28/11/2012 | Skills
Recently I had a conversation with a Sales Manager about a new starter that wasn’t succeeding - he’d sold nothing for six months and the obvious conclusion was being reached.
So what made you think he would succeed in the first place I asked. ‘Well,’ said the sales manager, ‘he knows the products and he knows the customers having previously worked for a competitor.’ The problem he went on to explain was that they were the market leader and the sales team was largely made up of ‘order takers’ who never had to break new ground. And the job he had been hired to do at this new company? - convince the other company’s customers to switch to his new company and to find entirely new customers who had bought from neither! In other words, a job requiring skills he didn’t have. That’s not to say he couldn’t acquire them, just that he had (hardly surprisingly) failed to do so on his own for the last 6 months, despite being repeatedly told that he needed to by the Sales Manager! So what do you think you could have done differently at the recruitment stage I asked the Sales Manager? ‘Nothing really,’ was the reply. How about since? ‘Well I’ve told him but he just doesn’t get it.’ And therein lies the problem.
If your recruitment process doesn’t test for the very skills you will need it won’t identify the development needs. You might still take someone on without the right skills IF you know that to be the case AND their attitude is right AND there is a plan to help them acquire them BEFORE the results are expected. Also, as a Sales Manager you have to know HOW to coach not just WHAT to coach.
Get in touch with Sales Blueprint.