Are We Facing A World-Wide Sales Talent Shortage?

A week doesn't go by when I haven't talked to someone who is in sales or marketing about the work they're doing to help the sales team change how they communicate value. It seems that many marketing and sales leaders are working hard to "help salespeople sell higher" or "help salespeople differentiate the messages they deliver." A couple of patterns are emerging; like moving the sales conversations from being transaction-focused to a more consultative one, or moving a consultative conversation to a more outcome-focused conversation.

There is no doubt that changing the sales conversation means changing the behavior of the sales team -- many sales leaders believe that change can't happen fast enough. When it comes to making the shift, you have a short list of choices:

1) develop or expand the existing skill set of the current salespeople you have, or

2) work with the sales leadership team and HR team to hire the right salespeople who have the right skills and connections to have the right conversations you need to be successful

3) a combination of both 1 and 2

More and more technology vendors are deciding to invest in the salespeople they have. For most technology vendors, hiring for skill just isn’t working. One sales leader said, “We are realizing that the talent shortage in the profession overall is working against us. Many salespeople just haven’t been trained like they used to, and they have picked up some bad habits along the way."

We are at a sales "skills cross-road."

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