Channel Marketer Report

Channel News

Candidates for Direct Sales Jobs in Short Supply, Survey Finds

Companies seeking to hire direct sales pros were probably not surprised by the December 28 report on Americans filing for unemployment benefits. As the jobless rate has dropped to a 17-year low of 4.1%, the process of recruiting and hiring enterprise sales professionals is becoming more challenging.

Impartner LogoAccording to a recent study by Impartner, a leading partner relationship management (PRM) solution provider, nine out of 10 hiring managers find it difficult to recruit and hire direct sales professionals, with more than half (57%) reporting that the problem has intensified over the past year and a half. Roughly three-quarters of those surveyed said the difficulty in staffing their sales organizations has directly prevented them from achieving sales goals.

Companies cited a number of problems caused by the shallow pool of available sales pros. Almost half (46%) of the respondents said there was a shortage of candidates with relevant experience. 22% said it was difficult to find candidates who understood the company’s solution.

Qualified candidates are taking themselves out of the running by demand high compensation packages, noted 16% of the respondents. An equal percentage said increased hiring competition from peer organizations is limiting their ability to staff up.

More Emphasis on Channel Sales

Hiring direct sales pros may become a lesser priority for companies as they recognize the business-boosting capabilities of indirect organizations. Channel Marketer Report has noted that a number of companies are shifting more revenue responsibilities to indirect sales teams. For example, Aptos, Inc. a market leader in retail technology solutions, predicts that over 30% of its global implements will be delivered with partners.

IBM initiated an overhaul of its massive partner organization when the company determined that 75% of the small and midsize business segment – a significant opportunity for the company’s growth – was served by indirect channel teams.

And in June, CMR reported that start-up companies participating in the 2017 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium’s Innovation Showcase said channel partners will play a key role in the sales of their products. While most new companies rely on direct sales teams out of the gate, more start-up firms are considering indirect channels much earlier in their development.

“The golden age of the channel has arrived,” said Dave R. Taylor, CMO of Impartner, in a press release. “In a business climate where qualified enterprise sales candidates are costly and in short supply, companies can’t put all their revenue eggs in the direct sales basket.”