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Skills shortage creates channel sales 'golden age'

The process of recruiting and hiring direct enterprise sales professionals is becoming "even more challenging", according to a study published by Impartner, the partner relationship management (PRM) solutions vendor.

The study of over 200 companies reveals that nine out of ten hiring managers find it difficult to recruit direct sales professionals, with 57% reporting that the problem has "got worse" over the past 18 months. These hiring challenges are directly preventing companies from "reaching revenue goals", according to three-quarters of those surveyed.

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

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, according to Impartner.

“The golden age of the channel has arrived,” said Dave Taylor, CMO of Impartner. “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?”