Building a self-employed direct sales force from scratch
Based in Bristol, Middletons was founded in 2013 when directors Ricky and Tom set out to create a retail business that did things differently. From day one, it’s always been about the customer. As a specialist in all types of mobility products – rise and recline chairs and all types of mobility scooters, they know that their products change people’s lives, and it is this that drives them forward. The company now have both a retail and direct sales in-home appointment-based sales route to market, with showrooms based in the Southwest and Midlands and a direct sales force nationally. With a strong management team, they are the UK’s leader in mobility products.
Due to their demographic, Middletons needed to create a national direct sales force to supplement their retail network. In order to achieve business goals, a head count of 40 sales representatives was required.
With only 4 employed sales representatives in their team currently, we had to create a robust recruitment plan using the Citrus Framework to ensure this was achieved within 12 months or less.
We took time to understand their pace of growth and created a robust workforce planning tool which included refining their recruitment process to ensure efficiency. Also, taking into consideration the conversions at each recruitment process stage, geographical needs, and average time to hire. With the above information, we were able to provide a forecast of how to achieve the desired 40 headcount within 12 months.
We also needed a profile of who to hire, as we started the recruitment process and the sales representatives began to perform, we profiled the top 10 performers and closely monitored as the business evolved to ensure we were consistently interviewing and hiring the right people for the business.
A 45-strong headcount was fulfilled within 12 months, where the managers could focus on the growth of the business, training and coaching and problem-solving whilst we took the recruitment burden from their shoulders and interviewed only informed, quality candidates which resulted in a 70% offer rate from an interview and a 63% offer to start rate.
Today, Middletons with their strong sales headcount and retail network are able to achieve their sales targets. When we asked Ricky Towler, Founder of Middletons why Citrus were different to other recruitment agencies this is what he had to say,
Communication with the citrus team has been nothing short of exemplary. They are passionate, resourceful and determined. So far, they've recruited at least 10 candidates on our behalf with many more in the pipeline. The decision to work with Citrus has not only saved my business an awful lot of time and effort, it has also improved the quality of candidates within the sales force.Ricky Towler - Founder, Middletons