Sector focus: Sales part 2
In the first part of our sales sector focus, we talked about the current jobs market, the competition amongst candidates and which employers were hiring and firing.
In this part, we focus on the gender gap and look towards the future to see what the sales industry might look like.
Gender wars in sales
Although there’s not a massive absence of either gender from the sales sector, certain roles in the industry are male dominated. This includes B2B sales as 70% of employees are men, and in account manager positions, where 68% are men.
In senior positions, the gender gap is even more apparent. In high level positions like sales and marketing directors, only 22% are women. The figures show that 37% of all male sales staff works in management or associate positions, while only 15% of women are doing this role.
However, these figures are reversed in retail sales. The majority of salespeople working in this industry, and in particular as buyers or procurement officers, are women (60%).
Although some companies are finding it difficult to recruit men. Cosmetics company Avon who relies on direct sellers, are actively looking to recruit more men for their company.
The future of sales
Thanks to the latest technological advances, a growing demand for online services and the popularity of smartphones and tablets, Mcommerce sales are creating a lot of profit for many companies and is changing how the sales industry operates.
According to research by eMarketer, Mcommerce sales are predicted to reach £6.61bn, and could grab an 11% share of the retail market alone.
And the sales sector could change dramatically as a result, as over the next four years Mcommerce sales are expected to grow to around £17.24bn.
Additionally, the rise of direct sales could have an impact on the industry as a whole, as it currently contributes £1.5bn to the UK economy. According to the Direct Selling Association (DSA), more sales people in the UK are becoming self employed, with 400,000 direct sellers currently working in the UK, an increase of 20,0000 over the past year. This is possibly due to a rise in students looking to earn extra money while they’re at university as well as increased interest from men, as previously most direct selling was done by women.
The working environment is also changing for sales people, and some companies are choosing to change incentives and give bonuses for customer satisfaction and sales quality instead of the number of sales. Companies who have introduced this method include several high-street banks, including HSBC and Barclays.