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Supply Chain Businesses Need Guidance When Hiring Senior Sales Professionals




Is your recruitment strategies to identify and attract commercial professionals not working as effectively as you might have hoped? Difficult to find qualified candidates that not only can handle sales hunting roles and are willing to do so, but also have realistic salary expectations and fit into your organisational culture? Or maybe you have interviewed candidates that are a dream fit but they are not looking for the type of role you are advertising for. For career development reasons they want to try another discipline or skillset in the same industry. 


Talent with a track record in commercial success inside the 3 PL arena and talent that is in the making and will have track record in the near future , generally speaking, run away as fast as they can from sales hunting only roles they are being headhunted for. And this isn’t because of the nature of the work , handling demanding customers, having the pressure of a sales target or the unpredictable nature of the supply chain industry across the globe. It is mostly due to the fact that such talent isn’t confident a potential new employer will have their back and support them when challenges arise and hitting sales targets becomes close to impossible due to macroeconomic reasons they cannot control. Some hiring companies understand this and tailor roles accordingly while keeping close monitoring over their P&L. Roles are designed accordingly to capture the right talent but the right environment and platforms to allow sales talent to perform needs to be incorporated. Yes, this means hiring companies that want to be successful need to be patient and strategic with how they hire and plug in sales professionals. And yes, they also need to also have deep financial pockets and play the long game. Short term panic , pressure and taking a reactive stance has become very obsolete in a very short period of time. The market is too volatile and changes too rapidly and too often. In short, having spoken to senior commercial 3 PL candidates daily in 2024 , our findings regarding what candidates want can be summarised as follows: 



  • Stable management through ups and downs

  • Approaches of pragmatism and problem solving rather than silly pressure regarding sales targets

  • Consistency rather than a “hero and villain approach”based on short term sales creating a toxic culture 

  • Senior candidates are interested in building up lower volume accounts into enterprise accounts rather than doing everything from scratch and making cold calls. Its resourceful and a win win a. It also gives them a sense of engagement and achievement and generates profits

  • Building teams based on vertical specialisation 

  • Building teams based on supply chain mode specialisation 

  • Not to be trapped for years in the same role. Is there a career path for candidates that perform? 

  • KPIs with kindness that serve as good guidance and reference points


Generally, senior candidates with track records committing to personal and team targets want to go after the enterprise accounts. This is based on taking a solution and problem solving approach and where the bigger and higher paying projects are. It can take at least 12 months for a senior candidate to build up this type of offering before a return on investment is received. Long term dividends but hiring companies need deep pockets and patience in the short to medium term. What senior commercial candidates don’t want is a month to month sales cycle business where they have to chase SME accounts just to make their sales target.. This is more of a transactional approach and sold on price and isn't appealing for them.



RJM is here to support hiring companies when the time is right. You may not be hiring right at this moment but may just want a discussion and to bounce some ideas in confidentiality , happy to listen  - rjmaguire@rjm-associates.com


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