Hiring Technical Sales People – Why is it so Difficult?

A technical sales person explaining a product to a client.

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Hiring technical sales people is no easy task.

It demands finding individuals who possess both deep technical knowledge and exceptional sales skills. This is a rare combination that’s increasingly hard to find.

From the difficulties in attracting talent away from their current roles to the generational shift away from choosing sales careers, this blog will take a deeper look into the challenges. We will also look at how you can overcome these.

The Challenges of Hiring Technical Sales People

Well Rewarded

With sales figures being a clear indicator of a salesperson’s success, great sales performers are easily identifiable within a business. Companies rely on their top performers for continued growth, and look to them to help the business bounce back in a market downturn. This makes them an extremely valuable resource within a company.  With their sales results and contribution being so visible, it’s understandable why high performers are well looked after and often locked into a company (golden handcuffs) through reward and recognition programs.

This makes it extremely difficult to prise high performers away from their current employers

Mix of Technical Skills & Commercial Skills

It’s challenging to find candidates who possess a good mix of both sales and technical expertise, particularly in niche industries. You need someone capable of effectively selling your products and services while understanding the technical aspects of client applications.

With most employers wanting an equal mix of both skills, in a market where the majority of candidates are heavily biased towards one over the other, it makes it a rare combination to come by.

Trained to Impress

Often with extensive sales training in the art of persuasion, sales psychology and experience of presenting themselves in front of clients, it can be difficult for many hiring managers or internal talent acquisition teams to gain an honest perception of the individual they’re interviewing.

Resumes may shine with impressive credentials, but do they translate into real-world success? All too often, hires fail to live up to their promise, leaving employers scrambling to fill the gap. 

Very Few can Sell to a Seller

It takes a great salesperson to engage with high-performing salespeople and convince them to consider a move.  This is the reason why so many HR teams report struggling to attract and engage with passive candidates. Once they do, it often leads to uncommitted candidates cancelling prior to an interview.

Trying to convince a technical salesperson to join your team can be challenging when dealing with individuals skilled in controlling and commanding the conversation.

Millennials and Gen Z don’t want to be in Sales

With a lack of young people moving into a career in technical sales there has become a decline in upcoming talent. Millennials may shy away from sales careers due to societal stereotypes portraying them as high-pressure and cutthroat, which can create a taboo around such professions.

A recent study found that employers spend an average of 25% longer trying to fill a technical sales role, versus other professions that call for similar skills. The main reason listed was that Millennials and the Gen Z generation simply do not want a career in sales.

How can specialist recruiters like ourselves help with hiring technical sales people?

As a specialist technical sales recruitment firm with over 85% of our hires being Technical sales professionals, we understand that being successful at hiring technical sales people is both an art and a science. We are salespeople at heart with over two decades of experience building our expertise, knowledge, and network of the highest performers within the market.

With a 96% success rate, we understand it’s more than just matching resumes to job descriptions; it’s about identifying candidates who possess the right blend of skills, mindset, and cultural fit. Our approach is backed by data, not guesswork, ensuring that every hire is a strategic investment into your company’s future.

As trusted recruiters to an extensive network of exclusive candidates, some relationships of which have been developed over several years, we have become a trusted ear when candidates are starting to become disillusioned within their current role.

This allows our clients access to unique, high-performing individuals that you won’t find in the public domain or with another recruiter.

Our meticulous interview and assessment process including the integration of behavioural screening has minimised the risk of a bad hire.

What can you expect when partnering with us?

Customised Recruitment Strategies

Sales roles are not one-size-fits-all, and neither should your recruitment strategy. We work closely with clients to develop customised recruitment processes tailored to their unique needs, ensuring a seamless fit between candidate and role.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Gone are the days of relying on gut instinct alone. Our data-driven approach leverages advanced screening process and behavioural assessments to identify talent with precision, minimising the risk of costly hiring mistakes.

Competitive Salary & Compensation Packages

These days, candidates aren’t just looking for the biggest salary when it comes to moving jobs. They also look at what a company offers as a whole. We can provide you with salary benchmarking reports that will bring you insights to what your competitors are offering not only in terms of salary, but compensation and benefits too, allowing you to position yourself competitively in your market.

Ongoing Support

Our partnership doesn’t end with the hire. We provide ongoing support and optimisation to ensure that your sales team continues to thrive. This drives growth and profitability for your business.

Ready to hire your next technical sales person?

It is important that you get your hiring right. Embracing a data-driven, customised approach, HR professionals and employers can mitigate risk, optimise performance, and unlock the full potential of their sales teams. Don’t leave your recruitment process to chance.

If you would like our help with hiring technical sales people, we would love to have a chat. Our team of technical recruiters can talk to you to discuss your hiring challenges and plan a bespoke, strategic approach.

To talk to a team member, call us on 0161 870 5000 or email us at info@mase-consulting.com

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