The BEST sales person I ever hired came directly out of college. He has now gone onto several much larger sales management roles in a very large company selling and managing to very large accounts, with much success. At the time, I was managing a B2B effort in the SMB space for a large company. Our stringent requirements were 3+ years of sales success in the B2B space, but management was open-minded and encouraged all sorts of recruiting channels. I went after the colleges, and naturally, departing military officers!
Recently I sat with a great candidate to discuss his job search. We had talked about the different resources he could utilize to conduct an effective search and to my surprise I found that my candidate was not a member of LinkedIn. I suggested how he could maximize his search by creating a LinkedIn account. I was amazed to find resistance and a strong opinion to not join one of the world's largest, most powerful networking sites. Then I realized that he was averse to joining LinkedIn due to the fact that he had a misunderstanding of what LinkedIn is. He was under the impression that it was just another social site like Facebook. I spoke with him in depth about why he should join LinkedIn and shared with him how I utilize the site as a recruiter. It is one of the sites I use on a daily basis to find candidates and prospects and I think anyone who is not utilizing LinkedIn is doing themselves a major disservice.
At Treeline, our business model has always been unique and just a little bit different from other companies. We are purely a sales organization and our initiatives are not based on individual achievement like most organizations. Instead, our culture has been built around the mission of achieving one common goal through teamwork. Our goal is success.
I have been an executive recruiter for the past 5 years and throughout my tenure in this profession I have heard a plethora of excuses as to why a candidate cannot attend an interview. Often times, the cancellation comes the day of the interview, leaving recruiters like myself to scramble and put out the fire with our clients. There have been instances where a candidate has to cancel an interview for reasons to do with their current job: surprise visit from a client, unexpected ride day with the boss, etc.
What do you do when the last job on your resume ended a year ago? What do you do when you are applying for a job and the interviewer asks, "What have you been doing most recently?" and all you can think of is, "I have been looking for a job." Unfortunately, in this market, this is a regular occurrence in interviews.
Goals are set to encourage you to stretch beyond what is within your easy reach. One large caution for Sales Managers this year: do not allow your team to use 2009 as a benchmark for 2010's achievement. As a Sales Manager, now is the time to recreate the vision. Now is the time to redefine success from a clean slate. The most successful sales professionals have heard the mantra, "Belief, Action, Results, and Motivation." Now is the time to readdress this mantra as you adjust expectation.
When the stock market fell off a cliff and credit was frozen and virtually impossible to find, companies moved aggressively to take shelter and weather the storm by cutting payroll and other expenses. Those who managed to survive and stay standing at the end of 2009 will see revenue growth in 2010. Those resilient companies will prosper on this long road to recovery throughout the coming years and they will create opportunities and focus on growth, not consolidation. The strong companies today are betting on their ability to bring in revenue and they are confident and see an incredible opportunity to grow their business. 2010 will be a building year, a year to focus on re-securing the footings and foundation in order to build a stronger more aggressive company in 2011. So what is the one job companies create when they are feeling confident in their ability to drive revenue? SALES JOBS!