By Robyn Melhuish
You’re on the hunt for a new job, but you’re not just looking for your next sales job. You want a job that will lead to a fulfilling career. And to find that, you need to look at more than the job description -- you need to start by finding the right employer to work for.
But there are a lot of options. Should you work for a small company or a large one? A well-established company or a new one that’s rapidly expanding?
While your career goals should play into your decision of where to work, consider your salary goals as well. Where are the best paying jobs in sales? Which employers pay the most?
Salary varies from niche to niche in sales, but overall the best paying employers share core characteristics. Here are a few things to look for if you want to work for a top paying company:
Products with high earning potential
The products you sell may have the biggest impact on your salary, so look for employers with top of the line products with high commission potential. This will vary in different industries, but overall, the best paying jobs are with employers who work with big-ticket, high-margin items.
For example, in medical sales, biotech sales professionals reported the highest compensation, earning a total of $165,028, according to the 2016 Medical Sales Salary Report, conducted by my employer MedReps. Surgical sales professionals were a close second at $163,654. In comparison, pharmaceuticals are the lowest earning products with reps in this field taking home an average of $122,107 each year.
In general, the more complex the product, the more knowledge sales reps need to have, and employers pay a pretty penny for that expertise.
Pay attention to which products in your industry have the highest earning potential, and find employers who are strong in this area. Are they at the top of the industry? Do they heavily invest in research and development? Do they have a solid reputation? The best paying sales employers will.
The direct link for businesses
It’s not just what you sell, it’s who you sell to. And the best paying sales employers sell to businesses, not consumers.
In fact, the 2016 Medical Sales Salary Report found that the specific market a professional sells to has a significant impact on earnings. Respondents selling to hospitals, and specifically surgery/OR, earn the highest salaries, while home health and rehab markets fell on the lower end of the spectrum. In addition, professionals employed by large manufacturers earned the most on average. And manufacturers, no matter the size, paid the most.
While markets will vary by industry, employers who sell directly to businesses pay the most. The best paying jobs in sales require strong relationship building skills and a deep understanding of the needs of clients.
Multiple markets with travel opportunities
Although travel can take away from work-life balance, it’s a big part of the best paying jobs in sales.
In the 2016 Medical Sales Salary survey, professionals who travel 50 percent of the time earn $167,061, on average. On the flip side, those who don’t travel at all for work earn significantly less -- an average of $125,344.
It makes sense -- the more you travel, the more clients and markets you sell to, and the more commission you make. Travel also means more time on the job, and employers value professionals who are committed to the company.
Large employers who sell to multiple markets will have the best paying jobs in sales. In addition, look for mid-sized companies that are expanding to new markets for high paying opportunities with lots of travel.
There’s a lot of opportunity to earn big bucks in sales, and your employer has a lot do with it. Look for companies where you will have the potential to improve your salary and your career for a fulfilling sales experience.