Friday, 30 May 2014

Gender Differences and Equality at Work – Sales Survey 2014

Aaron Wallis has recently undertaken the largest sales survey of its type which explores changing trends within the industry as well as a powerful insight into the minds of sales professionals.

With 62 questions answered by 726 completely anonymous sales professionals we have captured some impressive results helping us promote professional sales, raise awareness and gain a firmer understanding on how to succeed in sales teams.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks I will be extracting information from the survey and posting them on the Aaron Wallis blog.

To receive a full free copy of the 2014 UK Sales Survey please follow this link – 2014 UK Sales Survey Report

Out of the 726 participants for the 2014 Sales Survey, a quite surprising amount, 595 people (82%) were male, 123 people (17%) were female and only seven people (1%) didn’t wish to disclose their gender.

Gender is often a controversial subject with women stereotyped as terrible drivers and men being generalized as incapable of paying attention to the tiniest of details. The truth is: males and females are as dreadful as each other and, equally, just as good as one another! 

In the modern workplace, both women and men should be considered and respected equally for job opportunities but sadly that isn't the case. Even though women’s rights became more prominent during the 50s, the hourly pay rate was, and still is, considerably different. Men are awarded more than their female colleagues, even if they aren't pulling as much weight at their job, but it seems that the Y chromosome is still the bread-winner. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel as it is speculated that a female’s full-time salary will soon be equivalent to male’s earnings.  However, it is projected that this won’t be until 2040!

Some employees feel there is quite a lot of unfairness and prejudice against their gender, age or ethnicity, and it wasn't until 2010 that full equality legislation was introduced in the 2010 Equality Act, allowing the workplace to be less discriminatory. While, of course, the occasional sexist comment is still made, most employees are pleased with the 2010 act, and it gives women and men equal prospects to undertake the roles of jobs that were once considered male or female dominated. After all, the Vicar of Dibley managed to work exceedingly well in a male orientated role! Unfortunately, for some who have experienced a form of direct or indirect discrimination, this gives a large disadvantage to those who are currently working in the job or who are job seeking and often feel that they are not appreciated for their hard efforts.

·      29% of the participants experienced some form of discrimination, whilst they were searching for a job.
·      Almost half of the employees (49%) felt that they didn’t receive the pay that fairly reflected their work.
·      32% of workers feel that their work goes unrewarded or they don’t receive the recognition, or respect, they feel they should have done.
·      11% have waved good-bye to their old jobs in order to get the respect they think they truly deserve. ‘Out with the old and in with the new’ to a more appreciative employer!

Gender discrimination is a big issue but how about the age? When is the best age to start in sales? Would a young adult be too inexperienced and create annoyance in the workplace by asking thousands of questions to their senior peers or will an older person be ‘too set in their old ways’ and wonder what these social networking sites are? There are many questions, but it seems that the phrase ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ applies to, well, dogs as sales employees can start at any time; it’s all about the know-how and expertise and not the age.

Most people agree that age doesn’t matter, and that you can start at any time. In fact, more than half (54%) agreed on this where 21% believed it was better to start at the age of 21; 12% think older, 7% think 18 and 6% feel that 16 is the best age to start.

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Ascent of Los Tres Picos

Ascent of Los Tres Picos

A fantastic blog from our good friend and personal trainer, Peter Moorhead:

The Aaron Wallis Magnificent Seven ascent of Los Tres Picos 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Social Media in 2014 – Why You Should be Using it to Build up Your Pipeline

If you’re a Sales Professional in 2014 and you’re not using Social Media to sell then you have fallen behind the curve. I read a recent figure noting that 79% of sales professionals who use Social Media to sell outperform those that don’t. This shouldn't come as a surprise as everyone uses Social Media in this day and age. If you want to find new business then you need to be in the same places as your potential customers, so start using Social Media.

I want to discuss some of the reasons you should be using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube & Pinterest:

Twitter – Twitter can be a fantastic source for sales people, you can keep up to date with the latest industry news, create a dedicated landing page for potential clients and link latest products and blogs from your official website. Be sure to engage with customers and tweet content of value to your network.

