UK sales people ‘more ethical’ than portrayed

A YouGov survey has concluded that the UK’s salespeople are more concerned about principles, ethics and accountability than stereotypes might suggest.

55% of respondents said they would leave a job because they had issues with the product or service they were selling, while a third claimed 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.

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While the survey did not address one particular field, the results will at least bring a smile to the faces of any sales personnel in the catering equipment industry miffed by their profession’s often negative depiction in the popular press.

Christopher Cabrera, CEO of sales compensation software provider Xactly, which commissioned the study, said: “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.”

The survey also explored the extent to which today’s salespeople consider themselves to be more or less ethical than the previous generation. 45% 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.

“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?” said Cabrera. “In fact, salespeople are even more accountable for their actions because their performance is often directly linked to compensation and therefore tightly monitored.”

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