Work, though an important piece of our lives, should never consume them. Enjoying what we do, the people we work with and our place of employment is what all of us strive for.
However, a job should never prevent us from spending time with family, friends and loved ones, doing the things we relish.
That said, some professions make achieving work-life balance more difficult than others. As you continue your job search, it will be crucial to understand what every position can truly offer you in terms of work-life balance. Without this knowledge, you may find yourself accepting a job that doesn’t meet your expectations or needs.
As someone who’s interested in pursuing a sales position in the logistics profession, there are several things you should know about the work-life balance associated with this job.
Here at Anderson Trucking Service (ATS), we employ logistics sales representatives in multiple locations across the U.S. and have been doing so since 1955. Over time, many of these employees have carried on long, successful sales careers in the transportation world — maintaining a healthy work-life balance all the while.
In this article, we’ll outline what you should expect your work-life balance to look like as a logistics salesperson and give you some tips for improving this balance should you decide to venture into the transportation industry.
What Hours Do Logistics Salespeople Primarily Work?
In the vast majority of instances, transportation-industry sales professionals work standard 8-hour days. Typically, sales representatives, managers and directors work between 7 a.m to 4 p.m; 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Though this timeframe fluctuates based on the preferences of each employee and the needs of their customers, as a logistics salesperson, expect to clock 40-hour weeks on average.
That said, the people in logistics sales positions — like those in many other sales jobs — see their workloads shift based on their book of business. As a salesperson becomes more successful, taking on more and more clients, these working hours may expand slightly to match their growing commitments and responsibilities.
Many of the best employers make work-life balance a priority for their sales staff, giving them assistance in refining their time and customer management skills so that their personal lives aren’t affected.
Do Logistics Salespeople Ever Have To Work After Hours?
For the most part, transportation-industry sales professionals have the luxury of completely disconnecting from the office when they leave for the day. As long as a salesperson has touched base with the stakeholders of each shipment, cleared up all issues/ambiguity and seen to it that everything is on track, work will rarely accompany them home.
However, due to the unpredictable nature of transportation, sometimes things do come up after hours.
Be it a driver that’s confused about a pickup/drop location, a shipper with a last-minute schedule change, an outcropping of bad weather that forces a shipment to delay or a myriad of other reasons, occasionally salespeople must take action after 5 p.m.
This “action” usually consists of a few phone calls where the problem is acknowledged, relevant stakeholders are informed and the issue (whatever it may be) is addressed promptly during regular business hours the next day.
Note: problem-solving after hours is not a daily, or weekly, affair.
Logistics salespeople face this reality very rarely, with problems, generally speaking, cropping up once a month. Additionally, after-hours coverage teams (responsible for servicing loads after regular business hours) are becoming increasingly common at many companies — helping daytime employees gain better work-life balance.
3 Tips For Improving Work-Life Balance in a Logistics Sales Role
In customer-facing sales roles, there’s only so much you can control. But, by leaning into this reality, achieving greater work-life balance is possible.
Here are three tips for improving your work-life balance as a transportation industry sales professional:
- Make sure to stay organized
- Set expectations with customers
- Develop relationships with other employees and managers
Tip #1: Make Sure to Stay Organized
As logistics professionals quickly learn, transportation is a fast-paced, competitive industry full of unknowns. With so much going on each day — customer commitments to meet and goals to achieve — a salesperson’s organizational skills are crucial to maintaining balance.
If you decide to pursue a career in logistics sales, managing your time and organizing each of your tasks will be very important. Without doing so, some salespeople fall behind, struggling to meet their deadlines, falling through on customers and working longer hours.
Luckily, many transportation companies have robust training and development programs for new sales employees. These programs — which at ATS include both a 90-day onboarding and a one-year progression plan — help sales representatives learn their craft. When managed correctly, the best employers ensure each salesperson has the organizational tools, skills and understandings to succeed.
Tip #2: Set Expectations With Customers
Like you, the shippers that logistics salespeople work with strive to achieve balanced lives too. These people also have interests, families and friends to commit time to outside of work.
However, like any other relationship you hold, as a logistics sales professional it’s important to set boundaries and expectations with your customers from the start.
Explain your company’s hours of operation as well as when you’ll be reachable each day, and when you simply won’t. Set guidelines for how you prefer to be contacted and be sure to communicate how your capabilities change after 5 p.m.
Sure, as their point of contact and sales representative, a customer’s needs will sometimes take priority over a salesperson’s preferences (this happens to everyone in these roles eventually).
That said, each line you draw in the sand will move you that much closer to achieving work-life balance. Sometimes sales professionals struggle to meet customer expectations when they’re set too high. Setting expectations for the onset will help you serve customers better and avoid putting in more time than necessary outside of work.
Tip #3: Develop Relationships With Other Employees and Managers
Logistics sales representatives are never without allies. The majority of companies build teams of salespeople that collectively contribute to the bottom line. As a result, sales team members learn to work together to meet their goals.
In the pursuit of work-life balance, it will be important that you lean on your colleagues and managers for help where needed. Ask the members of your team to step in for you when you’re out of the office and apprise them of anything you’ll need them to handle. Additionally, be sure to work with your manager to carve out tactics for managing your time and optimizing with their assistance.
Some salespeople fail to fully utilize the team around them which works to their detriment. Don’t be afraid to use yours.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Working in Logistics?
Finding the career of your dreams will take a good amount of research. And, now that you know how achievable work-life balance is for logistics sales professionals, you may be wondering whether a career in this field is worth considering.
Here at ATS, we’re committed to connecting people with job opportunities that suit them best and meet their needs — even if we’re not the employer they choose.
As long-standing members of the transportation industry, we’ve seen firsthand how it’s often a great fit for many and misses the mark for others.
You deserve to work in an industry that you thoroughly enjoy. Plain and simple.
To help you discern whether transportation and logistics can be this industry, check out our article that outlines the pros and cons of a career in the transportation industry for some crucial insights.
Finally, if you’d like some more information on what a job at ATS might mean, check out our careers page today!