Sales Performance * Guilty / Not Guilty * Part 1 of 5

In our travels throughout the food industry, we come across well-intentioned leaders that struggle with adding or retaining top sales talent.

When companies and sales leaders fail on this front, the net effect is damaging: FLAT SALES, TURNOVER, and FRUSTRATION for the new hire, management, owners, and stakeholders.

As a sales leader, are you guilty of any or all of these mindsets or faulty systems? 

1. The “Just take the ball and run with it” mistake

Sales leaders that are burned out from being the lone sales person or that are not interested in the grind any longer (they may even have come from technical background and hate selling!) think hiring a experienced sales professional cures ALL their problems and the manager can go on his own merry way.

A “perfect” sales person is rarely recruited– in fact, good hiring managers and recruiters know and expose the candidate’s weaknesses prior to hire so that the management team can structure sales training (sales specific, not product training) and mentoring around those specific areas of weakness.

 You can’t turn the keys over to a new hire and expect them to run on “auto-pilot”

2.  The “All I need is a rainmaker and my problems are solved” problem.

Many companies, large or small, have been shocked to find out that adding a sales person (and subsequently more sales activity) creates as much havoc within their organizations as a lack of sales. Much like a husband and wife must make preparations before their first child, business owners have to be aware of the changes that will occur in their company once a sales person is added – more sales activity (increased time with R&D, writing/developing technical specs, presentations, debrief sessions, brainstorming, target account development, etc.), increased emphasis on fulfillment (more delivery staff, order/manufacturing processes), and general sales “mayhem” follows when a company achieves new levels of sales. Good mayhem, but mayhem nonetheless!

Many companies, large or small, have been shocked to find out that adding a sales person (and subsequently more sales activity) creates as much havoc within their organizations as a lack of sales.  Much like a husband and wife must make preparations before their first child, business owners have to be aware of the changes that will occur in their company once a sales person is added – more sales activity (increased time with R&D, writing/developing technical specs, presentations, debrief sessions, brainstorming, target account development, etc.), increased emphasis on fulfillment (more delivery staff, order/manufacturing processes), and general sales “mayhem” follows when a company achieves new levels of sales.  Good mayhem, but mayhem nonetheless!

If you’re not prepared for this onslaught of activity, expect to lose your “rainmaker” to a company that has more on the ball.

Tomorrow, we’ll dig into the next two trouble spots for companies and sales leaders – fulfillment and compensation.

Bob Pudlock
Gulf Stream Search
561.450.9490
bob.pudlock@gulfstreamsearch.com

GULF STREAM SEARCH is an executive search firm that specializes in the identification, assessment, and capture of top talent within the food and nutraceutical manufacturing industry.

Our recruiting expertise is second to none – we’re commonly asked to identify talent for clients when other search firms have failed or given up.

Our industry know-how, sense of urgency, and persistence has helped to cement our position as the go-to search firm for food manufacturing clients in the US.

Our customer base includes companies in:

Food manufacturers, nutraceutical manufacturers and marketers
Food co-manufacturers, co-packers, contract manufacturers for nutraceutical products
Private Label Grocery, Mass Retail, Club

Successful, closed searches within the following disciplines since 2011:

R&D / New Product Development / Technical Services / Product Line Extensions
Brand / Product Management / Marketing Management
National / Strategic / Senior-level Sales & Business Development

Our narrow focus on this niche allows us to serve a select group of clients and help them identify talent they could not find on their own or through general search firms.

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