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Competition for Sales Professionals - as companies rebuild their business development capability

2014 has been a great year for recruitment so far

In the first half of the year the market has been very buoyant for a combination of reasons.

Niche companies, particularly Discretionary Fund Managers have been growing their business development teams while larger companies have often found themselves short staffed as an unintended consequence of previous restructures. It does not take much to get a market moving and as companies compete for the best they are creating gaps elsewhere which need to be filled.

For the first time since 2008 we have seen some very aggressive recruitment from some companies who have proactively headhunted sales staff from others.

During the recession most were scared to move but as we see optimism return to the market some top performers have accepted attractive offers from competitors and were prepared to take the risk involved in a move. All of this means a more competitive market and in some way a sellers’ market for candidates. In particular we have seen a strong drive to attract new business winners, in some cases money appeared to be no object to secure their services.

As more attractive positions become available, many individuals who felt compelled to accept a less than perfect position when the market was on its knees are now starting to look over the parapet seeking new roles more appropriate for their skills and experience. Naturally, the major companies are not sitting idly by and letting this happen, they have been reviewing basic
salaries upwards and we have seen significant increase in basic salaries within the product provider business development community over the past two years. Whereas a typical BDM earned between £30,000 and £40,000 basic we have seen a significant rise to a more normal basic now being between £45,000 and £55,000 with car and benefits on top.

In comparison, DFMs pay between £50000 and £65000 basic salaries for entry level people, rising to £85000 and above if poaching from another DFM. These figures often include car allowance. The one area where we have seen a reduction is bonuses. The regulator is discouraging an over reliance on sales bonuses. In the greater scheme of things we have seen a coming together of business development salaries across the sector.