The UK job market is seeing an increasing number of graduates looking to get their career up and running. While they can make great salespeople, they can lack the business and sales skills you require. This is because academics do not always put professional sales skills as a priority for their students, or hold them in high regard. The story in different in other countries, such as the US, where sales skills are encouraged and taught in higher education settings.
Subsequently, the UK sales force is in danger of falling behind. According to a survey carried out by Manpower, sales representatives were voted the fourth most difficult role to recruit for so far in 2014. Sales manager roles also came in at number seven on this list. It would appear this is due to the fact that most firms are looking for individuals with experience, when the majority of people actively searching for a role are younger and less experienced.
When asked where their sales skills came from, most professionals will attribute most of their learning to the workplace – often starting out in a call centre or door-to-door sales. This begs the question as to whether sales skills are better placed being taught in a work-place environment rather than an academic environment anyway. It would seem most firms require a structure in place that enables them to train sales staff to be apply to apply theoretical sales techniques to real-life scenarios.
So which would you prefer to hire? Graduates can offer a great-deal of potential, as well as possessing transferable skills and being generally keen to work their way up. Experienced professionals can be a safer bet, as they possess a skill set, however the most talented individuals can be harder to get hold of, especially in bulk.
Whichever method best suits your needs, eRecruit Solutions are sales recruitment specialists and can help you source plenty of candidates from a variety of backgrounds.