Showing posts with label Career Advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Career Advice. Show all posts

Monday, 7 September 2015

Sales Training vs Sales Coaching

Making the decision on whether to have your sales staff trained or coached can be difficult. The correct choice depends on a lot of factors but hopefully this blog will outline some things to think about before investing in an approach.
There is a clear difference between sales training and sales coaching but the two are often confused. The table below outlines how the two approaches to staff development differ:




Sales Coaching


For me, the main difference between coaching and training is who is actually carrying out the development programme. The best sales coaching programmes are often carried out internally, by colleagues who have more experience in sales and your business. This will help your tutees improve their sales skills significantly as well as pick up your business principles more quickly. The knock-on effect of this is that by implementing a process where more experienced staff coach the less experienced, the tutor will be refreshing their skills as well by teaching someone else. Often you only really think about and understand a process when you are trying to teach someone else.

The second thing with coaching as opposed to training is that it is an ongoing process. Regular communication between the tutor and the tutee enables the sales coach to recognise the trainee’s strengths and weaknesses. This allows for the programme to be adapted to fit more around the person being trained, which always makes for a more effective process. I believe that this is the major benefit of coaching over training, as it allows for an understanding of what an employee really needs to learn to succeed in the industry.

Sales Training


Training is often seen as the more expensive approach to staff development as it usually relies on hiring or working with an external agency. Sales training can come in a variety of different forms from motivational speaking to basic selling protocol. This investment is often worthwhile however as the trainer you work with will have expertise and may even be an expert in their field. By following the advice from leaders of the sales industry your staff may pick up some valuable hints or tips which may help them day to day. Training offers more opportunity for higher calibre salespeople compared to coaching, as it is harder to coach a person who is already very experienced in their field. Sending one of your top salespeople to a training event may make an already effective member of staff even more effective. For this reason the decision between coaching and training usually depends on the member of staff you are trying to develop. 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

How Strong is Your LinkedIn Profile?

LinkedIn is a great tool for individuals and companies alike. The website has exploded since its creation in 2003 and now has more than 70 million members worldwide, growing by over 1 million users a month. For salespeople it allows the development and maintenance of a contact base, as well as providing a marketing platform for businesses to promote their product. Recent research shows that 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers, showing just how important it is to have a strong, visible online presence. But how do you come across on LinkedIn? Is your profile doing you a favour or causing you harm?


Building Your Brand


Whether you have a LinkedIn profile as an individual or a business it’s important to consider how you want your prospects, customers or colleagues to view your profile. Everything you choose to include in your profile matters, and little things can make a big difference in how people perceive you and your account. The first thing to decide when creating a LinkedIn profile is a profile picture for your account, as an individual this will likely be a photo of you, but for a business it will probably be your logo or even a picture of your staff. People often underestimate how important this picture is to your profile, as first impressions really do count and the immediate perception people create of you is heavily influenced by your picture.

For a person profile on LinkedIn it’s a good idea to try and make your picture look as professional as possible. I heard one of our recruitment consultants comment the other day how unprofessional it looks when people are drinking alcohol in their LinkedIn picture, these details can really affect how people view you. Everything from what you are wearing to the background of the picture is worth thinking about. For businesses the usual marketing techniques need to come into play, your picture should correspond to your company branding as it is an extension of your business. With the limited information and media you can include on your profile, it’s important to get things such as pictures right.

The space available underneath your name or a company name should be used carefully as it is often the first thing people read on your profile. Using keywords associated with specific roles or business sectors is a good technique to attract views to your profile, as it is one of the search tools that LinkedIn provides. This space is finite and needs to be thoroughly thought about, the same rules apply as SEO, what terms and words do you expect people to search for?

Networking


For salespeople or even any professional, LinkedIn offers opportunities to expand your career connections in a way that no other social media site can compete with. By keeping in touch with people you know and have worked with your voice will be heard by more people, and in turn what you hear on the ‘grapevine’ will increase. Both for individuals and companies the opportunities that are available to you will increase, for example many people hear about job vacancies through LinkedIn, one of my family members has been approached for his last two roles through the site.

The groups and support networks you can join on the site are valuable areas for discussion. These groups can provide help for when you have difficult questions, but when you help someone else it will raise the profile of your account and increase the number of views it receives. Discussion with industry experts can provide your business with some good advice and potentially help with strategic thinking.

In today’s digital age it’s vital to be a part of LinkedIn as it allows for a new area of competition both for individuals and businesses. Creating a strong profile can help with business success and career development. Follow Aaron Wallis’ LinkedIn profile here.


