October 09, 2008 12:35 ET

LEAPJob: Sales People Find the Silver Lining in the Market Meltdown

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 9, 2008) - 73.1% of sales professionals say we are headed for recession. Sales people are a clear indicator of the health and prospects of companies selling business-to-business services. There are fewer customers to sell products and services too, and their existing customers are deferring purchase decisions.

On Monday, October 6, 2008, LEAPJob surveyed sales professionals on how the market turmoil is impacting their sales. The results were very revealing for the health of North American businesses:

- 50.2% of respondents said their customers are deferring buying decisions.

- 30.1% of respondents felt revenue will decline in the next 6 months, while only 25.6% felt they could grow revenue.

- 33% of respondents do not expect to achieve their sales quota in the next 6 months, and 32.2% of respondents see the size of their sales funnel declining.

- 38.2% of respondents will have to discount their products and services to win sales.

"Sales people are a resilient group. Even though times look bleak they see a silver lining in all of this chaos," said Jeremy Miller, a Partner with LEAPJob. The survey asked respondents to offer suggestions on how their company should combat a recession. Miller goes on to say one respondent wrote just one word, "Diversify." Diversification is a clear strategy for many sales people as they try to find industries and services where there are revenue opportunities. Respondents reported Healthcare (64.3%), Pharmaceutical (59.6%) and Information Technology (41%) are industries that will perform well in the next 12 months.

Creativity is a major theme for sales people to combat a recession, and here lies the silver lining. "Find more creative ways to cross-sell to existing customers, and look for talent that becomes available from other firms," wrote a respondent. In hot economic times people are selling as much as they can, and as efficiently as they can to maximize revenues. In slow economic times sales people have to look closer at their customers, and identify new and creative ways to contribute value. One comment suggested, "In order to be more competitive and not reduce prices, my recommendation is to explore additional value-added services. They cost you very little, but they are highly beneficial for your customers."

The fears of a recession are real. Even though sales people are buckling down and working harder, they are changing their personal habits. 55.7% of respondents will defer major purchase decisions for the time being. With such volatility in the market everyone is trying to mitigate their risks.

About LEAPJob: LEAPJob is a sales recruiting firm based in Toronto, Canada. LEAPJob recruits sales professionals and sales leaders for many of Canada's most recognized companies. Their clients range from the Top 50 Employers to smaller organizations building their first sales force. For more information visit www.LEAPJob.com.

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