Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

Market for Inside Sales Hiring [TREND]

by Matt Bertuzzi on Tue, May 24, 2011

Inside Sales hiring is up. Way, way up.

I was lucky enough to sit in on a preview call for CSO Insights’ 2011 Telemarketing Inside Sales Optimization Report the other day. This chart really hit me between the eyes.

Said another way, over 70% of surveyed organizations are hiring sales people this year. Nearly 1/4 are bumping their sales force size by 20% +. In case there was any doubt, 

Inside sales talent is in high demand

Anecdotally, I can testify that folks with 2-3 years sales experience are in white hot demand right now. Doing a little research, I crunched through about 100 LinkedIn jobs looking for “inside sales” reps. Here’s what I found for desired experience:

The height of the curve reflects the proportion of job postings requiring that level of sales experience. You can see that:

  • For Lead Generation reps: 1-3 years of experience is in major demand
  • For Inside Sales reps: those numbers are more like 2-4 years

Kathy Tito over at New England Sales & Marketing recently did a Q&A with Lee Hoffstein (a B2B sales & marketing recruiter). These two snippets caught my eye

Much of the available talent pool is currently employed and in many cases need to be recruited into the active job market. Candidates once again have more viable choices and companies need to tell a compelling story to attract top performers.

We have noticed a shift in confidence with passive candidates over the past several months. As market conditions improve, they’re looking to reenergize their careers and reenter the market. Some of the reasons we’re seeing increased candidate activity include: limited resources in their current role, reduced pay & income growth, stalled career progression and cultural fit.

So what does all this mean to you? It means two things:

  • You are in a highly competitive market for top talent
  • You need to have a retention plan for your top performers or they will look elsewhere

Things have changed and your hiring and retention strategies need to change to address that shift. At a minimum, companies need to be thinking about what this market means to their:

  • Plans for future growth
    What happens if it takes us 60 extra days to fill an open req?
  • Plans for retaining current reps
    What happens if we lose 2 of our 5 best reps this quarter?

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be spending a bit more time on hiring and retention for inside sales in this market. But this is definitely a trend and already having impact.

What are you seeing out in the market & how are you addressing the challenges? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Topics: inside sales management, inside sales hiring

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