I Love My JobA talented young sales executive I know keeps talking to me about this company she has joined.  She’s overtly passionate about this place and can’t stop bragging about how much she loves her job.  It’s rare to find someone who genuinely ‘loves’ what they do.  I’m not sure I’ve seen this level of passion in anyone else before who doesn’t actually own the business they work within.  So I’ve been asking her, “What’s so special about this company and this job that makes you so passionate about it?”  I’ll try to summarise her response for you below as a case study on how to create an engaged sales force.  But before I do, the additional part of this story is that she has just been promoted to a higher level strategic sales position and her position is now available!  Click here to see the details and apply.

So why does she love working there so much?

She is empowered to manage her own territory in an autonomous fashion and she is robustly supported in every facet of her role.  She keeps ‘banging on’ to me about the professional development opportunities she has been given; she just keeps on learning.  She recently went on a trip to the US for a global annual conference the company has.  She is being vigorously trained in strategic solution selling skills that have taken her professional selling ability to heights she didn’t realise were possible.  She tells me the culture is a mature, flexible culture that allows their valued staff to achieve a work life balance, however she does work hard.  But she loves the work because she is winning.  She is also recognised; she recently won a top sales accolade within the company.  The overwhelming message I get from her is that she is always learning and being challenged.  Just as she felt she was mastering her role, she has been promoted and given a new challenge.  The new role is a more senior sales position selling to larger clientele.  She also tells me she could never imagine leaving and those around her say the same.

It sounds to me like this company is doing a lot of things right.  The sales managers and directors I work with often tell me how difficult it can be to retain top sales talent, so I though I would share my friends story about this company with you all and throw in a cheap plug for her position as Harlow Group have been engaged to source her replacement.

So, do your sales staff say this about your organisation?  If not, here are a few questions worth asking yourself:

  • Are your sales people still learning? 
  • Are they engaged in the company’s mission and goals and do they understand their role in achieving those outcomes? 
  • Are you supporting them in becoming successful; providing leads, getting out on sales calls with them and coaching them?
  • Are you recognising all the successes your people achieve along the journey?  Do your people feel recognised?
  • Can you tell your sales people what is next for them once they conquer the position they are in?
  • Do you actually educate and mentor your sales people on a documented, proven sales methodology that you and the company are passionate about?
  • Do you take time out to get the team together outside of work and is it special and memorable?
  • Do you allow your team to work autonomously within boundaries, without hounding them about their KPI’s each day?
  • Do you provide a working environment that attracts and retains experienced professionals who are seeking a work life balance and some flexibility?
  • Are your sales people supported by marketing initiatives that are strongly aligned with the sales team?  Are you able to provide the occasional warm lead to your sales people as a result?

These are the things that my friend’s employer does to keep her and the rest of the sales team engaged.  And apparently it’s working!  OR, are you falling into some common traps I often see?  The things that I hear from outgoing staff that have driven them out of an organisation.  Such as:

  • Are you measuring and talking about activity expectations and focusing on reminding those people that are not meeting their KPI’s that they need to pick up their game?  OK, but are you ‘truly’ supporting them to overcome the challenges they are facing in achieving your expectations?
  • Are you showing people how ‘you’ sell, but not working from a proven, documented selling methodology.  Do your staff feel they are being professionally educated to build their overall sales skill-sets and career?  Do they feel they are being invested in?
  • Are you neglecting your top performers?  Is your time being drawn by the underperformers in your team?  Are you hoping that the top performers will look after themselves and stick around because they are making good commission?

There are plenty of other traps; we could be here all day.  It’s great to hear a real world scenario of an engaged sales force as a case study for how to achieve this highly sought after environment.

If you’re interested in learning more about my friend’s  job, the company and potentially applying for the position, click here.  They are a NASDAQ listed global software vendor.

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Unique Career Opportunity at CMA

Unique Career Opportunity at CMA

Regular readers of our blog will remember hearing from our guest blogger, Simon Dowling, CEO at CMA Learning Group on a previous post.  Some news in from CMA; they are implementing a new strategy internally that will enable them to achieve significant growth over the coming three years.  Forming part of this strategy is the creation of a new position within the company at Director level in Melbourne, requiring a first-class sales and marketing innovator.  Harlow Group has been selected to exclusively manage the recruitment of CMA’s new Director of Sales & Marketing.  Let me tell you a little more about the opportunity.

Over the past 17 years, CMA Learning Group has established themselves as the authority on negotiation and communications skills training & development in Australia.  You’ll be the CEO’s ‘partner’ in the company’s overall strategy development, having the opportunity to leave your mark on this highly respected, thought leading organisation.

       More about CMA

CMA work with some of Australia’s leading companies, government departments and not-for-profits to create meaningful change in the way professionals deal with key stakeholders to achieve their desired outcomes.  They partner with their clients to develop skills and systems that make a real difference – including negotiation, influence, conflict resolution, business writing, feedback and coaching skills.  With strong affiliation with Harvard University, they have been established for over 17 years and have very strong financial backing.  This company is poised for significant growth as they look to appoint a strategy and implementation leader to guide the business through its next phase of expansion.

       The Role

This newly created position is seen as a strategy leader within the organisation, someone who can create strategic initiative in order to guide the business to its targeted growth over the coming three years and beyond.  A strategy development partner to the CEO, you will also report to the chairman on occasion.  You will be empowered to instigate meaningful change across the sales and marketing function.  Responsibilities include:

  • Writing the sales and marketing strategy.
  • Creating systems and measures to support and drive your sales and marketing plan.
  • Developing tactical, day-to-day strategy to support your over-arching plan.
  • Leading from the front, a hands-on sales approach is required to lead a small sales team (small initially).
  • Growing the sales force; recruiting new head count for the sales team.
  • Management and mentoring of a small sales team.
  • Accountability for revenue and profitability targets across the entire business.
  • Innovate on all areas of sales force effectiveness.


This person will be employed to be an ‘innovator’ and will have the strategic thinking and delivery capacity to do just that; ‘innovate’.  As Simon Dowling the CEO put’s it, he is seeking a key strategic partner at the Directors level, someone who he can collaborate with in the development and implementation of the growth strategy.  A hands-on sales approach is required, therefore you will have a proven ability to generate revenue in a new business and relationship driven sales environment.  It’s likely you will have a history of sales management within a ‘knowledge based’ services industry.  So you may not come from the training industry, however you have sold a service that is valued based on the knowledge of the team delivering the service.


The position offers the successful applicant the opportunity to have a significant impact, driving meaningful change across an organisation.  CMA is exceedingly reputable within its niche.  This is driven from the genuine passion that is evident upon meeting any of the company’s staff.  Their genuine enthusiasm and desire for excellence exceeds that of their competitors and sets them apart as the thought leaders within this space in Australia.  Like the rest of the team, you will be proud to tell your friends and family what you do and who you work for.

       Is this you?

Let’s talk.  Happy to discuss dollars upon receiving a phone call.  I can be reached by email at steve.ludlow@harlowgroup.com.au or phone, (03) 9626 2494

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