Don’t Treat Your Sales People Like a Sky Sports Subscription

Director at Enterprise Sales Personnel Ltd, James Egersdorff, discusses the importance of providing value to your employees.

So I finally did it. After a long term relationship for nearly 12 years, today I have finally ended my subscription to Sky Sports.

For years we were the perfect match; me with my love of football and them with their live sport by the truck load; I happily paid my subscription and they filled my life with wall-to-wall coverage every day of the week.

This arrangement happily sailed along but as the seasons passed the cracks in our seemingly fool-proof relationship began to appear. Whereas in the past they couldn’t wait tell me about the exciting upcoming fixtures, they lost a big contract to a competitor so were no longer able to air a large proportion of matches. I noticed that the existing customer discounts dried up and despite my loyal service, they spent the majority of their marketing budget prospecting for new customers. The most painful change was their continued price increases (despite now offering me an arrangement that was far less attractive than previously).

It became abundantly clear that the end of our relationship was imminent. The irony was that I didn’t want to leave; I just wanted to watch the football. I didn’t really want to go to a competitor either; like most people I couldn’t really be bothered with the hassle of switching. They’d left me with no choice but to leave because the option they presented just wasn’t good value any more.

This experience got me thinking. In my 10 years working in the IT Sales recruitment industry, I’ve found that the number one reason for a salesperson leaving their employer isn’t for more money. It isn’t for a bigger job title, less travel or a dislike of their boss. Sure, these things can edge employees towards the exit but what sends sales employees through that door is simple – it’s because the option presented just isn’t good value any more.

“The commission plan has changed so I’ll earn less”

“My target has doubled so it’s harder for me to get commission”

“We’ve lost an important client relationship to the competition”

“The amount of sales support I receive isn’t as good as it used to be”

The majority of salespeople will put up with the problems that come with a successful sales career – the travel, long hours and time away from their family. Like me paying my money to Sky, I’ll put up with the high price because I’m happy with the end result. As soon as this changes – and the deal becomes worse – the salesperson is left with little choice but to seek a better deal elsewhere, even if they are largely happy in their role and deep down they don’t really want to leave!

The recruitment moral of the story – be loyal to your employees and they will be loyal to you. 

About James

James is an experienced IT Sales recruiter, who has worked at Enterprise Sales Personnel Ltd for the last ten years, having progressed through the business to Director Level.

He specialises in recruiting Scotland-based IT consultants, sales and pre-sales professionals.

If you would like to speak to James about expanding your IT sales team or if you are looking for your next IT sales career move in Scotland, please call 0161 446 4160 or email