Smart Sales Talent – Who We Work With
We help growth and scaling Irish companies (post start-up) to attract mid-senior sales executive (Individual Contributor) and sales / commercial leadership talent. Typically our clients operate internationally, with the U.K. and U.S. being primary target markets. In particular, Irish companies are having to develop a more permanent, local presence in the mainland U.K. market as Brexit takes shape. Our high level target audiences are in IT / Cloud / Saas / Fintech; B2B Industrial; B2B Services. Broadly, they form part of the high-growth, scaling sector – and safely beyond early start-up level.
The recurring theme in the majority of our placements is that the person will have a critical impact in the business in terms of growth and expansion.
What Our Clients Are Looking For
Our clients are looking for quality sales talent usually to develop new business and build the customer base. They typically will be servicing a niche market and building an international business. And sometimes what the client actually needs is professional sales leadership, and that new hire will then build out the sales team.
We promote an executive search approach vs “recruitment”.
Our Proposition to Target Clients
Our target clients have to compete for sales (and other critical) talent at a highly competitive level and often against much larger companies. They work with us because we understand the challenges associated with sales hiring and because we offer them a way to attract candidates that they would not be able to do themselves i.e. we help them create and promote a quality employer and opportunity proposition to candidates who otherwise they would not reach.
We are looking to work with quality partner(s) to help our clients fill U.K.-based sales roles. The proposition to the client is that they get the benefit of two outside partners (“two brains”) in an area that is complicated and risky – critical sales hiring. We have experience of filling some roles directly in overseas markets (e.g. Australia), but a partner model makes more sense for all parties.
We know there is a small segment of quality talent acquisition and executive search companies that have the resources and networks to source and attract the necessary talent for the “scaling” sector; it’s this resource we want to leverage rather than us adding another search service and all three parties benefit.
We source the quality clients (and more especially quality roles), and will have groundwork done in terms of job spec/ ideal candidate / correct contacts and usually have set salary and benefits expectations (i.e. we get the client to raise their offering where the package is too low).
We are about to reach out to a cohort of c. 600 companies in Ireland that are clients of Enterprise Ireland (the Irish export agency) and that have received investment / VC / PE money and we wanted to ideally have a UK partnership we could promote.
Mind-set is Important
We specifically want to work with partners that share a similar mind-set in terms of the value they bring to clients in the challenging are of sales talent acquisition. That mind-set includes a deep appreciation of the complex nature of sales-related hiring, a professional understanding of the client’s context and backstory, methodology-based search and an advisor role versus being seen as a CV-referring service. It means we can approach and target the market with the confidence that we are in the business of delivering better and often strategic outcomes for clients and form part of a valuable ecosystem of help when it comes to talent acquisition.
Our clients have also asked us to fill non-sales roles (e.g. senior IT, PM, CTO), and we have in fact successfully done that, but in the case of IT roles for example, we now also work with a local partner in Dublin for the Irish market. If a U.K. partner had the capability to also fill non-sales roles, this would represent additional business.
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