2013 Sales Jobs Outlook
By John Rossheim,
Monster Senior Contributing Writer
In this corner, political uncertainty, the “fiscal cliff,” Europe on an economic precipice and the rising fixed costs of keeping sales representatives on the payroll. And in the opposite corner, a gradually improving economy, incrementally increased business confidence and sales automation tools that make sales hires a better investment.
Yes, sales hiring in 2013 is shaping up as a fistfight between the forces of positive thinking and the pall of pessimism in turbulent times. “We're cautiously optimistic," says Peter Polachi, founding partner at Framingham, Massachusetts-based Polachi Access Executive Search, which finds top-level sales executives for technology, venture-capital and private-equity firms. "Business is expanding, but how quickly will it grow [in 2013]?”
*Denver Sales Employment Outlook
Even as the housing market rises from a historic bottom, the trauma of the financial crisis has transformed consumer attitudes for the long run. "With the recession, customers are a lot more careful about spending their money," says Lenny Kharitonov, president of Unlimited Furniture Group, a New York City retailer. Against this background, who will be hiring sales reps in 2013, and what knowledge and aptitudes will employers be seeking in sales job candidates? Let's take a look around.
Many Firms Expect to Grow Sales Staff Sales job opportunities won't be concentrated in a small number of industries in 2013; they'll be found wherever in the economy businesses are finding ways to sustain growth. Take health information technology, a busy intersection of two high tech industries in the 2010s. "We have about two dozen inside and outside salespeople, account managers and sales engineers, who are more technical," says Kevin Cook, vice president of business development at Curaspan, a Newton, Massachusetts-based provider of patient-management software. "We expect to grow our salesforce by at least 20 percent in 2013." Technical and Product Knowledge Matter -- How important will it be to know the industry that you sell into in 2013? It depends, often on the availability of specific knowledge in available sales candidates.
"In technology, domain knowledge is a key driver," Polachi says. "It's somewhat looser with social media, cloud computing and big data, because you often can’t find a guy who has five or 10 years of experience." Indeed, even in technology sales, core skills are often transferable, at least to a degree. "For outside sales, we're looking for healthcare experience, so they can build relationships with senior executives," Cook says. For inside sales, the successful candidate's experience could be lighter in healthcare or in an industry such as financial services, he adds.
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