Join our CFO readers who participate in #CFOMustRead by sending us their most interesting reads of the week from around the web. Send us the link as well as a brief take on why you think other CFOs will find the story valuable. We publish the best submissions every Wednesday at noon.

You can send us a #CFOMustRead in two ways:

  1. Send a nomination to us via Twitter, by inserting the hashtag #CFOMustRead into a tweet.
  2. Nominate a story in the comments section of this post.

CFO‘s editors will be watching for your recommendations daily. Each week we publish an article that highlights the best recommendations and the readers that submitted them.

If you’d like to follow along to see what stories are recommended, you can track the comments on this page or follow the #CFOMustRead Twitter stream using Twitter Search or TweetDeck.

To business:

What we like about this week’s #CFOMustRead, Why It’s So Hard to Fill Sales Jobs, is the convergence of forces it describes. The seemingly neverending problem — especially for business-to-business companies — of filling open sales positions actually has several causes, according to the story, which appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

One, current young college graduates don’t want to be salespeople, apparently because the job is perceived as (1) risky and (2) competitive. (Despite that salespeople consistently make the most money in any company except for the top executives, as the sender of the link pointed out.) From the company’s perspective, the ramp-up to productivity for a new salesperson is long — 12 to 18 months for some technical sales jobs. That makes some firms hesitant to “bring on new blood.”

Still, companies need people to hawk their wares, so they are finding ways to make sales more attractive to college grads.

A big thanks to Aristite for pointing us to the story via the subreddit /r/finance. (Yet another way you can nominate a #CFOMustRead.)


Our #CFOMustRead of the week from CFO is a no-brainer: David McCann’s six-story package profiling the turnaround of trucking company YRC Worldwide. We recommend you start with the main story, Anatomy of a Turnaround, which includes a video interview with CFO Jamie Pierson.

Featured image: Thinkstock

, , , ,

One response to “#CFOMustRead: Selling Sales”

  1. A major reason why it’s hard to recruit people for sales positions is that very few sales managers do not know how to sell, much less train anyone in how to do it. FWIW, auditors make great sales people!
    Very few sales managers or anyone that hires people for sales can even give an intelligent, accurate, succinct definition of sales and selling.

    Selling is the process of helping people make good decisions.
    There are three basic types of sales people:
    Amateur. This person promotes features of a product or service. The problem with this approach is that it risks arousing price concerns. “All those features must be expensive.”
    Pro. This person promotes benefits and advantages. Better than the amateur, but definitely not the best.
    Champion. This rare bird presents and promotes solutions to problems. S/he knows that in sales, the ability to get information is far more important than the ability to present information, and what you say really is more important than how you say it. The two main reasons why this approach is superior is that the prospect will be more likely to buy TNT — today, not tomorrow — and will be less likely to quibble about price.

    For more on what to look for in hiring someone with the potential to be good in sales, see:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *