There is a massive shortage of suitably skilled sales candidates, with the quality of available candidates’ skills decreasing. Business Development Managers in particular are highly sought after.
The shortage of skilled candidates will remain a challenge for employers since we expect another positive year in the sales sector ahead. Job opportunities are expected across many areas and at all levels.
As a result, attracting and retaining the best sales talent remains the key to success for a vast number of organisations. For candidates, with the bar set high they need to be able to demonstrate a proven track record of building successful client relationships in a business development or account management role.
Many hiring managers also hold industry and or product knowledge in high regard, although this will change and transferable skills and capabilities as well as culture fit will be considered in response to the skill shortage.
In terms of benefits, work-life balance, workplace flexibility and career planning are popular with candidates in general and especially in the start-up world, as well as equity and other wealth-creation methods.
All vacancies at the senior level are permanent.
In regional trends, interstate recruitment remains a regular occurrence in the Northern Territory.
Meanwhile Perth is seeing the opposite situation with good quality candidates available but a shortage of opportunities. When they do recruit, employers prefer to secure a candidate in a permanent role. Most roles are in mining operations, mainly maintenance products and services. There is very little demand for capital equipment expenditure. Moving forward we expect stronger demand in the construction sector for project sales specialists who are CPD accredited.
Hotspots of demand
Business Development Managers remain in high demand. This is a pivotal role as there is still a strong focus on winning new business and increasing market share.
Key Account Managers are also sought.
Account Development Managers are another area of demand as organisations battle aggressive competitors to retain client loyalty.
Experienced Sales and Design Consultants at the top end are also sought.
Senior Sales Leaders with outstanding planning abilities and people management skills are needed. This includes being able to increase the efficiency of the teams they lead.
In the Northern Territory Sales/Branch Managers are in demand. People with the required level of experience are usually located interstate.
Tech savvy sales professionals are also sought. The way organisations sell their products today is driving this demand since businesses of all types are harnessing social media, online customer advocacy and technology tools such as data analytics and insights to stay ahead of consumer trends and even create those trends. Over the coming year, we expect top sales people to make even more use of technology to tailor their approach to prospecting. Customers are able to access information about potential suppliers on any device in an instant, making the challenger sale based on solid research and analysis a key component of any sales strategy.
Booming construction activity particularly in Victoria and NSW is fuelling strong demand for sales professionals in building products and construction services. Successful candidates are able to communicate their technical knowledge while also presenting well thought out plans.
In Queensland employers in the architectural and building product space are looking for candidates with the ability to produce strong tenders for new developments. We are also seeing additional sales roles created in some Queensland FMCGs especially where previously just one person managed sales in this vast state.
The majority of candidates now prioritise stability and career progression when looking for their next role. They are also looking for a solid base salary.