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Demand for sales professionals rises 16% amid economic woes

Demand for sales professionals rises 16% amid economic woes

The demand for sales/marketing professionals from Nigerian firms has risen by 15.9 percent in January-October 2023 from 13.4 percent in the same period of last year, a new report has shown.

The report by MyJobMag, a recruitment agency in Nigeria which analysed 62,729 jobs advertised on its platform, said sales/marketing, finance, engineering, and ICT tops the chart for the fields with the most hiring in 2023, with sales/marketing having over 15 percent.

The rising need for sales professionals may stem from organisations seeking to boost their revenue in response to the country’s current economic conditions,” the report said.

It added that the growth of new small and medium-scale enterprises requires sales professionals to help them establish and expand their businesses.

“While others like human resources, driving, media, and administration have experienced a decline from 2022 to 2023.”

Sales and marketing professionals are responsible for executing creative campaigns to increase customers and drive revenue for the organisation.

A breakdown of the report showed that sales executives, sales representatives, sales managers, medical sales representatives and sales officers were the most in-demand roles in sales. “These roles had the highest number of job listings in the sales sector for 2023.”

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“The economy is very tight. And for businesses to stay afloat, they either need to increase revenue or reduce expenditure. Sales representatives are in the forefront of the first one,” Olamide Adeyeye, a Lagos-based human development researcher, said.

President Bola Tinubu in May scrapped a costly but popular petrol subsidy and lifted currency controls in June, which he said was to save the country from going under.

But his actions have worsened inflation in double-digits and at the highest level in 18 years. The rising inflationary pressures have weakened the purchasing power of consumers, even as businesses grapple with higher operating costs.

The removal of the petrol subsidy tripled the petrol price to N617 from N184, causing public transportation providers such as buses, tricycles and motorcycles to raise transportation fares.The naira has plunged to record lows across markets since the central bank allowed it to weaken by as much as 40 percent against the dollar in June.

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The high cost of dollars and the implementation of a 7.5 percent value-added tax on diesel imports, which was suspended last month in September, pushed its pump price to as high as N1,200 per litre.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s inflation rate, a measure of the general price level, rose to 27.33 percent in October from 26.72 percent in the previous month.

Business activity in Africa’s biggest economy shrunk four times so far in 2023. Data from the latest monthly PMI by Stanbic IBTC Bank showed the headline index dropped to the lowest in eight months of 48.0 in November 2023 from 49.1 in the previous month.

Readings above 50.0 signal an improvement in business conditions, while those below show deterioration.