Choosing Between Selling for a Large or Small Company
What's best for your sales career?
When it comes to businesses, there are three sizes: small, medium and large. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. But if you are deciding between accepting a sales position with either a large organization or a small business, there are some important factors you should consider before accepting the offer.
One clear advantage of working for a large company is the number of resources that will be available to you. In most large sales organizations, there are existing sales support teams, established subject matter experts, a team of tenured sales professionals and a management team that knows their way around the sales bullpen.
With small companies, resources are usually much more scarce. Sales support and administrative assistance is an unusual luxury, and both sales teams and the management team could be either non-existent or very limited in size.
If you feel that you need access to resources, hate doing all of your own paperwork, and prefer having plenty of co-workers to bounce ideas off of, a large company would be a better fit for you.
The ability to respond quickly to rapidly changing market conditions often makes the difference between companies that succeed and those that struggle. Many large businesses lack the agility that smaller companies enjoy, due entirely to their size. A sales organization with 10,000 employees simply can't make global changes overnight, while a sales business with 10 employees could reasonably make course corrections within an 8-hour work day.
The old expression that says it takes time for a large ship to make a turn holds very true when it comes to the challenges faced by large companies when market conditions demand a change in focus.
You need to have a deep understanding of the industry you are getting into and determine if the need for rapid change is important. If so, and if you are comfortable with change, a small business would suit you well.
Despite the fact that large businesses often have cutbacks, they do provide more job security than smaller companies. This is usually due to the fact that large, established companies have investors, a board of directors, and a slew of other interested parties that are very involved in the company's solvency. One way that many large companies stay in business is by acquiring smaller companies, thus capturing their market share, intellectual property, and talent.
Smaller companies are at a much higher risk of going out of business due in large part to the fact that there are usually just one or a few owners who may pass away, retire, or have something happen to them that interrupts their ability to lead or run the company. Large businesses enjoy the ability to plug someone else into a vacated position.
For job security, large is better!
There is no question that one of the most attractive benefits to larger companies is the advancement opportunities they offer. In very small businesses, there really is nowhere to go except ownership or to another company. The opposite is true for large sales companies.
From sales management or sales director to positions like sales support specialists, opportunities abound.
If you have your sights on management, fix your gaze on larger companies.
As far as benefits are concerned, it really comes down to the individual company. In general, larger companies have more affordable health benefits due to their ability to negotiate more attractive rates with the insurance company. Conversely, smaller companies may offer lower employee contribution rates to attract candidates away from larger companies.
Retirement accounts are fairly common but larger companies usually have better employee matching programs. Lastly, while pension plans are few and far between, your chances of getting a pension lay almost exclusively with large companies.