Graduates: Why they make awesome sales people
Published 21 days ago by
It’s no secret that, along with many other industries, the sales sector has been hit by a skills shortage over the past few years. Competition has become fierce as sales managers battle it out to secure the most experienced talent they can find to fill the gaps in their teams. While it makes sense to seek sales veterans in these unpredictable times, there is another option that you might not have considered.
Graduates might seem young and inexperienced, but they could be the answer to all your prayers. Some of the UK’s top employers increased their recruitment of graduates by 4.3% last year after realising the benefits they could bring to their organisations.
So, why should you consider hiring a graduate with bags of sales potential over someone who has worked in the industry for years?
Graduates can bring new ideas
Hiring only sales veterans might seem like a good idea as they have a wealth of knowledge and experience that you can take advantage of. But they can also get stuck in their ways and get too comfortable in their roles, particularly if they have been working in the industry for decades. This can put a stop to new ideas being brought forward and makes it harder for your organisation to keep up in an ever-changing industry.
Graduates bring new ideas, experiences and perspectives with them that can give your sales team a much-needed energy boost. Studies have found employers find graduates are more motivated and enthusiastic than non-graduates, which can have a positive effect on your organisation.
They can also shake things up a bit. Their presence can encourage some healthy competition to develop within your team and reinvigorate their enthusiasm for their roles. Graduates are also often clued up on new technologies- which might be something that your current team struggles with. This opens up opportunities for collaboration where the graduates can share their skills and knowledge with the senior sales members and vice versa.
As their sales manager, all you need to do is find opportunities where your graduate can share their ideas and showcase their skills to the rest of your team.
Graduates have drive
Chasing new business is an essential part of a sales role. Without it, a sales organisation wouldn’t get very far. Thankfully, graduates are a hub of enthusiasm and drive which means they are great at chasing new business leads. More established senior sales people might not be too keen on hitting the phones to find these leads, whereas graduates will be eager to meet this challenge head on. This can understandably work wonders for your team’s sales figures.
Graduates can also use their fresh ideas and innovation to try different approaches of securing new deals. Consumers and organisations can get fed up if they are constantly met with the same sales techniques time and time again and this can make them harder to negotiate with. So getting your graduate to experiment with some alternative sales approaches could give you some fantastic results, that you can then roll out to the rest of your team.
You will need to give your graduates encouragement and support, as well as relevant initial training to ensure their drive is are channelled in the right way. This will require time, energy and money but the benefits of doing it will far outweigh the cost.
Graduates can future-proof your organisation
As well as having a skills shortage to contend with, the ageing workforce is also becoming a major concern for sales teams across the industry. We are all living longer and this means that we have longer working lives. If your team is only made up of people from older generations, they are likely to retire at similar times and their knowledge and skillsets will leave with them. This is understandably a big concern that could leave your team understaffed and behind the times.
Hiring a graduates can be an effective way of preparing for when your ageing workforce retires. They can learn from your existing team and take over their roles, which means that your team can continue functioning with little disruption. They can also help to motivate your ageing workforce and assist them in getting their knowledge more up to date.
This future-proofing will only work if you find a way to regularly bring the older and younger members of your time and encourage them to learn from each other. A mentoring scheme is a popular option that many other sales teams use.
Graduates are a blank slate
They might have lots of industry knowledge and have worked in countless sales teams, but one downside to hiring an experienced sales person is their bad habits. They might still use the same techniques that they used in a previous team that doesn’t quite suit your organisation or keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. It can take a lot of time and energy to help them to undo these bad habits, which are resources that could be better spent elsewhere.
In comparison, graduates are a blank slate. As most of them have only just recently left University and haven’t worked anywhere for very long, they haven’t had chance to pick up any bad habits. This is something you can take full advantage of because you can mould them to be exactly what your team needs from the offset. Again, training is essential in making sure that this happens.
With benefits like these, the case for hiring graduates is a compelling one. If you’re interested in adding a graduate to your existing sales team, look for candidates that have an aptitude for sales, great communication skills and an eagerness to learn. These might only be the bare bones of the role, but they are really important qualities to possess.
Even if they don’t have that much experience, they will be eager to do well and could become an invaluable member of your team in no time at all. You just need to give them a chance.