Anyone who has met me, or seen me talk, will know of my passion for sales. After spending over 15 years within the industry, I know just how rewarding and interesting a career in sales can be.
Yet a recent study revealed sales was rated as 140th out of 200 careers, lower than being a tax collector or working with sewage!
The reputation of working in sales is still low and programmes like The Call Centre, while entertaining, don't help. As an industry we need to do more to highlight the opportunities and training that is on offer. Candidates are attracted by the chance to learn, progress and feel they are part of a company.
Creating a trainee development programme is a brilliant way to show your commitment and belief in the individuals you are employing. Instead of throwing new employees in at the deep end, giving them the skills and tools to be more confident and better salespeople will benefit your company in more ways than just the bottom line.
Employees who receive training and feel their employers have invested in them feel a greater loyalty to the company. Having senior team leaders and managers who have started at the bottom and worked up creates a strong identity within your company and provides the next intake of trainees with the mentors and inspiration to work hard and know they will be rewarded.
I was part of the panel at The Sun’s Employment Roadshow recently and there were hundreds of job seekers eager for a chance to prove themselves. I know the talent is out there, companies just need to adjust their recruitment strategies. Within the sales industry specifically, looking past experience, degrees or qualifications allows companies to find dedicated and driven individuals that they may have overlooked in the past.
I feel that a fresh approach to recruiting the next generation of sales individuals will change the image and reputation of sales within the UK.
This change will mean sales finally receives the recognition as a industry and career it has always deserved.