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

5 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Interviews From Your CV

Sending out numerous applications to employers without response can be disheartening, but it probably has more to do with your CV than you as a candidate. If your CV isn’t up to scratch, then you won’t get calls to interview, so here are 5 of the common errors where people go wrong:


Spelling Mistakes and Grammatical Errors

One of the biggest turn-offs to recruiters are simple mistakes in grammar and spelling. There is no excuse for errors, as it portrays laziness and a lack of focus, meaning your chances of getting to the next stage in the recruitment process drop significantly. Getting another person such as a family member or a friend to proofread it is a good technique, as it can be hard to spot your own errors.


It’s Too Generic

It’s a bad idea to send out the same CV and cover letter to each job vacancy that you apply for. It’s easy for employers to spot a generic application, and they won’t be impressed.  Getting the most out of your CV through personalisation to the role you are applying for is crucial to securing an interview. It’s important to tailor each application to the role that you apply for and highlight the skills, qualifications and experience that are most relevant to the job. Changing your objective or summary to link directly to the vacancy is a good way to grab employers’ attention and engage them.


It’s Not Fit For the Digital Age

Modern technology allows employers and recruiters alike to search through thousands of applications in a click of a button. New software searches through CV’s looking at buzzwords or keywords to find strong candidates. These new developments mean that you need to update your CV to contain the keywords recruiters are looking for, which are often specific to the role. A guide on getting your CV ready for modern technology and identifying the keywords to put in your application can be found in our career tools section, details below.


It’s Too Long

A CV that is three or more pages long is unlikely to get the full attention of a recruiter, people are busy, and they don’t have the time to wade through an essay. Recruiters want a concise, succinct document that is easy to extract information out of. Using bullet points and subheadings is a good tool to break up your CV and make it more readable for employers. Equally your application should not include absolutely everything that you have done, for example your first job at a car garage has little to do with the position of sales representative for a large corporation, so don’t list it!


You Don’t Sell Yourself

Your CV shouldn’t just list your experience, skills and qualifications, but it should also include your accomplishments. When discussing a previous role, don’t just talk about your duties, but talk about what you accomplished in this role too. This gives you the chance to show off your job skills, and it also gives the recruiter a better picture of what you are like in the workplace. Don’t be afraid to go into specifics about things you have achieved in your career, as it is a good way to show that you are the right candidate for the role.

For more advice on getting your CV up to scratch visit our section dedicated to this subject in the career tools section on our website 


Friday, 14 November 2014

How to Explain Gaps in Your CV



Keeping your fingers crossed in the hope that employers will not notice the gaps in your CV is not the right strategy. If there are gaps in your CV that aren’t explained then employers will often assume the worst as detailed in the cartoon here!  Instead, you need to explain CV gaps in a way that allows you to focus on the positive things that you’ve learned during the gap and how it has perhaps enhanced your personality or professional profile. It is better to explain gaps in a cover letter, and ideally in your CV itself, especially if the gap is for educational purposes or travel. Don’t give employers a reason to discard your CV as most gaps are explainable and if communicated correctly could potentially enhance your application.

Illness Gaps
Mention only recent illness. However, employers may wonder if you could be ill again so assure them in your CV that you are well recovered, job ready and looking forward to work related challenges.

Termination Gaps
If you have been redundant explain what you did in the interim to add to your skills. Did you add to your educational qualifications, or undertake training or do volunteer work? If your services were terminated, then stick to the truth without showing the company or yourself in bad light. Explaining a gap may not harm your employability chances but lying or extending the employment dates to avoid gaps could. 

Voluntary Gaps
Everyone, at some point, needs to take time off to care for parents, children, recover from accidents or simply because there is going to be an addition to the family. If you have applied for the job, then you know that it means that these reasons no longer exist; however, employers, regrettably, may assume differently. Employers aren’t allowed to ask questions about your family, children or marital status, but it could work in your favour to take pre-emptive action and detail on your CV that you have made the adequate day care and other arrangements for your children, etc. so they know that you are fully committed to rejoining the workforce.

Travelling Gaps
These can be explained more easily in the CV by detailing specifically where you travelled to and the objectives behind your travels.  You could emphasise how the new gained perspectives could be beneficial to the role that you are applying to. Furthermore, if there was a bit of adventure travel, you could mention why it was important for you and the lessons learned from overcoming various challenges.

Long-Term Unemployment Gap
This is the toughest of the lot. Most employers will think the worst if your unemployment gap is more than a year. However, if during that time you did something to qualify you better, like being a full-time student, doing volunteer or freelance work, or you built a website or blog, did consultation work or were a full-time parent or needed time to manage/refurbish the home, then you can explain the gap with positive reasons.

Be prepared to explain rather than hide the gaps. Have references readily available from your previous manager and colleagues. Take time to upgrade your knowledge about companies or your area of work so that the interviewer understands you have kept up with your profession despite the gap. 

If you've found this useful then you may want to visit our free career tools section at http://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/career_tools.aspx