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Let's face it, without customers you haven't got a business. Without sales, you haven't got customers. Even those that do require some form of sales and marketing so that potential customers know they are out there!
Clients will usually prefer to buy through a person when it comes to larger capital expenditure or more complex purchases. This is particularly true of business to business (B2B) transactions where solutions may require some discussion, advice and technical implementation. However, we also experience it in our personal buying behaviours for bigger purchases. I still go to a car dealership, or to view a house, in person so that I can touch, feel, smell and imagine owning the vehicle or property. I will ask advice of the ‘expert’ and, where possible, will purchase from the person I like best.
A few years back I test drove a car at a local dealership. I told the sales guy that I had been in automotive retail sales for a few years myself, had practically grown up on my dad’s car yard, and had my IMI (Institute of Motor Industry) LRQ Level 1 in Light Vehicle Maintenance & Repair. He proceeded to treat me like I was an idiot and a ‘silly little woman’. I knew more about the technical spec than he did. He followed up with the pushiest of outmoded hard-sell tactics I have ever seen. So, I drove sixteen miles to the next franchised dealer and simply handed my order to one of the sales team.
The adage that people buy from people still holds true even in this technology-driven age. That’s why it’s important to employ great relationship builders on your sales team. Good sales people can be hard to find and very costly to replace. This blog is aimed at helping you to find great sales talent.
Keep an open mind and look beyond sector experience. No matter how precious we get about the specialist nature of our product or service, an individual with the right attitude and aptitude to learn can be taught anything. I didn’t spring from the womb well-versed in recruitment practices, and there was a time when you knew nothing about your fancy widgets or supply chain solutions. If there is some absolutely pressing reason that you MUST have an industry expert, be prepared to pay a premium for them. Your salary and benefits package, working environment, company culture and reputation must be better than their current employer… and any competitor who also shows an interest in them.
I am quite obviously biased but, unless you can answer ‘yes’ to all of the questions below, it would be prudent to use a good recruiter to find your next sales superstar:
1. Do you have sufficient advertising budget?
2. Do you know where to advertise for best results?
3. Do you know how to write copy that attracts applicants and uses the site algorithms to your advantage?
4. Are you an effective and experienced interviewer?
5. Do you have a finely tuned bullshit detector?
6. Do you have access to passive candidates who may not be proactively seeking a move?
7. Do you have enough time to dedicate to the recruitment process?
8. Do you have a contingency plan if your chosen candidate doesn’t accept your offer?
If you haven’t answered yes to all of the above and still wish to handle your own campaign you can use the list as a course guide for the skills you will need to learn.
I will be covering each area in subsequent weeks and months. If you need to recruit an experienced sales professional now, or have better things to do than cram 20+ years’ worth of recruitment experience into your toolbox, please feel free to call our team now on 01902 763006. Ask for the Sales Recruitment Team.