Why is it so difficult to build my sales team?

March 26, 2018

Are you struggling to identify qualified sales professionals for your team? Here are the 4 factors affecting recruitment and retention for Minneapolis employers.

Oggi Professional Services took an exciting next step in expanding the company’s services by adding a sales recruiting division. This team is dedicated to recruiting sales professionals.  As published in Oggi’s recent press release, Oggi Professional Services adds Sales focused division to meet client demand, this decision was driven by many factors. The most important being feedback we received from none other than… you - our network of Twin Cities employers.

Time and time again, we were approached by our clients regarding the need for quality sales professionals. Sales roles which sat vacant for months. Not only is it frustrating for hiring managers who are striving to meet annual sales goals, it is hurting the success of many organizations’ primary revenue generating function. The longer a sales role sits open, the higher the cost associated with filling that role.

In addition to those of our clients actively seeking out qualified professionals to meet their organization’s current needs, we also learned that many Minneapolis employers are simultaneously trying to rebuild their sales division to the same size it had been only a few years ago.

So why is it so difficult to find, attract, and retain sales professionals in the greater Minneapolis market?

1. Low Unemployment Rates & The Cost of Quality 
Minnesota’s current 3.2 percent unemployment rate means less qualified professionals are actively looking for job opportunities.1 With more professionals employed and less actively seeking career opportunities, the onus now falls on the employer to actively recruit passive job seekers. 

When it comes to recruiting currently employed sales professionals, identifying experienced sales professionals can be costly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the Twin Cities has one of the highest average wages for sales roles in Midwest metropolitan areas.2

Therefore not only is it difficult to simply find qualified sales professionals, when you do you have to pay a premium for it. As a result, many employers have held off on hiring sales professionals because they cannot identify "the right talent" at "the right price point."

2. Decreasing Supply of Qualified Talent
In addition to low unemployment rates and rising compensation, the second factor making identifying quality sales talent difficult is a decreasing supply of tenured professionals. Within sales, the number one characteristic employers are looking for on a resume is experience. Generally speaking if a sales professional has experience, they’ve succeeded at producing a return throughout their entire career.

As tenured sales professionals phase out into retirement, an experience gap has developed. By recruiting and recycling proven sales professionals, employers have overlooked developing less experienced talent which may simply need the growth opportunity and/or some ‘fine-tuning’. Employers with successful sales departments will need to focus on professional development and training to not only retain talent, but also attract top producers to their teams moving forward.

3. Changes in Generational Drivers
The differences between generational drivers can also be a factor when you are searching for sales talent. Historically, the primary incentive driving many top producers was easy… security and advancement at work. Baby Boomers lived to work and then retire.3 Within sales, Baby Boomers thrived because their success was clearly reflected in the revenue they produced. Responsibilities and goals were clear and aligned with the incentive structure of traditional sales models. 

With baby boomers slowly transitioning out of the workforce and millennials moving into senior-level sales roles, employers are now having a difficult time identifying how to motivate this new era of employees. What drives millennial sales professionals drastically differs from that of their predecessors.1  The disconnect created by traditional incentives has unfortunately decreased retention and diminished the appeal of sales roles with millennials.

4. Traditional Internal Hiring Strategies
Historically, due to the volume of positions received by internal recruiters, advertising for open opportunities was simple. Post a the job opportunity online. Wait for resumes to flood in for review before sending qualified applicants to the hiring manager.

Today’s market now requires recruiters (both internal and external) to proactively network and recruit for their organizations. This is a huge shift in a company’s recruiting strategy. Many employers are not equipped to actively recruit for the positions they manage or have yet to adjust their strategies to meet the demands of today’s hiring market.

 

Although hiring sales professionals for your team may appear to be a daunting task in today’s market, it is not impossible. If you are struggling to identify qualified sales professionals at any level within your organization, contact our team at Oggi Professional Services to leverage our experience, expertise and network. With nearly 200 years of combined experience recruiting analysts, business development managers and sales executives, we will work with you to identify quality professionals for your team in a timely manner.


[1] https://mn.gov/deed/data/current-econ-highlights/state-national-employme...

[2] http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes413099.htm

[3] http://www.wmfc.org/uploads/GenerationalDifferencesChart.pdf