The Sales Hiring Crisis (& Why It’s Time To Outsource Sales)

There has never been a better time to launch a sales career. The jobs are plentiful, the pay is high, and organizations are tripping over themselves to recruit fresh talent. According to ZipRecruiter, there are an estimated 700,000 available sales positions in the United States today, many of which have been vacant for months. Companies across the nation are desperately seeking sales representatives and are willing to pay handsomely for recent graduates, but supply is lagging. Any organization that tried to recruit sales talent in 2021 will tell you just how challenging it has been to get applicants in the door, much less qualified candidates.

In this blog, we explore why it’s been such a challenge to find good sales talent, and why many organizations are considering outsourced sales for the first time in order to meet their revenue goals.


Why it's so Difficult to Hire

It’s always been hard to find good sales talent. Glassdoor published a blog back in 2016 about the difficulty of finding, recruiting, training, and retaining sales reps. Things have only gotten worse since then, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Stigma

The first challenge for recruiters to overcome is the stigma still associated with a sales job. Sales has long been considered a lower-caliber position, one that does not require a college degree. This is far from true, especially in today’s age of the “empowered buyer,” when sales roles have become far more consultative in nature. Despite the growth opportunities and clear career trajectory associated with a sales career, organizations struggle to convince recent graduates that this is an attractive path for them to follow. 

Separating the Good from the Bad

The second challenge associated with sales recruiting stems from the first. Since so many qualified candidates are turning away from sales opportunities, that leaves lower-quality candidates for recruiters to sift through, and every hire becomes a risk. 

This challenge is compounded by the fact that most organizations don’t have a robust training program in place for new hires. They expect reps to immediately hit the phones and start booking meetings, and are sorely disappointed when it takes months to reach an adequate level of productivity. 

The Churn

Even when organizations are successful in attracting young talent, they deal with a high amount of churn that creates inefficiencies and requires the HR department to continually invest in sales recruiting. 

The current tenure for a sales development representative is only 12 months, with the first 3 spent on onboarding and the last month spent on off-boarding, leaving only 8 months of productivity. Organizations are spending up to $10,000 in recruiting costs per new hire, and hope to recuperate that investment, along with the salesperson’s salary and benefits, in a few short months. 


Why Organization Are Turning to Outsourced Sales

Many organizations have a hard time considering outsourced sales, because they consider demand generation to be a core component of their business. Sales leaders have long preferred to keep the function in-house in order to maintain full control over the process. Though understandable, this approach has become increasingly challenging in recent years, leading many organizations to re-evaluate outsourced sales as a viable option. Outsourcing is an attractive model, particularly in a competitive market, for a number of reasons:

The Vendor Handles The Recruiting

Finding sales talent is the hardest part, and your outsourced sales partner is responsible for staffing your account, taking the recruiting and hiring process off your plate. Outsourcing agencies have entire recruiting teams dedicated to finding the right sales talent, since their business model depends on it, and by working with them, you don’t have to compete against them.

Your Outsourced Sales Team Hits The Ground Running

Unlike an internal hire, which requires a few months in order to become productive, your outsourced sales team will be up and running in a matter of weeks. Thus, outsourcing is particularly attractive for organizations looking to grow quickly that simply don’t have the time to spend on hiring, training, and onboarding. 

You Benefit from 100% Uptime

Given the high amount of rep turnover, you likely have time periods when you’re down a salesperson or two, and scrambling to hire a new one so you don’t lose too much momentum. Outsourced sales agencies deliver 100% uptime, so you’re squeezing every dollar out of the year. Additionally, you now have the ability to off-board any reps that are not a good fit.

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The sales talent hiring crisis isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Organizations have struggled and are likely to continue struggling for years to come to fill their sales roles with qualified candidates. Instead, consider outsourcing your sales function to an agency that can deliver the talent you need faster and more efficiently than you can achieve in-house.

Schedule a consultation with FullFunnel to learn about our unique and proven approach to revenue generation.

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This article was originally published on December 27, 2021, and has been republished to provide the most accurate information possible.


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