Sales in cleaning companies - often poorly defined

18th of December 2015
Sales in cleaning companies - often poorly defined

The sales function in French cleaning companies is often poorly defined, writes Christian Bouzols.

It’s not easy to get precise figures regarding the number of sales and marketing people in cleaning companies, which together employ 472, 234 people. That’s because sales and marketing functions cover a great many roles and positions. In order to have a better grasp of that population, the French Observatory of cleaning trades carried out a survey.

While everyone agrees that sales and marketing functions are vital for improving a company’s turnover, a 2013 forecast study showed these functions are somewhat understated, poorly defined and hardly marketed by cleaning companies, who moreover aren’t proactive in terms of tendering their services.

Paradoxically the sector doesn’t appear to use a specific term to describe the activities of a sales or marketing person. People working in those areas can have all sorts of descriptions, varying from one company to another. The status of people in sales and marketing can vary as much as their job titles. Beyond people who hold dedicated commercial positions, there are others who carry out sales and marketing duties in addition to other roles.

It seems that sales and marketing people are quite loyal to their employers, despite their being exposed to strong pressures to move elsewhere. Everywhere in the cleaning sector, staff turnover was limited. This is particularly true of employees aged 40 and over, who are offered good opportunities to further their careers. The reverse is more likely among younger people, who are more volatile and mobile, and ready to change employers if the chances of increased earnings and career development appear to be better.

Large companies generally favour in-house promotion as employees who already work for a company are more informed of its values and culture. However in small and medium enterprises external recruitment is preferred.

Companies are more interested in qualities such as motivation and experience then in qualifications. However they insist on an educational level corresponding to a two year post-baccalaureate diploma, and higher educational qualifications are now being considered.

Companies say they have problems in hiring commercial staff not because of a lack of applicants, but be cause of the difficulty in identifying and attracting good people.

They often find it hard to integrate young people in sales and marketing functions because these functions are challenging and the realities involved in supplying cleaning services is more complex than it seems.

Various factors seem to be important in cleaning companies making the best use of their commercial function: a better match between this function and the operations of the company, particularly as regards conditions of sales and monitoring; the ability to express verbally the identity and specific qualities of the company; the ability to formulate and leverage complete tenders; and the ability to adapt to the specific requirements of various types of customers. Diversification has become a major requirement.


Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited