Welcome to my monthly update; focused on issues that I’m seeing in my business, which may be of relevance to you and yours.

My insights are gained by:

  • fielding any number of calls per day from people considering career changes;
  • meeting most days with sales leaders within both corporates and SMEs, to discuss issues facing their businesses;
  • conducting up to a dozen in-depth, face-to-face interviews with salespeople and sales leaders each week; and
  • attending industry-specific events and forums such as MESCA Briefings, Bowen Basin Mining Club and Brisbane Mining Club functions every month.

By way of background, I’ve been recruiting since September 2003, with a specific focus on sales, sales leadership and business development roles across the resources, construction and engineering sectors for the vast majority of that time.

Please feel welcome to give me your feedback – I’m keen to understand whether what I’m seeing aligns with what you’re experiencing.

People aren’t making decisions because of the election.

Maybe, but I’m not convinced that this isn’t often the “excuse du jour”, being used by salespeople to explain why they can’t convince clients to make decisions. I’m sure there’s some level of inaction due to Saturday’s poll, but I can’t help think that the issue is being a bit
over-played by salespeople seeking an easy “out”. Will your buyers’ world really look that different come Monday?

Understanding “the buyers’ journey” is key.

Judging by the take-up of places at our Sales Forum in early August, the feedback from
attendees afterwards, and the amount of interest in future events we’re planning, there’s plenty of interest in learning more about buyers’ behaviour, aligning sales processes to that behaviour, and engaging with buyers at an earlier stage of their “journeys”. If your business isn’t investing in expanding its knowledge in this area, be concerned – it’s likely your
competitors are.

“Transferrable skills” aren’t in vogue.

When hiring, employers are, by and large, insisting on seeking salespeople and sales leaders with specific domain experience. They’re looking for the shortest possible ramp-up period before new hires become productive and aren’t inclined to look too closely at people lacking a track record of sales success in their specific sector. Probably not the time to be hoping for a quantum career change!

Roles are being left unfilled.

If the “perfect 10” can’t be found, plenty of employers are leaving positions vacant, often for months at a time, rather than compromise on their “wish list”. Understandable to an extent, perhaps, but you have to wonder what opportunities are being missed in the meantime.

Your CV – it really needs some work.

You won’t be surprised to learn that I read a lot of CVs. On the whole, I’d say most people do a pretty poor job at promoting themselves, which surprises me a little, given that people in the sales space should realise that their CV is effectively a marketing document. It’s a candidate-rich market, folks, particularly at more senior levels, so investing the time to get this right is a must. No, I won’t do your CV for you. Yes, I will spend the time to critique it and give you some pointers if you get stuck.

As always, please feel welcome to call anytime should you wish to discuss my pearls of wisdom further, be looking to source high-quality sales talent, or to discuss where your career is heading.

Regards…Michael