The Risk Of Succeeding


Sales and operation dilemma-03.png

In 30 years of recruiting we’ve constantly found the most difficult personnel to recruit are quality sales and operations managers. And the fact that they are generally considered to be the lifeblood of successful business accentuates the importance of an appropriate recruitment process.

In my experience there is no more convincing sales person than someone with a successful operations background.
But convincing and closing are very different skills.

Conversely someone who has made a successful transition from sales to operations can bring exceptionally valuable experience.
But tough informed decision-making is not always part of the sales make up.


The Operator

I’d like $10 for every time I’ve heard an operations manager say “Yes I understand our business perfectly, but I can’t sell”. And I’d also like $10 for every time I’ve seen these individuals clinch a sale with informed reasoning and convincing arguments around –

  • Quality service
  • Improved productivity and
  • Reduced expenditure

There are always significant numbers of good operators who can be lured into business development. But the conundrum is that the above considerations are only half of what is required in your sales personnel. Can they also –

  • Identify the opportunity?
  • Make that first phone call?
  • Overcome objections / refuse to accept rejection / close

If they can do both (and many can) recruit them, or better still promote them, reward them well, provide them opportunity, and they will produce gold for you.

The Sales Manager

Give me another $10 for every time I’ve heard a sales manager say “I can’t believe how operations have stuffed that business. We delivered it to them on a platter. Let me in there and I’ll fix it in 5 minutes”.
Heaven forbid what that “fix” may include. I suspect it won’t always be profit and productivity considerations.

However having said that the good operations manager who has an appropriate well directed sales persona is also a valuable asset. They will be sensitive toward –

  • The situation and strategic requirements of your client
  • The need to manage client expenditure within quoted parameters
  • The importance of effective communication
  • The competitive nature of the relationship

The bottom line is that both options can provide valuable results.

  • An ex sales manager can be an exceptional operations manager
  • An ex operations manager can achieve great success in sales.

However it is a difficult transition for both and not one that can be taken for granted.

As an aside it is so crucial to ensure that operations management understand the sales perspective and vice versa. “No shit Sherlock” you may well say …… perhaps a conversation for another day.

Subscribe for Latest Updates