The logistics industry is full of sales positions. After all, industry competition is fierce and everyone is competing for customers’ business. There are approximately 3,000 freight forwarders in the U.S., which makes for a healthy market of sales employment opportunities – or does it?
Although there are many freight forwarders, the industry’s employment market is dominated by a few very large players. Companies like C.H. Robinson, DHL, UPS, FedEx, Kuhn & Nagel, CEVA, and Expeditors are a few of these freight forwarder giants that occupy most of the market share. When it comes to employment decisions, sales reps will usually come across opportunities at these companies before any of the smaller guys. While this can be hard on smaller freight forwarders, research shows that sales reps at large forwarders may be sacrificing more than they realize. Here’s a few reasons why:
Sales Reps at Large Freight Forwarders are Missing Out
We’re not trying to burst anyone’s bubble here, but it’s often the truth. Small and large businesses have very different work environments – for better or for worse. But when it comes to a healthy, encouraging, well-paid sales position, we think small businesses like Interlog USA will kick it out of the park every time. Here’s why:
Corporate culture has a vertical management structure. This suppresses decision making on the part of employees towards the bottom of the pyramid. Unfortunately, sales reps are often placed in this camp in the eyes of upper management. Many sales reps grow accustomed to the restrictions they are given on sales approach, lead generation, and lead escalation processes all while sacrificing their own creativity and ideas. In essence, at large companies, sales reps are treated as a dollar sign – you bring in money, they keep you employed. That’s the handshake.
Management at Interlog USA understands that people need to feel empowered to make decisions. A company is only as good as the employees they keep engaged. Operating with a flat management structure allows us to do this, which keeps our sales and operations teams creative, connected, and passionate about their work. Sales reps are encouraged to test new approaches to see what works. Who are we to tell you that our ideas are best?
Pay and Compensation
Perhaps the most commonly mistaken assumption of large freight forwarders is that they pay more. Here’s some data for reference. These are average salaries for sales reps at some of the largest freight forwarders in the U.S. according to Glassdoor:
C.H. Robinson: $43,588
Kuhn & Nagel: $55,867
To most sales reps, these numbers seem pretty reasonable. With commission added into the mix, that makes for a decent living, right? Although these companies are able to set industry benchmarks because of their scale, many sales reps being fully compensated for what their time is worth.
At Interlog USA, we pay our experienced sales reps between $60,000-$90,000, which places us approximately $12,000 above industry standard salary. Even better, we offer fair performance-based commission that matches or exceeds the commission levels of freight forwarder giants. How can we do this? It all boils down to resource management and focus. We recognize that sales reps are at the eye of the hurricane when it comes to company cash inflow, and thus experienced reps should be compensated fairly for their time. Sales is an honorable role that contributes directly to the bottom line of a company – we want our sales reps to feel valued.
Corporate culture can be tough. Everything from dress code and tone of speech to PTO hours and sick days – large company corporate rules can make it feel like you’re back in a Charter School. Why not act authentically with your co-workers? Why do you have to skip the vacation of a lifetime because you’re too worried about going a day or two over on your allotted PTO? This type of corporate culture will always be the case with larger freight forwarders. It’s the only way they are able to manage their employees and keep everyone “productive”.
We’re not really a fan of that. Any of it. We want people to feel at home when they’re at work. That may sound like an oxymoron, but we believe that better than finding a work-life balance is pulling the two together. We have a casual dress code, everyone in the office is friends with each other, and we recognize that work shouldn’t take priority over the important moments in life. We come to work to be productive, but more so, to work together as a team and all contribute towards the same common goal.
Where to Go from Here
A lot of sales reps reserve from applying for new positions for a couple reasons: 1) they don’t know much better it’ll be than their current situation, or 2) they are afraid their new boss will be worse than their current boss. In case you’re still skeptical, we are offering $12K above industry standard salary in an encouraging and empowering work environment. If you’re waiting for ‘2)’ to be answered, I guess you’ll just have to come in for an interview! (p.s. nobody bites here.)
Don’t settle for less because you’re afraid to look! We are always excited to meet new people and show them our team and place of work. There’s no harm in setting up an interview to give it a chance. If you are interested, go ahead and contact us to submit your resume! We will look it over right away and contact you to set up an interview.