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專欄 - 向Anne提問

別做“碼農”,IT公司最短缺的是銷售!

Anne Fisher 2016年04月11日

Anne Fisher為《財富》雜志《向Anne提問》的專欄作者,這個職場專欄始于1996年,幫助讀者適應經濟的興衰起落、行業轉換,以及工作中面臨的各種困惑。
今年軟件公司預計將保持45%的增長速度,因此,科技公司對于銷售人才的需求只會繼續增長,尤其是在硅谷。自去年以來,西海岸的銷售崗職位空缺增加了16%,美國其他地區增加了11%。

一提起需求最大的技術能力,多數人首先想到的是網絡安全、手機應用開發和數據科學專業知識等,當然這些都是“熱門”技能。但不論一款產品多么優秀,有一種老生常談的說法依舊是有道理的:沒有銷售,一切都是空。銷售支持軟件開發商ToutApp的創始人兼CEO、綽號T.K.的陶黑德?卡德爾表示:“銷售人員與技術人員,對于IT公司的成功同等重要。只不過,很少有人談起銷售人員的重要性。”

目前,科技公司之間正在悄然展開一場激烈的銷售人才爭奪戰。有事實為證:對員工人數超過200人的300家科技公司的高管進行的最新調查發現,銷售崗的招聘難度僅次于工程師崗位。約70%的受訪者表示,招聘有經驗的銷售人才的“難度非常大”,有80%的公司正在通過高薪吸引更多銷售人才。

卡德爾表示:“隨著科技公司規模的日益擴大,其可能獲得無限的服務器和存儲能力,但能夠通過培訓從事銷售工作的人才數量依舊有限。”InsideSales.com的一項單獨研究發現,今年軟件公司預計將保持45%的增長速度,因此,科技公司對于銷售人才的需求只會繼續增長,尤其是在硅谷。自去年以來,西海岸的銷售崗職位空缺增加了16%,美國其他地區增加了11%。

為了找到更多銷售人才,IT公司紛紛開始嘗試新的方法。方法之一是廣撒網,擴大地域范圍。由于加州和紐約的銷售人才競爭最為激烈,因此,卡德爾表示,許多公司開始將目光投向較小的城市——尤其是奧斯丁、鳳凰城、丹佛和鹽湖城等,希望從這些地區尋找理想的銷售人才。在InsideSales.com的報告中,超過三分之一(42%)的銷售經理表示,他們正計劃招聘更多女性。

2016年的畢業生們注意了:科技公司正在加大對千禧一代和新畢業生的招聘力度,并提供了一種新的在職培訓。卡德爾表示,有經驗的IT銷售人員可以馬上開始與客戶打交道,而新人則需要接受分兩步走的培訓計劃。這種培訓將銷售崗位分成了兩部分。他解釋說:“首先,新人只負責尋找潛在客戶,包括無約電話推銷和尋找新的線索。大約六個月之后,你將成功‘畢業’,可以開始負責客戶咨詢和完成小規模交易。”

此外,來自其他領域的銷售人員,日益受到科技公司的歡迎。卡德爾說道:“當然,你確實需要增加技術知識。但銷售技能本身是可以轉移的,因為不論在哪個行業,對成功銷售員的主要要求依舊是高情商。”這是很明顯的。在InsideSales.com的研究中,銷售經理在招聘銷售人才時,提到最多的兩種品質分別是韌性和同理心。(財富中文網)

譯者:劉進龍/汪皓

When you think about the tech skills that are most in demand, what most likely comes to mind are things like cybersecurity, mobile app development, and data science expertise — all “hot” skills, for sure. But, no matter how terrific a product is, the old saw is still true: Nothing happens until somebody sells something. “Salespeople are just as crucial to IT companies’ success as techies are,” says Tawheed “T.K.” Kader, founder and CEO of sales-support software maker ToutApp. “It just doesn’t get talked about.”

However quietly, tech companies are engaged in a fierce fight for sales talent. Consider: Second only to engineers, sales roles are the toughest to fill, according to a new survey of executives at 300 tech companies with 200 employees or more. About 70% say finding experienced sales talent is “very competitive,” and 80% are paying top dollar to attract more of it.

“As tech companies scale, servers and storage capacity may be infinite, but there’s still a limited number of humans they can hire and train to sell,” Kader observes. With software companies projecting 45% growth this year, according to a separate study by InsideSales.com, demand for people who can sell what tech companies create is only going to grow, especially in Silicon Valley. Job openings for salespeople on the West Coast have risen 16% since last year, the study says, versus 11% in the rest of the country.

To get more sales talent, IT employers are trying out a couple of new approaches. For one thing, they’re casting a wider geographic net. Since the competition is stiffest in California and New York, Kader says companies are starting to look at smaller cities — especially Austin, Phoenix, Denver, and Salt Lake City — to tap the talent pools there. And more than one in three (42%) sales managers in the InsideSales.com report said they’re also focused on recruiting more women.

Note to the Class of 2016: Tech companies are stepping up their hiring of Millennials and new grads, and providing a new kind of on-the-job training. While an experienced IT salesperson would probably start dealing with customers right away, newbies now go through a two-part program that segments the sales role into two parts, Kader says. “First, you do pure prospecting, including cold calling and developing new leads,” he explains. “Then, after six months or so, you ‘graduate’ into consulting with customers and closing small deals.”

Salespeople from fields other than tech are increasingly welcome, too. “You’d obviously need to add the technical knowledge,” Kader says, “but sales skills themselves are highly transferable, since the main requirement for successful salespeople in any industry is a high EQ.” Evidently. The most-mentioned two qualities sales managers look for in sales job candidates, says the InsideSales.com study, are resilience and empathy.

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