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DATA DETECTIVES

Survey: Where to Find Top Sales Talent

Previously unpublished data from LinkedIn reveals the supply and demand for trained salespeople.
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A few weeks ago, LinkedIn asked me to co-host a webinar on Finding and Hiring Top Sales Talent.  In preparation, my co-host Alyssa Sittig provided me with groundbreaking research into the size and shape of the sales-job market in the U.S. and Canada. We'll be going over how to use this research for recruiting in the webinar, which is scheduled for September 9 at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. (Yeah, I know … that's the day of the big Apple announcement but, hey, you can catch up on Apple anytime you like.)

Meanwhile, I've received permission from LinkedIn to share some of this data with Inc.com readers. I must emphasize that this is absolutely new research that's never been published anywhere else. So pay attention; you're getting the scoop before anyone else.

The research methodology is simple. On its site, LinkedIn compared 4.1 million individuals who self-identify as salespeople with the hiring queries from companies wanting to hire salespeople. (Retail sales positions are filtered out.) They took this data and mapped it onto the following grid:


The X axis represents the supply of salespeople in a metropolitan area while the Y axis represents the demand for salespeople. If you're hiring salespeople, the sweet spot for recruiting are areas where demand is low but supply is high ("hidden gems"). If you're looking for a sales job, however, the sweet spot is where there's high demand but low supply.

With that in mind, here's how major U.S. and Canadian metropolitan areas rank. Green dots represent places where demand is low and supply is high (good for recruiting), while the orange dots represent places where demand is high but supply is low (good for job hunting).


As you can see, the most fruitful areas for recruiting salespeople are Los Angeles and Toronto, while the most fruitful areas to find a sales job are Washington, D.C., and Seattle. However, there's lots that's interesting in this chart. For example, while San Francisco and New York City have both high demand and high supply, the demand is much greater and the supply much lower in San Francisco than New York City. In other words, it's much harder to recruit top salespeople in San Francisco than in New York and correspondingly easier for a salesperson to find a job in San Francisco than in New York.

Another way to look at the data is on a map, like so:


Based upon geographical closeness, companies in the New York City or Chicago areas should be recruiting in Toronto, while companies in the San Francisco area should be recruiting in Los Angeles. Contrariwise, job-hunting salespeople on the West Coast should be considering positions in Seattle, while those on the East Coast should be looking at the Washington, D.C., area. Similarly, job-seeking salespeople in Houston and the Dallas/Fort Worth areas should consider relocating to San Antonio/Austin, where there's more demand and less supply.

If this kind of data--and how to use it to recruit or job-hunt--interests you, I highly recommend attending the webinar. I have more groundbreaking data about salespeople that I'll be sharing in a future post, so stay tuned.

Last updated: Aug 25, 2014

GEOFFREY JAMES

Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.




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