Facebook – First off Facebook is the second most visited site in the world and can be a very valuable tool to show of your products. With over 1 billion users it is safe to say that your customers are on Facebook. With the new graph search you can find people in your area that might be interested in your products. Build your fan page and invite fans & friends to like your products & services. Facebook allows you to build relationships with huge numbers of people, increasing the pool of people who know, like, and trust you so take advantage of it and build on your pipeline.

Google+ - Google+ is one of the fastest growing Social Media sites today, with over 300 million active users. It allows you to create pages and develop tighter relationships with prospects and customers. Google+ is unique in that you can set-up social hangouts and talk about your product with others. You can set up as many different circles as you want; there is no limit on characters and you won’t get silly invitations to play farm games as you would on Facebook.

LinkedIn – With powerful networking tools, it is a great resource to help build your personal profile and build on your pipeline. What makes LinkedIn so powerful is that no matter what industry you’re in, you’re likely to find a new prospect or lead for your business. Start by building a broad network of professional connections whose knowledge you can tap into, and discover new business opportunities.

YouTube – YouTube is a fantastic marketing tool where you can create online video advertising for brand awareness. Posting a video of your product on YouTube takes on a life of its own as this video can then be viewed by thousands of YouTube users which in turn could be shared on numerous websites, blogs, and email. Using the power of video in conjunction with other social media outlets to show off your product has countless benefits and you should be using this to increase your pipeline.

Pinterest – Now Pinterest isn't for everybody, it really comes down to what is right for your brand. Pinterest allows you to share images of your product and allows others to do the same; it is almost a new way of flicking through a magazine. With 70 million+ users on the site it can be a gold mine if you get it right.

By starting up on these social sites you can greatly increase your sales pipeline and build up your fan base for future success.

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.

Friday, 2 May 2014

7 Reasons You Might Not Be Hiring the Best Sales Talent

Well, this year has seen a big change in employment and as the economy continues to pick up, it is becoming more of a ‘candidate driven market’ once again.  I know it’s harsh to be so blunt but NOW is the time that most employers need to take their ‘head out of the sand’ and change how they’re operating, or they could miss out on the very best sales talent.
Here are seven reasons you might be missing out:

Not Offering Realistic Salary for the Job – we have come across it a few times this year; a company wants to advertise a role at a certain salary and then when it comes to offer stage they offer the candidate considerably less. You can’t expect the top talent to accept when they likely have other offers on the table.

Unrealistic Requirements – A lot of companies draw up a list of the one hundred requirements that they want in their ideal candidate; and that’s great to identify a target. However, don’t go out looking for ‘the needle in a haystack’ that ticks all one hundred boxes, or else you’ll have a very long wait and a very vacant position!  Don’t rule out meeting candidates for not meeting the entire brief as they just may be the  best person available for your business.

Lack of Budget – In order to hire the best candidates, you need to make sure that you have a strong budget. Top candidates realise their worth, know their market value and won’t come cheap.

Act Fast When You Find the Right Person - Hiring managers have a tendency to wait until they have seen several candidates before making a decision; even when they feel they’ve met the perfect candidate. When you find the top talent, move quickly before your competitor snaps them up.

Set Expectations from the Start – Don’t let things drag on too long; candidates who aren’t engaged to a defined timescale of your process will get fed up and move on.  Have a recruitment plan to work towards and clearly outline to the candidate what to expect from the next stages of your process so that they are already prepared.

Selling Your Company – Great candidates will have a plethora of opportunities and, like you, will have drawn up a list of THEIR requirements from their next employer.  You need to sell the company environment, where they will fit into the business and how your culture will benefit the candidate.  At interview, you must ‘sell’ the products and services you offer, the difference you make and how they will be helping YOUR customers when they join you.  Question what they’re looking for and ensure that your company, your culture and your role hits their ‘hot buttons’.  

Poorly Written Advert/Job Description - If your advert or job description lacks something, is inaccurate or doesn’t stand out - then it simply won’t attract high calibre candidates.

To conclude: The ‘war for talent’ is back to pre-recession days. Employers no longer ‘hold all of the cards', and if you dither, delay, or deliberate too long, then don’t be surprised when you see your ideal candidate representing a competitor to your customers.

Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.