19/10/2010 | Sales management
One of the outputs of our work is to identify the need for additional sales resource/sales management. This throws up the inevitable question of whether you should buy-in the best people (however you define that) or develop your own. Whilst hiring experienced people from your own industry looks like a quick fix on paper, whether this is actually a good move in the medium to long term depends a great deal on the evolution of the organisation itself.
Time and again we see organisations who are planning to grow significantly reaching for their ‘black book’ of competitors sales people and hiring them in on inflated salaries and promises of eternal success with a much better product/service. Under such circumstances, the question that springs to mind is whether the sales person you’ve just hired was actually the real reason for success at his old company (or was it a combination of brand/service/longevity of relationship/inertia) and whether any or all of that is transferrable to his new one.
I started in sales partly because I thought it was a transferrable skill but, in Britain at least, it largely isn’t. People want experience in their sector with their customers and their service offer and yet we prove with every new client that actually what really works is knowing the basics of sales success and being able to adapt them to the prevailing circumstances.
If you can understand how to deliver the correct quantity, direction and quality of sales activity and have a good grasp on what people actually value, what they actually receive in their mind when you deploy your service and/or product then you can sell anything successfully to any of the target market who might be able to make use of it - whatever it might be.
Which begs the further question - wouldn’t it make sense to test if any new person can really sell, that they understand the real drivers of sales success regardless of their previous industry and hire the ones for whom you can answer positively?
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