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We all know this - so why are we not doing it?

As the Director of Top Achievers Sales Training Ltd, one of the issues I address on a depressingly regular basis, is the large number of companies facing a shortage of good, skilled work force in the sales arena.

I believe concentrating more on the recruitment process will help build good sales people in the work force. The recruitment advertisement needs to be very specific as to the personality, expertise, qualifications, any specific languages required as well as previous job experience and specialist skills. 

To be more specific it should be clear about the type of sales person you don’t want. The candidate should  be interviewed by a direct manager,  a team member they  will work with, Human Resources and any other appropriate management personnel. It is vital to check all references – too many companies get caught out by not checking properly.

Personality and job profiling have a success rate of over 80% in the successful appointment of a staff member. Additional fees involved for these services far outweigh the cost of replacing a staff member that does not work out.

Pay attention to the employment contract being offered and make sure it as specific as possible about things such as dress code, meal breaks, acceptable behaviour for the particular position, conferences, meetings, groups or committees that the successful person may be required to attend and on what basis. 

Don’t forget to outline expectations around areas, territory, accounts, number of calls, appointments, number of quotes and how to reach required targets and budgets. Of course, it must clearly state the terms of remuneration, including commissions, bonuses, and incentives work as well as  how and when they would be payable. 

Induction training should cover product, systems, reports, territories, call to sale ratios, dress code, company culture and ethics, staff reporting structures, what the job entails in terms of how to do the job and job expectations.

Staff evaluations executed regularly assist in staff motivation and morale, and ensure staff issues are dealt with before they get out of hand.

If your company has a Mission Statement or Vision, encourage your employees to understand and buy into it – vision and goals help build a strong, sustainable company.

Company culture and leadership starts at the top. I believe, that by paying to attention to the above points we will have a sustainable, skilled work force and allow us to keep a step ahead of the competition.