How salespeople can identify sales-friendly companies & industries

Hi UWS achievers!  Ever found a company or industry to be less sales-friendly than you’d initially concluded or wanted to believe?  Me too (I’d be surprised if many haven’t), and I’ve learned the hard way it can make a huge difference in terms of relative job satisfaction, pay, benefits, etc.  To help us better navigate to the best opportunities despite the hype and noise I interviewed Max Altschuler- author, founder of Sales Hacker, & current Marketing VP for Outreach.io- to draw from his broad perspective on the sales profession.  Enjoy 😊.

Todd: From all your exposure to the sales world, do you feel there are industries more sales-friendly than others in terms of pay, benefits, etc.? If so, what are they?

Max: Yes.  Tech is the most forward-thinking and all industries appear to be getting more sales-friendly, with tech leading the way in each.  A good example is “KeepTruckin” in logistics.  The stereotype of untrustworthy salespeople is disappearing as they now are perceived more and more as consultative & well-studied.  Because of this, a lot more people are now going into tech sales where they used to have to go into Investment Banking and slave away to make the most money.      


Todd: Are there industries generally more friendly to women vs men and vice versa?  My observation is SAAS tends to be much more male-friendly today…


Max: Not sure if it’s an industry thing or not but pharma sales appears very women-friendly.  Again, not sure why but just an observation.

Todd: What would you say are the most common attributes of sales-friendly companies, regardless of industry?


Max: Companies with CEOs that have been salespeople before and/or were the first rep of their current company, and therefore have empathy for salespeople.  It’s always better when leadership knows how hard your job is. 


Todd: What are the most common attributes of companies not friendly to sales to avoid?


Max: Companies that think the product sells itself and therefore think “what do we need sales for?”  What I’ve seen is in those cases the product is almost never that great either- they always really need salespeople to help differentiate.  Sales process is also just as much to help someone adopt as to buy.  Finally, salespeople are critical for helping prospects understand whether they’re even a fit to begin with.


Todd: Which are the tools & resources you recommend salespeople use to identify & research the most sales-friendly companies & how would you recommend going about that research? Maybe Glassdoor? LinkedIn? Acquaintances? Mentors?


Max: Asking current reps is the best.  Then I’d say acquaintances & mentors IF they’d know for sure. The problem with review sites is the posts are often created from the companies asking employees to write reviews or they’re created by people who were legitimately fired and illegitimately upset- maybe they were racist or groped someone.


Todd: Is there anything else you'd recommend our audience consider or do to help us identify the most sales-friendly companies?  

Max: Look at companies getting positive media reviews, where friends work, and providing goods and services you’re passionate about.  If you’re passionate about what you’re selling, you’ll be infinitely more successful.  It’s tough for any company you’re not passionate about to feel sales-friendly. 

Todd Lamoreaux