“Don’t Say We Lack Ethics,” Say Today’s Salespeople

Jun 07, 2012
2 min read

London, 7th June 2012 - Despite their often negative depiction in popular press and recent stories about mis-selling, the UK’s salespeople are concerned about principles, ethics and accountability – according to a YouGov survey commissioned by on-demand sales compensation and sales performance management provider Xactly. A principled 55 per cent of survey respondents said they would leave a job because they had issues with the product or service they were selling.

Of the 196 sales professionals surveyed almost a third (32 per cent) said they would leave because they felt colleagues were behaving unethically. Women were found to be slightly more likely than men to leave a sales job as a result of behaviour they believed to be unethical (58 per cent vs. 53 per cent).

The research explored the extent to which today’s salespeople consider themselves to be more or less ethical than the previous generation. 45 per cent of respondents born before 1978 (‘Generation X’) considered that their generation are more ethical than those born afterwards (‘Generation Y’).  This compares to only 10% of ‘Generation Y’ respondents surveyed who thought ‘Generation X’ were more ethical.

Christopher Cabrera, CEO, Xactly commented, “Selling underpins business competitiveness – it’s a role many of us play at some point in our lives. So why would those who have chosen sales as a career be any less ethical than other professions?  In fact, salespeople are even more accountable for their actions because their performance is often directly linked to compensation and therefore tightly monitored.”

Indeed, British salespeople appear unphased by the need for accountability and transparency. Just over two-fifths (43 per cent) of those surveyed said they would find total transparency - with their personal progress made visible to colleagues - motivational.  However, the survey showed a small but significant number of respondents (6 per cent) felt people will view their role more negatively after the outcry about CEO and banker bonuses.

Cabrera continues, “This research shows us, far from fitting the stereotype of doing anything to achieve a sale, salespeople are more ethical than they are given credit for. Given the hugely important role they play within an organisation it is important to recognise and reward the work they do correctly and consistently.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 196 adults working in sales roles. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st - 25th May 2012.  The survey was carried out online.

Additional Resources

About Xactly Corporation

Xactly Corporation is the market leader in on-demand sales compensation and sales performance management. The company’s suite of solutions enables sales and finance executives to design, implement, manage, audit and optimize sales commission management programs easily and affordably. Xactly’s sales compensation management offerings automate the process of aggregating data from disparate systems into a secure, hosted repository and enable companies to leverage this business data, which is the lifeblood of sales performance management. Xactly helps companies improve operational performance, optimize sales effectiveness, proactively manage risk and compliance and maximize profits. The Xactly family of products is used by sales and finance executives, compensation analysts, sales operations and sales professionals across a variety of industries, ranging from SMBs to large enterprises, such as Ariba, Carestream Health, Motorola and Siemens. (For more information, visit www.xactlycorp.com or call  01628 421530.

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Xactly Corporation. All rights reserved. Xactly, Xactly Incent, Xactly Express and “Incent right. Sell more.” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Xactly Corporation.

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