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A couple of weeks back I was a presenter on a panel hosted by the Canadian Professional Sales Association. I was joined by Brian Jeffrey, author, sales consultant and founder of Salesforce Assessments Ltd., Margo Crawford, Director of Business Operations at Meriton Networks, and Bill Garbarino, a Professor at the Algonquin College School of Business. The question posed to the panel was whether there is a talent shortage. The consensus was that a talent shortage exists, however the problem is less severe than it seems. A lot of companies do a poor job of understanding that their own unique selling environment requires sales professionals with a unique set of skills, experiences and personality traits. Meanwhile candidates rarely know their own capabilities and too easily accept roles where they are unlikely to be successful, leaving them with a spotty resume. While true top performers are few and far between, too often the wrong mix is hired and many capable sales professionals are miscast as under-performers. If companies were more careful about hiring the right people and candidates were careful to avoid companies where they won’t be successful, the overall number of performers would increase and the talent pool would seem a heck of a lot larger.

A couple of additional comments that came from the session:

  • Brian mentioned that a very small percentage of sales professionals will invest in personal assessment or development (these seem like a small price to pay for years of lucrative career success?)
  • Bill mentioned that he finds too few companies are proactive about their hiring and tend to look only when they need to hire rather than creating programs to attract a steady flow of great candidates

Eliot.

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Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting
Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless.

Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.

He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.
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