A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog post about an incredible opportunity for Complex B2B Sales Leaders to address their talent shortage. Here is the blog post to refresh your memory: https://www.truesalesresults.com/what-kind-of-b2b-sales-leader-are-you/. Did any Sales Leaders heed my advice to seize upon what seemed like a once in a career Complex B2B Sales talent hiring opportunity? The short answer is no one heeded my admonition.
So what has transpired over the past 14 months since I wrote that blog post? The herd mentality was in full force. The vast majority of Sales Leaders were simply gutless. If very few folks are hiring sales people… then I certainly shouldn’t be hiring new sales people now. Covid effectively paralyzed the Complex B2B Sales hiring market for too long. My commentary here is certainly a generalization. Not all Complex B2B Sales Leaders froze in their tracks and acted like lemmings. There were some outlier Sales Leaders who had the presence of mind and the conviction to upgrade their sales team talent during the past year when really good sales people were being laid off by cowardly companies.
Fast forward to present day… every CEO and CRO I talk to are saying the exact same thing. This is the most competitive Complex B2B Sales hiring market ever. In my 32 years of Complex B2B Sales, I have personally never seen a hiring market that it is so hard to find good people at all levels. From Sales Development Reps (SDRs) all the way up to CROs, there is simply a dearth of good sales talent available. The current sales candidate pipeline metaphor that comes to mind is a barren wasteland with arid tumbleweeds blowing across a cracked landscape due to extreme dryness.
How has this affected sales compensation plans? As you might expect, this is a supply and demand equation. And presently, the demand far outweighs the supply… therefore the cost has gone up dramatically. I’m seeing Complex B2B sales rep, sales engineer and SDR compensation plans that are significantly higher than even one year ago. There is a corollary effect in how long it takes on average to fill an open sales position. That in turn affects your business plan and revenue model. In short, it’s basically a shit show out there these days!
Now for all those reading this that know me, I’m not one that is generally inclined to gloat or to say “I told you so”. But when only 16% of Sales Leaders said they had the necessary sales talent on their bench to succeed just 14 short months ago and sat around and did nothing to fix that until it was too late. What were you thinking?