The number of suitable and available sales professionals is falling as organisations add additional staff to their teams. Most vacancies are permanent, with employers continuing to request candidates with local market knowledge and previous industry or product experience. Of course proven sales results remain essential.
Cultural fit has become a greater priority over the past year. Many employers will now upskill someone that is the right fit but lacks technical expertise.
We’ve also seen increased demand for candidates who hold a bachelor level degree or above. This trend is evident across all experience levels.
Strong salespeople are quickly secured, which is why employers need to move swiftly through their recruitment process to avoid disappointment.
Hotspots of demand
Business Development Managers are in high demand, however there is a shortage of candidates with both industry and local experience.
Account Managers are needed too by organisations that want to manage and grow their current client base. Candidates need a strategic approach with the ability to consider the wider picture, including analysing margins, costs, writing tenders and service agreements and creating long-term relationship plans.
We’re also seeing some demand for candidates who can perform both business development and account manager duties. In other words, professionals with a proven ability to win new clients while also managing and growing existing clients.
Telesales professionals are also needed. These roles traditionally suffer from high turnover, with candidates looking to progress into other areas of the business. Therefore finding stable candidates is a challenge for employers.
Sales Managers are needed too. These candidates are in short supply, especially those with a high level of experience.
Graduate Sales Professionals are sought but there is a shortage of people at this level who want a long-term career in sales.
Finally, Salespeople with architecture/specification industry experience are needed, both at the representative level as well as for senior roles. Employers want qualified professionals with proven successes in this area, ideally with one focused product range.
Candidates are increasingly looking for stable opportunities and a higher base salary than they are currently on. Commission is not as crucial within a role as it used to be, with candidates focusing more on the base for stability reasons. Consequently there is far less interest in roles with a lower base and firm commission capability.
Cultural fit is important too. However above all, there is a desire for flexible working options.
At the entry to mid-level candidates are not as keen as they once were to travel.
How to get a job in 2017
If a new job is on your radar this year, you need a strong story, consistent brand and proof that you can add value. Watch expert tips from hiring managers. For all our videos, click here