In the current economic climate where companies have to grapple with high competition to determine if they stay in business, employing the right sales people becomes the ingredient that determines if a business will maintain a competitive edge or not. Making the right choice in the initial selection of a sales person not only saves money in reducing turnover but helps in many other aspects as well. Almost all sales managers involved in the process of recruitment concur that they cannot afford to employ even a single person who does not increase the organization’s production. However, the same sales managers unanimously have issues of non-performance among their employees.
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This clearly shows the need to be extra careful during the recruitment and selection of sales people. There are some things that sales managers should employ during the selection of sales people to ensure that only the right people are selected for the job. Organizations that maintain effective recruitment processes have been known to not only attract but also retain high-quality staff. 1
Recruitment in an organization refers to the act of going into the market to look for qualified people for a particular job description. A recruiting officer should be able to not only elaborate the potential job applicants about the company but also ensure that he gets them to apply for the job. Making the potential applicants understand the company’s operations and what is expected of them ensures that the applicants do not apply for the job blindly.
This cuts down the cost of training once someone is employed. On the other hand, selection refers to the process where sales managers get to choose the person they think has the highest capacity among the many applications. If carried out effectively, the company ensures that only the right sales people are selected for the job. Combining these two processes together also ensures that the company does not use many funds in having to train the new employees on the nature of their job since this is initially covered in the recruitment process. 2
During the recruitment process, a company should first conduct a job analysis. This is where the company outlines the job description and specifications. This ensures that only the right quality personnel are called up to apply for the job. The job analysis also outlines the job duties and the expected salary scale for the job. It also includes the interview questions that are to be asked to ensure that only the right people are targeted.
This not only saves the company money but also quality time. During job analysis, the company outlines the environment where the job will be carried out. This helps during the selection stage in ensuring that the physical requirements are adhered to. This may eliminate people of a certain gender or those with disabilities. It is important for a company to carry this out to ensure that it is not sued for being biased in its recruitment process since this might become an extra expense for the company. This part should also outline the required level of learning, acquired skills, and abilities needed to apply for the position.
In preparing a job analysis for sales people, it is also important to include the required personality traits. Some of the attributes that a company should articulate in the job analysis include intelligence, decisiveness, assertiveness, openness, and maturity among other traits that are required for one to work as a sales person. This is important since sales people interact with people in the line of their work.3
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The analysis stage is one of the most important steps of recruitment for any company and for the individuals as well. By hiring candidates who suit their work environment and those with the right knowledge, a company is guaranteed expansion. For the job seekers, it is important for them to ensure that they only apply for a job that suits their character and welfare. This initial step plays a key role in deciding the direction that their career takes and hence their position in life. This can only be accomplished when an organization and those seeking employment are able to understand each other’s requirements in the initial stages.
Once a company gives out its job description, it becomes easier to attract a pool of recruits who match their description. It is out of this pool that a company selects the right person for the job. There are many sources where an organization can target in looking for sales people. The best place to look would be among its competitors. This is more convenient since those people in the same field will find it easy to adapt in the job market. 4
Once an organization gets the right pool of recruits, the next important process becomes that of screening the applications. The first thing that a company should undertake during the selection process is carrying out a thorough interview.
This is used to identify those people who are qualified for the job. This can also be used to ascertain the candidate’s past and the reason why one has to change jobs if the person is already informal employment. Sales managers should also use this moment to ensure that the information provided in the resume is accurate. This can be achieved through liaising with former and current bosses for the prospective candidate. This will ensure that the person’s past is not tainted hence becoming a reproach or a liability for the company. Selecting the right candidate for the job becomes the thin line between failure and success for the company. 5
Recruiting and selection of the wrong candidates as sales people has been a big impediment to the growth of many companies. This has also seen other companies completely going under. An organization with a wrong sales person cannot be recognized since the management cannot have the ability to reach out to other organizations to get some new technologies from them. Since sales people are responsible for searching for customers, it becomes hard for a company to attract any meaningful customers. This results in the stagnation of many companies. In an event where a company selects the wrong sales person, there arises the need to train the employee to make him more productive.
This exercise costs money that could in essence be used for other functions meant to boost the company. 6
Any company will want to select the right sales person to ensure that it stays in operation. If an employee is found not to improve even after training programs, the company will want to replace that particular employee. This begins the long and tedious process of recruiting and selecting a new sales person for that post. This exercise costs the company money in form of advertising for the post and carrying out the recruitment process. Since in this case the company will be forced to cancel its contract with the unproductive employee, it ends up spending more money in compensating the employee for termination of a contract.7
This is something that any organization would want to avoid hence the need of making the right selection for a sales person. In many organizations, only a small fraction of its employees are productive. Competitors target this small percentage of performing employees by offering them high salaries. In an event where a company’s top-performing employees are poached, the company may be thrown into a crisis and may even collapse. This shows the need for ensuring that a company selects many qualified sales people. 8
Recruiting and selecting the right sales people are one of the key determinants of whether a company will remain in operation or not. This cuts a company’s cost by a big percentage hence increasing its profits. During the recruitment process, it is important for a company to carry out a job analysis for the particular post. This articulates the job description for the post hence ensuring that only the right people apply for the job. This ensures that the company has a pool from which to select the sales people. Since the people applying for the job know the job description, the need for training programs to orient people on the job particulars is minimized hence saving the company time and money.
- Joseph, Hair, Rolph, Anderson, Barry, Babin &, Rajiv, Mehta. Sales Management: Building Customer Relationships and Partnerships. Ed.Cengage Learning, 2008.
- Donald, Hsu. “Case Studies in Marketing Research”. Journal of Business Case Studies 2.2 (2006): 1-6.
- Donald, Jackson & Stephen, Tax. “Managing the industrial sales force culture”. Journal of Business & industrial 10.2 (1995):34-47.
- Joseph, Vaccaro. Organizational issues in sales force decisions”. Journal of professional services marketing 6.2 (1991):69-80.
- James, Randall. “Selecting that successful salesperson”. Journal article excerpts 12.1 (1990):12-20.
- Rene, Darmon & Stanley, Shapiro. “Sales recruiting: A major area of underinvestment”. Industrial marketing management 901(1980):47-51.
- George, Glisan. “Selecting creative people for sales positions”. Industrial Marketing management 19.4 (1990):331-337.
- Rene, Darmon.” The Concept of Salesperson Replacement Value: a Sales Force Turnover Management Tool”. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management 28.3 (2008):211-232.
Darmon, Rene, & Shapiro, Stanley. “Sales recruiting: A major area of underinvestment”. Industrial marketing management 901(1980):47-51.
Darmon, Rene.” The Concept of Salesperson Replacement Value: a Sales Force Turnover Management Tool”. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management 28.3 (2008):211-232.
Glisan, George. “Selecting creative people for sales positions”. Industrial Marketing management 19.4 (1990):331-337.
Hair, Joseph, Anderson, Rolph, Babin, Barry, & Mehta, Rajiv. Ed.Sales Management: Building Customer Relationships and Partnerships. Cengage Learning, 2008.
Hsu, Donald, “Case Studies in Marketing Research”. Journal of Business Case Studies 2.2 (2006): 1-6.
Jackson, Donald, & Tax, Stephen. “Managing the industrial sales force culture”. Journal of Business & industrial 10.2 (1995):34-47.
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Randall, James. “Selecting that successful salesperson”. Journal article excerpts 12.1 (1990):12-20.
Vaccaro, Joseph. Organizational issues in sales force decisions”. Journal of professional services marketing 6.2 (1991):69-80.