success is your bosses success.

The culture

It is very easy to understand a companies culture when you walk through the door. Do you get a sense of friendliness and strong company morale?

  • Employee retention - How many new employees were hired in the last year and how many left? We always hear of companies growth, but we do not hear about the loss of great talent.

  • Employee wellness - How does the company look after their employees, what are the perks?

  • Core values - Has the company taken time to build core values and what are they?Who was part of building the core values? I had the privilege to be part of a company where it was so important for the CEO to bring all 600 employees together from all parts of the globe to build the core values together. We all left that week long workshop feeling immensely inspired. This company had a very high employee retention rate.

In conclusion, if you do your due diligence on the company before you get on a first call or go for an onsite interview, you will feel more comfortable with your prospective new workplace. Not only will you feel comfortable but your future employer will respect the fact that you have come to the interview well prepared!

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