Direct sales talent shortage driving channel momentum

Have you struggled to hire enterprise sales professionals? Well, it turns out you aren’t alone.

According to a new study, nine out of ten hiring managers find it difficult to recruit direct sales professionals with 57 per cent saying that the issue has been exacerbated over the past 18 months. 

The study, carried out by Channel management solution provider Impartner, has found that these hiring challenges are directly preventing companies from reaching revenue goals, according to roughly three-quarters of those surveyed.

The biggest single driver behind this hiring difficulty is a lack of candidates with relevant experience, cited by 46 per cent of respondents. Other reasons given include a shortage of candidates who understand the company’s offerings (22 per cent), high compensation requirements for qualified candidates (16 per cent) and increased hiring competition from peer organisations (16 per cent). 

Despite the use of better recruiting tools and increased compensation, hiring challenges are still holding back the bottom line and leading more businesses to turn to indirect sales, says Dave R Taylor, CMO of Impartner.

“The golden age of the Channel has arrived. In a business climate where qualified enterprise sales candidates are costly and in short supply, companies can’t put all their revenue eggs in the direct sales basket. Why struggle to hire direct sales people in an extremely competitive market that’s stifling your ability to increase revenue, when the indirect sales channel provides an immediate avenue to growth?”

However, Taylor notes that to continue to scale, companies that already have a channel need them to work harder than ever before to make up for the inability to grow direct sales teams, while companies without a channel need to create one, at the risk of being left behind in the market.

In the past, Taylor notes that many companies have resisted indirect sales because of a perceived lack of oversight and visibility. However, solutions like Impartner PRM make it possible to manage indirect channels with the same level of visibility and control as they have over direct sales.

Companies with existing channels, struggling to manage a partner program on spread sheets, home grown portals or myriad of point solutions, risk underperforming competitors using updated PRM solutions. On average, Impartner says that PRM customers see a 31 percent increase in revenue and a 23 percent decrease in administrative costs in the first year of use alone, by being able to automate administrative processes and optimise partner performance.

Companies without an indirect channel lack the additional ‘feet on the street’, so they need to make up for the lack of enterprise sales talent available in the market. A contemporary PRM helps companies ramp their partner programs 46 per cent faster and their partners to revenue productivity 37 per cent faster.

“For delivering a fully customisable, enterprise-class application for managing all aspects of the partner lifecycle, from recruiting to co-marketing and selling, our Velocity 3-step onboarding process can have a company’s partner portal up and running in as little as 14 Days,” says Taylor.

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