Sales Industry Hiring Trends

The Acquirent recruiting team receives hundreds of resumes every month from job seekers with a variety of sales experiences and backgrounds. Most cover letters that accompany the resumes make the case that each candidate is “perfect” for the open position.

But what happens when our client’s idea of a perfect skill set is vastly different from what the candidate can offer? It’s our job to communicate to candidates exactly what’s needed for the position in clear and concise language.

In addition to communicating the skill set needed for particular open positions, there are also general skill sets that are key for landing a sales position. Most recently Software Advice, a company that provides information on sales enablement software, did market research on what employers are looking for in sales candidates and the results are very interesting.

After analyzing 200 sales director job postings, Software Advice uncovered that companies are searching for candidates with specific industry experience and technical skills as opposed to just a sales background. (It is no longer suffice to have three to five years in sales on a resume, which we tell many candidates.)

Here are a few key stats:

  • 62% required five or more years of general sales experience
  • 72% preferred experience selling within hiring industry including terminology and business processes
  • 29% requested experience with a CRM system

“We found that there are two things that any prospective sales director needs,” said Jay Ivey, a market research associate at Software Advice. “The first is selling experience within the industry you’re applying to, which 72 percent of listings requested. So candidates who develop their career within a single vertical (e.g., technology, healthcare) will have a significant advantage when it comes to obtaining more senior-level positions.” The Acquirent recruiting team knows the importance of hiring sales leadership candidates with specific industry knowledge and technical skills. Keeping abreast of hiring trends is just one of the ways we differentiate ourselves from other recruiting services.

Here is a link to the report: