Sector focus: Sales

Sector focus: sales

Every month we’ll be taking an in-depth look at a particular sector and letting you know how it’s doing. From employment figures and salaries to the latest trends and stories that rocked that industry.

This month we’re focusing on the sales sector, which appears to be a stable industry with lots of candidates competing for a single job.


The job market

There’s good news for both employers and candidates in the sales industry, as it’s seen a 3% increase year on year in the number of jobs posted and plenty of candidates applying for them too.

However, the sales industry could be proving to be a little too popular, as like many other sectors candidate demand is much higher than the number of vacancies.

Comparing Q1 of 2013 and Q4 of 2012, there’s been an 8.8% rise in the number of jobs posted, but a much higher figure of a 26% rise in the number of applications. This trend is repeated in recent barometer figures when comparing both May 2012 and 2013, when the industry saw a 3% increase in the number of jobs posted and a massive 16% increase in applications.

This shows that although the amount of sales jobs being advertised has risen by 3% year on year, the amount of people applying for them is significantly higher, creating serious competition between the candidates and a filtering problem for employers. This is backed up with figures that show applications per nationwide job have risen from 14 to 16.

Although the figures for this year are promising, in Q1 of 2013 there was a small 5% decrease in the number of jobs posted and only a small 0.97% increase in applications, so the industry isn’t completely stable yet.


Sales employers

Sales are an important part of most industries, so sales employees can work across several sectors and have a massive impact on their overall success.

Several sales companies have already seen an increase in profit this year. This includes global retailer Systemax, which saw their sales rise by 6% after hiring local sales staff.

Car sales are also doing particularly well compared to last year. The first quarter of 2013 saw a 9% increase on last year, with a 15% jump in April. As a result, car sales in the UK are significantly outselling European markets which have seen a 10% decrease in automotive sales.

Although some companies aren’t doing so well, been forced to make cutbacks and lost some sales employees as a result. This includes Fidelity, which cut a number of jobs from their IFA sales team after they stopped working in four regions.

Insurance company Aegon UK could also be forced to make redundancies as its recent closure of six regional offices could put 160 sales staff at risk.


Want to know more about the sales industry? In part 2 of the sector focus we discuss the future of sales and find out who’s winning in the gender wars.


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