John Smith, vice president of enterprise sales at CareerBuilder, says, "Competition for quality sales reps is intense, so hiring managers looking to fill sales positions are likely to invest in additional training for new hires, as well as reach out to top performers from other companies."
With an increasing number of areas in which demand for skilled positions is growing much faster than the supply, employers are boosting training programs to "re-skill" workers, according to the research. Forty-one percent of sales employers plan to train people who don't have experience in sales and hire them for positions within their organizations.
Additionally, companies may need to examine their retention practices to keep top talent. Employees are looking elsewhere for better compensation, and companies are recruiting them vigorously. One in three sales professionals says he's been approached with a job offer from another employer—more than any other industry. Increasing salaries may retain these workers; 73 percent of employers in the sales industry plan to boost compensation for existing employees.
While the number of employers adding to their sales headcount is trending up from 2012, so is the number planning to reduce their sales staff, reflecting a mix of optimism and caution that has been characteristic of the economic recovery. Companies also are increasing the use of temporary and contract staff to meet market demands.