Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Internal Sales: The skills, experience and attributes to look for when recruiting a Customer Service professional - Part 3

Selecting the right candidate with the right experience, attitude and cultural fit to make a difference to your business is always challenging and it is often difficult to pinpoint exactly what you are looking for. Neil Tilsley of Polypipe Ventilation tells us the five main things he looks for when recruiting an internal sales person.

A natural happy persona with a positive confident outlook
We look for candidates that can quickly build a rapport with callers and can communicate effectively. People still buy from people (it is even better if they have right product!) so we want people who can relate on both a personal and professional level to all our business partners.

We also firmly believe “like attracts like” so a consistent, positive outlook is an important characteristic to have in this environment as it is reflected back in the person they are speaking to. It is vital that if someone has a bad call this is not taken onto the next call.

Adaptability and a desire to learn 
It is a huge advantage if the person is flexible and has the ability and desire to learn. The role requires good all round skills which means the successful candidate must be able to adapt their approach to different caller types, for instance, on one call to be an information provider, on the next to sell and on the next give basic technical support.

A forward thinking company will introduce new systems and products all the time and the employee must have the appetite and desire to learn new ideas.

Able to handle a difficult situation
Difficult situations often arise in a sales office/service environment, but we want people who see these as ‘challenges’ and turn them into huge positives for the individual and the company. The industry can be multi-faceted and coordinating everything can be a logistical nightmare, but one which could be a ‘game changer’ for a potential partner if handled correctly, and help to put you onto a different level to that of the competition.

We also need the successful candidate to be competent with complaint-handling and be able to keep their cool and deal in facts based on data and outcomes, but with a dose of common sense and understanding of all sides of the situation.

IT systems confidence
IT has probably been the biggest change we have seen in the last few years due to the rapid development of databases and web-based systems providing more powerful tools and this trend will only continue. Therefore, it is vital that those we recruit are comfortable and confident using them and exploiting their full potential.

Industry (or relevant) experience
The building and construction sales environment is quite demanding and ideally, but not wholly, we look for people who have experience in a similar environment.

In the last part of the series, we discuss with Neil what the benefits to the company and the employee have been as a result of the changing nature of an internal sales/customer service office of a building product manufacturer.

If you missed the rest of the series, you can catch up here:

Part 1: The changing nature of internal sales for a manufacturer of building products
Part 2: Five ways to ensure the internal support function is successful

If you are interested in starting or developing a career in internal sales or customer service, please contact us to discuss your requirements or to arrange to meet us at one of our specialised regional career development clinics for the building and construction industry. Contact us on 01480 405225 or email recruit@pinnacleconsulting.co.uk

Take a look at our current internal sales vacancies.

Polypipe Ventilation designs and manufactures a full range of high quality ventilation systems for the domestic and light commercial building sectors. They specialise in supporting specifiers, contractors, developers, installers and operators by providing energy-saving ventilation solutions that meet Building Regulations and save time and money on site.

As a group, Polypipe design, develop and manufacture the widest range of plastic piping products, with over 20,000 product lines available. Their primary focus is on developing and supporting pragmatic product systems through specific knowledge and understanding of the residential, commercial, civils and infrastructure market sectors.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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