Hays Sales has revealed that the recession has underscored a shift in emphasis toward business development, as organisations seek to increase sales and grow market share.
“The demand for business development managers has remained buoyant, particularly in the service sector, in industries such as IT and utilities, but there are also opportunities in the facilities management side of construction,” commented Kevin Dunbar, National Sales Director at Hays Sales.
A track record of business development is a highly prized asset in the current marketplace and this is reflected in the salaries and benefits on offer for the right individual. The need to develop and win new business, over and above the management of an existing client base, has led to a steady demand for sales professionals who can make a real difference to their company’s bottom line.
“Organisations are looking for experienced business development managers, with the skills to bring in new clients and generate much-needed cash,” continued Dunbar.
For those looking for business development jobs, it is imperative that CVs are tailored to each role and include all relevant competencies. “Individuals need to draw out the experience they have, make it specific to the role in question and demonstrate that they have the skills to meet the organisation’s requirements. Quantifying achievements is very important, as employers want to see evidence of revenue streams,” Dunbar explained. “Employers are looking for a blend of strong commercial and interpersonal skills and are seeking evidence of how individuals handled themselves in certain situations and how capable they are of interacting with colleagues to achieve desired outcomes.”
One of the fundamental issues for employers is to attract the right calibre of candidate for their business development jobs, given that many jobseekers are cautious to move in the current market. With job security the most important consideration for employees, organisations need to find innovative recruitment solutions and delivering a strong sales message is a key lynchpin to a successful recruitment strategy. Establishing a thorough recruitment process is central to this and will also have a positive ‘knock on’ effect to reduce staff turnover. The use of online advertising has become a focal element behind any successful recruitment strategy. “There are a whole host of solutions, including bespoke campaign sites, SMS messaging and video content, to promote both the organisation and its roles,” stated Dunbar.
The sales industry continues to be blighted by high levels of staff turnover, particularly in the utilities sector, which serves to reinforce the need to focus on employee retention. Although investment in training and development is an important way of engaging with any workforce the current climate has not facilitated this, as companies struggle to generate sales.
“Training tends to take a back seat during a recession and is one of the first areas to be affected by spending cuts. That said, jobseekers place great value on career development and so employers need to strike the right balance if they are to retain their best sales teams,” concluded Dunbar.
Hays Sales is part of Hays plc, specialising in a range of sales jobs from telesales jobs to sales director jobs. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. As of 30 June 2008, the Group employed 8,294 staff operating from 380 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.