Better prospects for sales staff

The
number of firms intending to increase sales staff outnumber those who will make
cuts, despite a fall in the Sales Plan Confidence Index.

New
research by the Chartered Institute of Marketing reveals that 25 per cent of
companies plan to increase the sales force as opposed to nine per cent that
will cut it back.

An
additional 66 per cent claim that they will maintain the current staffing
levels in sales and marketing departments.

The
figures represent a slight improvement on the autumn 2001 survey when 10 per
cent said they would be cutting sales staff.

Larger
firms are more likely to be planning an increase in recruitment than small
ones, with 29 per cent of companies with a turnover exceeding £100m expecting
to hire more staff.

Douglas
McWilliams, economic advisor to the CIM, said: "This survey seems to indicate
that the economy may be starting to improve but that respondents would like
more evidence before they believe it.

"Meanwhile
firms are keeping their marketing spend under tight control. This mix of
caution and, in some areas, of expected expansion is typical of an economy at
turning point, " he said.

By Ross Wigham

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