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France — Seasoned sales managers are sought after even during the crisis

08 September 2009

According to the Association of Management Employment (APEC), job offers for salesmen are down by 23% to 25,600 individuals during the first seven months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, Le Figaro reports.

APEC R&D Director, Pierre Lamblin says, "sales managers have done much better during the crisis than managers overall, whose job offers are down by 30%. Marketing, human resources and financial services have suffered far more than sales managers."

Pierre-Emmanuel Dupil, General Manager at staffing specialists Michael Page France says, "corporate sales forces have a natural hiring level below which they will not go. They absolutely need to keep their existing clients and ensure that sales are kept as high as possible. This is why I think job offers for sales managers will stabilise between September and December 2009."

Hugues Pariot, General Manager at staffing specialist Expectra is even more optimistic. "Those companies which are recruiting are always looking for sales managers first," he said.

Anne Dejonghe, Head of Sales and Marketing Recruitment at Hays France said, "the improvement in job offers for sales managers is not that visible yet but if we are coming out of the economic crisis in 2010, sales managers will be the first to benefit because they are the ones who have to bring in business."

However, the crisis has had an impact on the type of preferred candidates explains Pierre-Emmanuel Dupil. "Companies want seasoned and experienced sales managers who are knowledgeable either about the product, the distribution system and maybe even the client. They have to get as much business as they can and keep clients happy at the same time but they also have to follow up on deliveries and payments because companies are strapped for cash."
Anne Dejonghe adds, "young graduates who want to get a job in sales are finding it difficult at the moment. The only sectors which are giving them real opportunities are banking and insurance."



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