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Making the decision to work in sales typically happens early in one’s career. Once in sales, most people tend to stay in the profession. But oftentimes they will switch around and sell in different industries. However, not all sales jobs are created equal and many salespeople end up being a good fit in one sales job and a terrible fit in another.  Don’t get stuck in the wrong sales job.

It’s important to recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and those of your employer (and industry) to decide whether a particular sales job is for you or not. If you want to make more money in sales, try Spiro’s AI-powered sales automation CRM – and take a look at the following signs to evaluate whether or not you may be in the wrong sales job.

1. The comp plan is limiting you

If you are consistently performing well but not being fairly compensated for it, it’s time to look elsewhere. There are plenty of sales jobs where top producers make well into the six-figures, and those who work hard shouldn’t be shy about taking their skills somewhere else. Some employers count on your unwillingness to take risks and make change as an excuse to underpay you for value that you create for them.

2. The product doesn’t excite you

This point should absolutely not be overlooked by anyone who works in sales. You should either be passionate about the product or service you sell, or you should be passionate about how your company compares to others in your industry. If you have no interested in the product, but also have no interest in how you’re different from the competition, then you’re doing your company and yourself a disservice by continuing to work there.

3. You don’t like your coworkers

This may seem inconsequential to some people, and maybe if you’re a road-warrior who doesn’t have to interact much with coworkers it’s not as important, but you can’t work at a sales job if you don’t like and enjoy the company of the people you work with. Not only are you likely to spend more time with your coworkers than your own family, but you’ll need to rely on them to help you out in order to succeed. If you feel like an outsider where you work, it’s time to look around for other opportunities.

4. Your manager doesn’t want you to succeed

It may sound irrational but there are definitely instances where your own management can stand in the way of your success. Sometimes it has to do with ego, and your manager not wanting you to look better than them, or just a clash of personalities. A sales manager with character issues will let petty and vindictive behavior stand in the way of performance, and oftentimes get in his or her own employees way when it comes to closing business. If this starts to happen and you can’t switch managers, start looking for a new job immediately.

5. The sales cycle is a bad fit

Just because a sales rep can succeed selling in one industry doesn’t mean they will succeed in all of them. The sales cycle can play a crucial role in this regard. Selling something with a quick cycle like cell-phones for instance will be much different than selling enterprise software to a big corporation. Sometimes sales reps who thrive on a shorter cycle fall flat on their faces when they try selling in a longer one, and vice versa. Make sure to keep this in mind when choosing or switching sales jobs.

6. The industry is on the decline

You would never want to start a business in an industry that’s heading for decline or extinction, so why would you want to work for a company in an industry that is? Bigger business trends aren’t easy to spot, but the signs are often there if you look hard enough. For instance, going into a growing industry like services for the elderly makes much more sense than a declining industry like printing, and the same trends can be spotted within industries as outdated technologies are replaced by emerging upstarts. If you can get in on a growing industry, it will make it that much easier to make a small fortune in sales.

7. You’re not having fun

Sure, sales is hard work and should be taken seriously, but sales should also be fun, or at least enjoyable. It’s one of the few jobs where you can make an unlimited amount of money and have some fun doing it. Spiro can help you have more fun, with sales assistant personalities that are motivating, entertaining, and inappropriate (if you choose). But you also need to ask yourself if you’re in the right job by gauging whether or not you truly enjoy it.

If you just realized you’re in the wrong sales job, don’t worry.  Unlike many other professions, salespeople can switch companies and industries relatively easily, so there’s really no good reason to stay at a sales job you hate.


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About the Author Adam Honig

Adam is the co-founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a natural sales leader with a mission to help salespeople make more money using artificial intelligence — or any sort of intelligence for that matter. Adam has been a founder of four companies which resulted in two triumphant IPOs and two legendary mergers. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the ‘No Jerks’ hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


  • James says:

    Speaking to point number 6, what is your opinion of the current state of affairs in the orthopedic medical device sales industry? Specifically, any insight as to whether it’s on the rise, or decline?

  • jimkillon says:

    Check check and check. Sales is a great job but when you have a sadistic sales manager, the product is no longer relevant to people’s needs any longer, the competition is less than 1/2 price for the same equipment and the sales team is not a team. It is def time t get on the other side of the door. Believing it will get better and waiting the bahstids out is not a strategy for success. There are 100 other companies that would appreciate you, go find one.

  • Ken Crowne says:

    Maybe look up the annual reports of revenues from companies in this industry. They are required by our government to tell their shareholders. The readers of this blog aren’t required to tell you anything.

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